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ubiquitous networking

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Ubiquitous networking, also known as pervasive networking, is the distribution of communications infrastructure and wireless technologies throughout the environment to enable continuous connectivity. That capacity is an essential component of pervasive computing. (The terms are interchangeable, with slight variations, as either "ubiquitous" or "pervasive," which mean essentially the same thing.)

The Internet of Things (IoT), one prominent element of pervasive computing, involves embedding computational capabilities into everyday objects throughout the environment and connecting to them to each other and other systems. IoT environments include automated, often industrial, facilities as well as user spaces, such as homes and workplaces. Ubiquitous networking is the underlying combination of wired and wireless technologies that support comunications among the various systems involved.

Although the concepts sound futuristic, the technologies are developing rapidly. Smart homes increasingly allow users to perform tasks through natural user interface (NUI) technologies, such as voice and gesture interaction. Some NUIs rely on intermediary devices but more advanced interfaces are either invisible to the user or so unobtrusive that they quickly seem invisible. Some current smart speaker systems feature voice-activated digital assistants that can interface with the internet, answer questions and control home automation hubs

Pervasive Wi-Fi is the communications backbone designed to further development of the IoT and pervasive computing by interconnecting wireless networks of various kinds, integrating Wi-Fi access points, RFIDcellular and other communications systems transparently to the user. 

This was last updated in May 2017

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