Extension of Human Activity

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Ubiquitous revolution was foreseen by Mark Weiser (1991) who predicted: ‘In the 21st century the technology revolution will move into the everyday, the small and the invisible … The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.’

Mark Weiser 1991, The Computer for the 21st Century

The goal of ambient intelligence is to make it possible for users to interact naturally with their environment. For environments to be truly intelligent systems they are being developed to learn needs and preferences of the occupants, diagnose situations and then react to them in a context specific way.

‘A digital environment that proactively, but sensibly, supports people in their daily lives’

Augusto Boal 2007, A Digital Revolution


This requires the system to be sensitive, achieved through the ability to classify complex human behaviour and respond to their needs with appropriate use of technology. For example, a heating system can detect is someone is present in the room, but for it to react appropriately it needs to consider a wider context, someone watching TV for example might require a warmer room than someone undertaking exercise.

The development of integrated technologies means that the home of tomorrow will be more like the home of yesterday that the home of today. The way we experience technological power is about to change. Technology and computers will no longer be seen as an intermittent step between a physical us and an outcome – but as Intelligent systems operated through interfaces that are an intuitive extension of our natural speech and movements, through touch panels, heat and weight sensors and intelligent cameras that track our eyeball movements. All striving to atomise our personal preferences with ease to provide extra convenience and help in everyday tasks.

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