Simon Carlile: Ubiquitous Computing a.k.a. "The Internet of Things"

In The Fabric of Tomorrow, I spoke briefly about Mark Weiser’s influential article in Scientific America where he coined the term “ubiquitous computing,” now often referred to as the "Internet of Things" (Kevin Ashton, 1999).  As with many great ideas, this has a long and illustrious lineage and indeed has continued to evolve. A complete timeline spanning 1950 to the 1970s can be viewed here: The Internet of Things History.

Weiser said, “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” This disappearing act is a positive thing though, indicative of how technology has seamlessly become an essential part of our everyday lives. These devices have simply become part of the process of engaging in ordinary activities. We would miss them if they were gone – as anyone knows when they are separated from their smartphone—but when present, they are invisible because they have become part of us.

This is our goal for hearing technologies — to make hearables as invisible yet essential as a smartphone.

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