Pervasive Computing in a Networked World

wirelessguideMobile - Wireless

Nov 24, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)



Pervasive Computing in a Networked World


IBM Global Services


Tatsuro UEDA


IBM Global Services




Nishimura Marketing Services



Almost everyone has heard of net
connected soft drink vending machines, but how will we
reach the dream of
pervasive computing


a billion people interacting with a million
businesses online via a zillion int
elligent, interconnected devices?

This paper examines the market environments, emerging technologies, and scenarios for
networked applications enabled by pervasive computing, environments created when
computing power and network connectivity are embedded i
n virtually every device humans

The market environment encompasses (1) industry convergence; (2) organizations' and
individuals' needs to move closer to customers, suppliers, partners, and constituents; (3)
changing business processes; and (4) the exp
losive growth of e
commerce and online
interaction and communities.

Technologies include (1) mobile and wireless data; (2) imbedded intelligence; and (3)
Pervasive Service Utilities linking multiple applications, multiple connectivity paths across

devices, and standardization issues.

Networked applications involved include the following:


business: Web access; e
mail; Global Help Desk (covering infrastructure,
platform, middleware, and vertical and horizontal applications).


onsumer: phones; pagers; PDAs; mobile laptops; screenphones; home
appliances; and automobile electronics.


Industry applications: travel, health care, sales automation, banking, securities, media,
and health.

These developments affect more and more of the w
orld's population as we move towards an
increasingly networked world. This paper (1) examines these issues and developments to date,
with a particular focus on services geared to the Asia
Pacific marketplaces; (2) discusses the
social and cultural factors
affecting technology adoption in two major markets

Japan and
the United States; and (3) looks at an early "pervasive" service in Japan.



1. What is pervasive computing?

2. Cultural and social as
pects: comparing Japan and the United States

3. A pioneer service: Japan's DoCoMo



1. What is pervasive computing?

1.1 Technology is moving from personal computers
(PCs) to handheld, intelligent, and
everyday devices with imbedded technology and connectivity

Pervasive computing provides convenient access to relevant information and applications
through a new class of ubiquitous, intelligent appliances that have the a
bility to easily
function when and where needed. The name
pervasive computing

tells only part of the story;
a parallel revolution lies in network
enabling these pervasive computing devices by providing
transparent, ubiquitous access to e
business services.

At last year's international Telecom 99
conference in Geneva, the global telecommunications carrier industry focused on the
"information" industry. Concepts such as "wireless Internet" were hot. However, even the
mighty telco carriers need partners in ord
er to cover the breadth of disciplines necessary to
provide pervasive computing services successfully.

The long
promised paradigm shift of

may finally be occurring. Virtually all
types of information technology companies are targeting the same
area: hardware (PCs, Palm,
and other personal organizers; routers, switches, and consumer electronics); software
(operating systems, application, middleware, and network management); Internet, telcos,
wireless, and other service providers; consultants, sys
tem integrators, and networking; along
with broadcasters, cable TV, and content providers. Thus, cross
industry partnerships and
other linkages combining respective expertise are becoming quite commonplace. But
pervasive computing is a bit of a Rorschach i
nk blot

different viewers see different
subjective opportunities in this emerging market space.

If we say that pervasive computing means

>Any Device
> Any Network
> Any Data

then let's look closer at these elements:

e: 7 days x 24 hours, global, ubiquitous access.

Any device: PC, Palm/PDA, cell phone, and so forth.

Any network: access, notification, data synchronization, queued transactions, wireless
optimization, security, content adaptation/reformat, development too
ls, device and user

Any data: e
mail, Personal Information Manager (PIM); inter
Intranet; public services.


Vertical application solutions (banking/finance, sales automation, visiting specialist),
horizontal application solutions (Supply Chain M
anagement (SCM), Enterprise Resource
Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM)).

