Browse Definitions:
Definition

transparent computing

Transparent computing is a characteristic of pervasive computing , the possible future state in which we will be surrounded by computers everywhere in the environment that respond to our needs without our conscious use. In this context, transparent means invisible. A long sought goal of computer science, transparent computing would involve systems so subtle and responsive that they could, for example, solve various user problems without any knowledge on the part of the user of what was taking place. As a simple example, an invisible computer could respond to a glance at a particular Web site URL by calling up similar Web sites and listing them unobtrusively nearby.

John Seely Brown, chief scientist at Xerox, writing in MIT's Technology Review , suggests that, in appearance, the future will seem like the pre-computer past: computers will merge with the background and eventually seem to cease to exist. Although computers are not expected to be visible in the environment, virtually all man-made elements - as well as many organic ones - are likely to include smart matter and to feature transparent computing abilities. With embedded devices seamlessly incorporated, an environment could transform itself to suit the user at any particular time, a capacity reminiscent of Star Trek's holodeck.

Although transparent computing offers a myriad of benefits that can yet be hardly imagined, it also engenders a great deal of concern about privacy issues. According to Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union, "Soon you won't only be able to capture how many people stopped by, but who they were." Furthermore, he added, "Once identity is established it will be cross-referenced to capture that person's income and buying preferences. It's only a matter of time." If, in the future, humans are being constantly monitored by computing devices, and not only their whereabouts, but their behaviors and even their emotions recorded, personal privacy could become as much a thing of the past as the personal computer.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About transparent computing

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

  • supercookie

    A supercookie is a type of tracking cookie inserted into an HTTP header by an internet service provider to collect data about a ...

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close