ID2012 Ubiquitous Computing 7.5 credits

Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) integrates computation into the environment, rather than having computers as distinct objects. Promoters of this idea hope that embedding computation into the environment will enable people to move around and interact with computers more naturally than they currently do. The idea was first introduced by Xerox, Mark Weiser (1991) as “The computer for the 21st century”. Some other close and overlapping terms for ubiquitous computing are pervasive, calm, disappearing, post-desktop and embodied computing. The course has the main focus on technical, design and implementation aspects of Ubicomp.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 20 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course the student has knowledge and understanding regarding:      

  • the objectives and the historical development of the field of ubiquitous computing
  • development in new materials
  • fundamentals of sensor technology and sensor networks
  • design of new (often embedded) interactive artefacts
  • contextaware and adaptive systems
  • middleware for fine-grained distributed systems
  • analysis and coordination of complex systems
  • new styles of interaction, e.g. tangible interfaces
  • most important applications in the field
  • general implications of the field. 

Skills and capacities, to be able to: 

  • apply middleware techniques to implement ubiquitous computing systems
  • design and implement coordination schemes for systems with many software and hardware components
  • design and implement simple context aware applications, using standard sensor technology
  • design and implement interfaces suitable for ubiquitous computing in particular tangible interfaces. 

Values and attitudes, to be able to:

  • compare the usability of alternative design of interactions for specific ubiquitous computing systems
  • compare the adequacy of alternative coordination strategies for specific ubiquitous computing systems
  • judge the user acceptance and relevance of specific designs for adaptive and context aware systems
  • compare the adequacy of alternative middleware techniques for particular ubiquitous computing systems. 

Course main content

Introduction to the field of ubiquitous computing including objectives of the field, core technologies, applications and implications for society. Core technologies are innovative materials, design of new computational artifacts, sensor technology, middleware for fine grained distributed systems, context aware systems, theory of complex systems, artificial intelligence techniques for coordination of behaviour (multi agent systems) and new forms of interaction. A specialization in middleware for ubiquitous computing with a bias on support for collaborative applications, context aware functionalities and tangible interfaces.


The course has two parts, a theoretical part covered by a series of lectures and a lab part covered by a few basic lectures, guest lectures and some instructive sessions. The lab part consists of a smaller lab with the purpose to acquire basic skills and a more extensive integrated lab. The labs are performed in groups.


Basic courses in mathematics, computer science, human computer interaction, artificial intelligence and programming of distributed systems.





  • INLA - Assignment, 1.5, grading scale: P, F
  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • SEM1 - Seminar, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Assessment on the course consists of three assignments. To pass the whole course requires pass on all three.

Offered by



Fredrik Kilander,, +4687904082


Fredrik Kilander <>


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2019.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.