Our employer, IBM, along with other total solution providers, is focusing on building some
of the necessary technologies: imbedded software (Java), speech technol
ogy, low power
management, network administration, subscription management, content transcoding (e.g.,
from HTML to Wireless Application Protocol [WAP]), backwards compatibility, wireless
transmission, and security, (e.g., for equity trading). We are build
ing an in
network Service
Delivery Platform (SDP), which connects existing content (e.g., a financial institution such as
a stock brokerage) to end
user devices, and provides security, transcoding, and user
management. This SDP also enables service provisi
on, acting as a Pervasive Services Utility
(PSU). Accompanying the SDP/PSU is a client that enables easy connection. To deploy
services, we are collaborating with carriers, telecommunication equipment manufacturers,
automobile/device manufacturers, financi
al services companies, and enterprise application

A major requirement is integrating all this technology to deliver real

to users. For
example, banks and securities brokerages want to link existing financial trading systems to
wireless n
etworks. The same holds true for the travel industry and their reservations systems,
not only for the convenience of directly reaching their customers, but for added real

for example, sending a message to a passenger that a flight is
delayed, and
listing three alternative travel options. Or in health care for enabling immediate access to
patients medical records. Telematics and the "network vehicle" promise network
clients in cars, not only for driver navigation and communica
tion, but for connecting the
vehicle to the manufacturer and maintenance/service providers. Such networked services
enable new relationships between these providers and their customers.

The Web has proven its value to business by linking various players. P
ervasive computing
promises even more interaction among players, such as

suppliers (commodity, strategic, component, emerging),

customers (catalog shoppers, solution communities, prospects),

partners (value

employees (sales, marketing, technical, f
inance), and

influencers (press, consultants, shareholders).

Pervasive computing is valuable to business users because of today's environment

(anywhere), 7x24 (anytime)

and requirements to increase revenues (new channels, markets,
and transact
ions), improve customer service (loyalty, competition, and differentiation), and
decrease costs (efficiency, competition, and cycle time).

1.2 Pervasive solutions enable anytime, anywhere information exchange and access to

(Query/Action <
> I

Communications: messaging, paging, e
mail, news, finance, sports, and so forth.

Professional productivity: sales force automation, order and delivery confirmation,
contract signing, medical prescriptions, travel reservations, insur
ance claims processing,
business commerce.


Customer relationship management: banking, equity trading, online bill payment,
entertainment ticket purchase, medical data access, mobile shopping, delivery status,
travel reservations, business to co
nsumer e

Business process (SCM, ERP): asset tracking, dynamic distribution management,
remote diagnosis, health care monitoring, medical access to patient data.

1.3 Examples: When we say pervasive...

Towards the end of 1999, many news articles ap
peared about appliance firms planning to link
their products to the Internet for maintenance, product orders, and upgrades. As the new year
began, announcements of strategic alliances between appliance manufacturers and technology
companies brought these p
lans closer to reality. Announcements included the following:

An exercise machine maker that plans to equip its products with free Web service

that a technologically oriented lifestyle needn't be sedentary (Nettles Communications
Inc., 1/21).

rs in commercial buildings equipped with 10
inch Internet display screens that
continually deliver news, financial data, and advertising customized for each captive
audience (aptly
named Captivate Network Inc., 1/15).

A convection microwave oven that downl
oads recipes and automatically sets the time,
adjusts the power, and does the roasting, baking, and broiling (Sharp Electronics Corp.

A net
connected refrigerator with bar code
based food tracking and reorder capability
(General Electric, 1/18).

er "command center" and "Home Gateway" technology (manufacturers are
estimating Web appliance availability in 2001).

All of these reports add to the promise of pervasive computing and its revolutionary
possibilities as the Web's connectivity spreads global

1.4 Standards issues

The lack of established standards continues to pose problems, and battles are emerging
similar to those that occurred between Betamax and VHS in the home
video industry.
Producers of competing software enabling different Internet a
ppliances to talk to each other
are making their case with appliance manufacturers. At a January builder's show, GE and
Maytag announced they would join Microsoft Corp. in developing technology solutions and
standards for so
called smart appliances by join
ing the Universal Plug and Play Forum
(UPnP), a cross
industry group of more than 65 companies, including Sony, IBM, and Intel.
But GE also has a similar agreement to use Sun's Java and Jini technology. In addition to its
deals with Sears and GE, Sun has a
greements with Whirlpool, Bosch Siemens, Motorola, and
Cisco. Sears has announced several nonexclusive agreements. At this time, a dominant
standard is elusive.

