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.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

  • integrated risk management (IRM)

    Integrated risk management (IRM) is an approach to risk management that uses a set of practices and processes to improve an ...

  • MITRE ATT&CK framework

    The MITRE ATT&CK (pronounced 'miter attack') framework is a free, globally accessible service that provides comprehensive and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close