1.5 "Dick Tracy" wrist devices

As in real estate where "location, location, location" is key, t
he wrist is seen by some as the
most accessible place on the body. Thus, companies promise consumer wrist devices that
have function lists as long as your arm

doubling as cell phones, pagers, e
mail readers,
computers, cameras, MP3 music players, televi
sion receivers, voice recorders, automobile
security keys, VCR remote controls, health monitors, weather stations, compasses, Global


Positioning System monitors, altimeters, and games. With an active transponder, some can
function as admission passes for s
ki lifts and museums. And, almost as an afterthought, they
tell time (Motorola, Samsung, Timex, Seiko
Epson, Casio, others, 1/20)

2. Cultural and social aspects: comparing Japan and the United States

Worldwide, the United States is the leading market in te
rms of e
commerce adoption, judging
by transactions using 800 toll
free telephone, direct marketing, and e
business Web sites, but
Japan is ahead with devices and ubiquitous connectivity networks supporting emerging
applications. The growth in e
commerce i
s lagging in Japan because of a cultural preference
for face
face transactions, especially in the business
consumer market space.

2.1 Does this disparity imply two different futures for pervasive computing or, due to
cultural differences, merely dive
rgent paths leading to common networked
applications ?

First of all, we need to examine the drivers of pervasive computing. An important fact is that
people generally do not adopt new technology merely because of its novelty. Although there
is a small grou
p of users who are constantly looking for the latest gadget to satisfy their
interest in leading edge technology and to stay ahead of the general public, these users do not
create critical mass. Years ago, some early adopters were willing to pay $5 a minut
e for
cellular phone services. Note that the Internet was already available to academic researchers
long before the Web arrived. However, what wove those services into our daily life was not
the technology itself but the

it brought. Convenience

varies from place to place,
and occasion to occasion. Taking less than a minute to walk to a nearby convenience store is
more convenient than driving ten minutes to a supermarket. Pumping gas into one's car
during the commute home is convenient, but havin
g to do the same on a weekend may not be.
What seems convenient here and now may be inconvenient in different circumstances.
Mobile computing has become popular by closing gaps in different circumstances when a
user performs necessary tasks.

It is also imp
ortant to understand the purpose of an action that makes a new technology
convenient. Pumping gas is not a necessity for people who regularly commute by train. Being
able to order books online is not a convenience for people in places where bookstores exis
right where they catch trains daily (as is the case in Japan). The point is that pervasive
computing will have distinct forms of adoption depending on how people behave socially.
What needs to occur differs from society to society depending on existing s
ocial and cultural
systems, and what "pervasive" stands for may also be quite different.

2.2 Technology is a basic driver of pervasive computing, but people's behavior is the
ultimate determinant, dictating unique factors by country, culture, and region

t's compare the business and consumer sides of pervasive computing in Japan and the
United States. Businesses are always in need of effective communication. Whether
interpersonal or intercorporate, the speed, accuracy, and quality of information exchanged
vital factors of business competency. Nevertheless, there are different approaches among
cultures to achieving this goal of sharing (or not sharing) information effectively.
Management styles vary. The general tendency of people to distinguish job
interpersonal relationships from personal relationships varies. The way people live outside of


work varies. Specifically, the U.S. business management style is more open to allowing
employees to work within a prescribed process, and providing informati
on resources to let
them work effectively within that process. In contrast, Japanese management tends to require
interpersonal decisions to move processes forward, and often information resources are found
within the boundary of a person who assumes respon
sibility for the information. In this
context, when it is management's decision to adopt new technology, pervasive computing will
be adopted differently. In the United States, pervasive computing will give everyone the same
standing, but in Japan it may be

a means to easily create more controlled layers or groups of
information access.

On the consumer side, convenience stores ("combi's") provide a ubiquitous retail outlet
presence for urban Japanese. Combi's are readily accessible in both residential and bu
areas, often located literally just a few steps out the front door. In contrast, Americans have
come to depend on the automobile or other forms of transportation for access to retail

hence, the greater appeal of "couch potato" e
e including delivery in the
United States. The Japanese market does not have a strong demand for IP
refrigerators monitoring contents when food retail outlets are immediately accessible.

Differences are illustrated in consumer behavior. Internet us
e in the United States has
substantially impacted the way people shop, trade stocks, manage funds, educate, and even
participate in politics. Japanese use of the Internet is more at the level of novel entertainment
or advertising. This contrast comes from
different necessities of having computer
information access at home. Whereas U.S. consumers may look for information about
products and services on the Internet, Japanese consumers often already have it through a
much higher exposure to advertiseme
nts, magazines, and papers they read on the train while
commuting, or from ubiquitous billboards visible on most major streets. For shopping,
Japanese retail shops are located within a few steps of offices, train stations, and homes. In
such a society, it
makes more sense to go out and buy what's needed rather than logging on
and surfing the net. Pervasive computing offers ubiquitous access to information without
requiring much user effort. U.S. consumers may welcome this as a radical change in
access, but Japanese consumers may see it as redundant. The value of pervasive
computing in a society such as Japan, where people closely communicate and share common
means of engaging in social activities, may be in enhancing interpersonal communication.
Sending and receiving messages on handheld devices will be in great demand, and enabling
devices to interface with others will greatly accelerate pervasive computing.

2.3 Different ways people embrace technology and incorporate it into daily life

ies can change the way people work, live, and commute. Many first
world citizens
are coming to depend on various appliances and devices such as the telephone, TV, and
microwave. For many, it would be difficult to live without the convenience and services t
provide. The future may offer enhanced wearable devices (not only hearing aids and pagers,
but identity transponders worn on the body that allow self
service checkout at the cashier
supermarket by debiting the customer's account), imbedded device
s (a blind person with
imbedded visual sensors), and perhaps high
tech piercing (based on form or function!).

Home appliances already have adopted pervasive computing functions in Japan. Some
appliance manufacturers have introduced microwave ovens th
at download cooking recipes
from the manufacturer's server. Although not Net
connected, rice cookers have long been
equipped with microchips that control the heating sequence. Air conditioners also have used
sophisticated temperature control employing "fuz
zy" logic. All have the potential to become


interactive. This sophistication in home appliances in Japan may be attributed to the fact that
many families emphasize domestic activities such as cooking, cleaning, and maintaining
housing. It may take comparat
ively longer for the United States to adopt appliance
computerization because households take less time to engage in such domestic activities. In
financial applications, the use of cash is preferred by far over credit cards in Japan, and
personal checks ar
e virtually unused. U.S. society has long adopted cashless monetary
settlements (i.e., credit/debit cards, personal checks), which can be easily converted to the use
of pervasive devices. In this context, adoption of pervasive computing may be characterize
as interpersonal and domestic in Japan, and business oriented and social in the United States.

2.4 Physical characteristics of devices

The shape and physical characteristics of pervasive devices also vary. The U.S. lifestyle
allows devices to be somewhat

larger than in Japan, where they need to be as small as
possible to gain popularity. Americans generally travel by car; devices therefore are not
required to be as light and compact as in Japan, where a majority of people take public
transportation and wa
lk. Also, Japanese users tend to be attracted by style and physical
characteristics even if the contents and services are limited. A general tendency in the
Japanese consumer market is that the devices themselves (hardware) initially are more
attractive th
an the contents; the contents provide secondary attraction, and subsequent growth
in contents and services. The Japanese's preference for portability will provide incentive for
manufacturers of handheld pervasive devices to quickly deliver multifunction de
vices that are
small enough to wear on the body rather than actually being only

For embedded technology, such as in automobile and home appliances, the Japanese often are
attracted to more function than they may actually need, expecting to be abl
e to use services
and contents when they become available. They select products by this criteria when
purchasing. This tendency may explain the rapid introduction of Web
enabled home
appliances mentioned earlier. The U.S. market may be opposite: People ten
d not to buy
equipment until contents and services are established and available, which calls for a certain
maturity in the industry before device
level competition takes place. In this context, pervasive
computing may present divided models where Japan le
ads the equipment and the United
States leads the contents, as in the home audio/video market today.

Although the United States leads with per capita PC usage and penetration, cell phone usage
is higher in parts of Asia and Europe. Cell phones are no longe
r limited to voice
communications; customers can have wireless access to banking, travel reservations, and
other mostly consumer applications. An example (circa October 1999) is the Nokia 9000
GSM phone, complete with a keyboard, screen, and Windows
type i
nterface including
browser. In Finland and Japan, school students use small, portable, inexpensive wireless
devices to send short text messages to each other (inside and outside the classroom!).

3. A pioneer service: Japan's DoCoMo

DoCoMo, the wireless uni
t of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (Japan's dominant
carrier) has sparked an explosion of Japan's cell phone market, now one of the world's largest
and most sophisticated. DoCoMo grew from a vision that the future of the mobile business
lay not in voi
ce calls but in services such as Internet access. Japan's mobile phone market
now boasts 50 million subscribers (half of which are DoCoMo customers) versus about 75


million in the United States, a country with double the population. Demand for mobile
ces has exploded, creating a shortage of DoCoMo's wireless spectrum. It plans to roll out
called third
generation (3G) cellular technology, which uses spectrum more efficiently, in
early 2001

years ahead of the United States and even ahead of Europe'
s advanced mobile

A current example of an early pervasive service is DoCoMo's "i
Mode," a precursor to 3G
services, which offers access to several thousand Web sites using WAP so their content fits
onto the small screens embedded into i
Mode phone
s. Typical popular content includes
banking, travel, and weather information, but as described below, the primary attraction is

in these application areas. The number of i
Mode customers is now growing by
15,000 new subscribers each day; by Ma
rch 2000 it will have about 5 million total
subscribers, after starting with none in early 1999.

Mode's success is already giving Japan a role in shaping the next wave of the Internet.
Japan was a follower in the current wave: Dominated by Microsoft, Int
el, and U.S. PC
makers, it centers on surfing the Web via PCs. The next wave, pervasive computing, is
expected to be dominated by Internet appliances

cheap, easy
use devices like cell
phones and game machines that could eclipse the PC, as it exists t
oday, as the tool of choice
for tapping e
business services.

DoCoMo's success is giving Japan a head start in developing high
speed Internet services that
are at the heart of 3G, such as video and interactive games, over mobile phones and other
portable de
vices. The potential of 3G has spurred Japan's computer and electronics giants,
who were humbled in the 1990s as nimble U.S. companies bested them in the PC market and
European makers dominated the cell phone business outside Japan. Worldwide ambitions rid
on Japan's mobile Internet success; Japanese technology companies are investing vast sums in
the belief that working with DoCoMo will give them a lead over rivals when 3G rolls out in
Europe and the United States in coming years.

As a first step by NTT D
oCoMo to expand its i
Mode wireless
phone Internet service
overseas, it will license its technology to Hutchison Telephone Co., Ltd. (HTC), Hong Kong's
largest wireless service provider. NTT DoCoMo took a 19 percent stake in HTC in late 1999.
This deal wil
l allow the same content to be provided to users of HTC's phones, which use a
different wireless communication standard. NTT DoCoMo is considering expanding the
service to the United States and Europe next.

A testament to investors' confidence in the poten
tial for wireless is that the value of
DoCoMo's stock, which was listed in 1998 on Japan's stock market in the world's biggest
ever IPO, surpassed that of parent NTT domestic

carrier in late 1999.

Multinational telco equipment manufacturers, inclu
ding Telefon AB L.M., Ericsson, Fujitsu
Ltd., NEC Corp., Nokia Corp., and Lucent are working with DoCoMo, designing 3G
handsets, base stations, and services. These companies are trying to make 3G into a global

so that the same phone can work in To
kyo, Paris, or New York. Today the United
States has three major standards, Japan its own unique standard, and Europe and a number of
countries in Asia use the dominant technology, known as GSM.

3.1 I
Mode service adoption, demographics, and usage


In Japan
, the majority of i
Mode users are in their twenties. Overall, cell phone ("Keitai
Denwa") users' ages are spread equally from their teens through their forties, but among users
who already have a cell phone, a majority of those in their thirties and forti
es don't feel the
need to replace their current phone in order to get i
Mode. In contrast, people in their twenties
are very quick in upgrading to i
Mode, as a fashion statement and expression of their identity
rather than for convenience.

Thus, i
Mode app
lications can be separated into two categories

practical, and fashion/self
identity. For
practicality and convenience
, applications include the following:


Due to the lack widespread use of personal checking in Japan, this function is
useful for paying bills, such as rent, by invoking direct electronic funds


This application is useful for viewing schedules for commuting and "Bullet"
trains (Shinkansen), airplanes, and availability of hotel rooms; reserving tickets; and

making hotel reservations.


This application is useful for checking availability and making reservation
for concerts, movies, and other events.


As Japanese commuters spend lots of time on crowded public transportation
where cellular voic
e usage is discouraged, recently many young people communicate
by sending e
mail using their phone keypad, rather than talking. Whereas older users
find it inconvenient to type messages using a phone, younger users have mastered it
very quickly.


these are four major practical i
Mode applications, but other novel uses are
growing ,such as a GPs navigation service for pedestrians. For 400 yen per month
(U.S.$3.80), i
Mode users can see immediately where they are walking on a small map that
s banks, convenience stores, retail outlets, restaurants, department stores,
supermarkets, hotels, hospitals, schools, and other facilities. Weather reports can also be
called up before deciding whether to grab an umbrella.

fashion statement and entert

applications include the following:


A melody announces incoming calls: "chaku
mero" is a shortened word
for "
sin (receiving calls)
dy." The music becomes an identity statement
according to which melody is chosen. Convenience st
ores sell chakumero books
teaching users to input their own unique melody. As of July 1999, one newspaper's
study showed 34.8 percent of respondents using a chakumero melody instead of a
generic incoming ringing. Although one would expect users in their tw
enties would
have the highest rate of chakumero usage, research indicates that the most frequent
chakumero users (47.6 percent) are in their forties, followed by twenty
somethings at
35.9 percent. Initially, the chakumero function played only one note at a

time, but now
four notes can be played concurrently, like playing a keyboard, covering three octaves
with major and minor adjustments.

Music download.

Users can download and listen to the latest hits chart, instead of going
to the CD shop.

Screen saver (m
achiuke gamen).

Available in 256 colors, perhaps a pure
fashion/identity statement.

Animated characters.

For 100 yen per month for a character like Hello Kitty, users can
receive a different visual of the selected character every day to be used as a s
saver (machiuke gamen).


Greeting cards.

Users can send color e
mail greeting cards to up to five people
concurrently with a color visual, such as a cup of sake and the message "Do you want
to go for a drink after work tonight?"


This conten
t has been very popular for years, predating i
particularly among young women. Tokyo Department Store sends mail to i
Mode users
linking horoscope information to special sales.

One additional fashion statement is not limited to i
Mode; many users cho
ose a hand strap or
handle for their kite cell phones primarily for aesthetic reasons. Form over function may rule
in some parts of pervasive computing!


Pervasive computing in an increasingly networked world continues to affect more and more
the world's population. More questions than answers remain, more investment required
than profit currently available, but plenty of opportunity and revolutionary benefits (and
potential pitfalls) for everyone who participates. Although this is a global phe
regional and national social and cultural factors will directly influence the technologies and
promise of pervasive computing.



Appliances to Be Linked to Internet
, by Jura Koncius and Maryann Haggerty,
Washington Post, January 18, 2000 ; A1


State of the Art: Look Out! New Wrist Devices on the Loose
, by Peter H. Lewis, The
New York Times, January 20, 2000, Section G; Page 1


Even so, the 1999 market for Business to Consumer (B to C) electronic commerce in
Japan was 248 billion yen (US$2.36 B),
or roughly four times the 64.5 billion yen of
1998, according to a survey from the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of
Japan and Andersen Consulting covering 263 companies running Web sites for
electronic commerce. In addition, if the newly added segm
ent of real estate is included,
the size of Japan's electronic commerce market reached 336 billion yen. ($3.2 B)

Japan Economic Newswire, January 19, 2000


NTT DoCoMo: Banished Exec Leads Way
, Robert Guth, Asian Wall Street Journal,
January 23, 2000 Tech



NTT Docomo to expand iMode Internet service to Hong Kong
, Nihon Keizai,
1/26/2000, p.1 (translated by Digitized Information Inc.)


NTT DoCoMo: Banished Exec Leads Way
, Robert Guth, Asian Wall Street Journal,
January 23, 2000 Tech Journal


July 22, '
99 Nikkei Ryutsu News.