Ambient Computing: What Is It & How Will It Change Our lives?
Internet of Things (IoT)
Vishnu Narayan November 21, 2022

We’re now living in an era of Ambient Computing. The computing world has also advanced tremendously due to this relatively new technology.

Ambient computing is about AI decisions that are made without human intervention, which has significant implications for the tech world. It is also one of Silicon Valley’s newest and hottest buzzwords.  

So, in this blog, let’s learn more about ambient computing. Let’s also examine how it will impact our daily life and the future.

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about this exciting new field of ​​Computing.

What Is Ambient Computing?

Ambient computing is a term that describes the growing trend of integrating computing devices into our daily lives.

As the definition of “environment” suggests, ambient computing refers to technology immersed in your surroundings (ready to help you without prompting).

For example, it’s like a smart thermometer that can automatically adjust its temperature. Gradually, this led to the ‘Smart Home’ idea, which incorporates technology into every home object to make life easier.

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a network of physical objects (“things”) embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet. On the other hand, ambient computing happens when these devices are connected and start learning from each other once they are connected.

Ambient computing is different from IoT. But it is still naturally connected as all devices are interconnected to the Internet of Things. And they are the foundation of the future of ambient computing.

In this case, the possibilities for innovation will increase exponentially. New innovation methods will emerge in a world where devices are more widely connected to the cloud, and we gather more useful data.

Also Read: Your Business Can Improve Productivity With Cloud Automation

Why Does It Matter To You?

Ambient computing is actually a technology that combines software, hardware, and human-machine interaction to create a user-friendly environment. It has numerous applications in heterogeneous domains and in many aspects. More specifically, it aims to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) to work efficiently.

Statista’s recent survey shows that by 2025, the number of IoT devices is expected to triple to 30 billion, more than a human population of 7.5 billion. This will result in nearly five times more intelligent machines flooding and supporting human communities. This is why companies such as Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Apple, and Amazon invest in this next phase of computing.

Use Cases

It is indeed a technology that promises more convenient and connected experiences for its users. By incorporating multiple environmental devices, ambient computing can also give businesses and their customers more personalized and tailored experiences based on user habits.

  • For example, an ambient smart home system that pulls data from microphones and devices like light switches and thermostats to automatically turn lights on and off can automatically adjust heating based on a user’s schedule.
  • Companies and governments could also implement similar technology in buildings or on transportation routes to streamline the flow of people and vehicles and reduce operating costs and more.
  • We can also employ it for smart office lighting, voice-driven speakers in your living room, and smart thermostats. Even Virtual agents and chatbots we use are also part of the ambient computing environment.

Creating such customer experiences can help entrepreneurs or business leaders bring new products to market or enhance existing solutions to increase customer loyalty and revenue streams. And by bringing ambient computing into your organization, you can reduce costs and deliver innovative employee experiences.

 So, ambient computing is not just a newly invented technology but a revolutionary tech which can do many wonders.

What Is The Difference Between IoT & Ambient Computing?

If you thought IoT and ambient computing sound remarkably identical, you’re not mistaken; the two concepts are related. 

IoT refers to the wide range of devices connecting to the internet to optimise their functionality. Such as smart sensors, speakers, etc. Ambient computing is actually built on top of that.

However, the IoT provides a foundation for ambient computing. Whereas ambient computing focuses more on how smart devices and services interact with users.

In other words, ambient computing focuses on interacting with these devices once they are connected.

For example, a light bulb connecting to an application is an IoT device. Ambient computing, on the other hand, is different. Because it focuses on how the light bulb collects information about your preferences from its surroundings and responds accordingly.

Ambient Computing Is Taking Shape

When the IoT components are in place and can collect and transfer information intelligently, computing has become ambient.

In other words, ambient computing is when computers and electronic devices in our environment can sense and respond to our presence and requirements without prompting.

Also, it is necessary to implement a number of technical systems to ensure this innovative computing is successful.

Also, such different technological systems are fundamental to enabling ambient computing. Because embedded devices will deeply place computers in our communities. This helps in acquiring,

  • Context awareness: This allows devices to recognise both users and their context.
  • Personalisation: Which allows devices to meet specific needs. 
  • Adaptive technology: Allows devices to change in response to user needs.
  • And predictive capabilities: lets devices or systems act proactively on a user’s behalf.

An example of an advanced (and potentially invasive) IoT solution: Microsoft’s AI surveillance technology, which can identify people, places, things and environments and can take proactive action.

The convergence of these technologies contributes to increasingly intelligent consumer-oriented products, such as smartphones, smart home hubs, smart cars, wearables, and other devices. These intelligent systems are also part of corporate, commercial and public infrastructure.

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Ambient Computing Is Bringing Together The Digital & Physical Worlds

Ambient computing is happening all around us. As a result, our digital and physical worlds will increasingly merge as the intelligent cloud becomes the consistent backdrop for personal and professional digital experiences. Such advances will lead to more natural interactions between humans and the intelligent systems that can perceive us.

With vision, hearing, emotion, and many other cognitive services, the computers that permeate our world will continue to evolve in their ability to understand and proactively respond to our needs. Also, intelligent systems will develop their ability to perceive and interact with the physical world.

Likewise, augmented reality glasses or headsets will allow people to see and interact with digital components in the IoT-based computing environment around them. As a result, the digital and physical worlds will merge even more.

Also Read: IoT Ecosystem – What is it & What are Its Key Elements

Here are a Few Examples 

Ambient computing has many applications in different industries, and many more are on the way.
Here are a few ways we’ve seen it so far:
  • Chatbots on social media or websites can mimic customer representatives in real-time, show products, and complete the sale without needing employee intervention.
  • Advanced microphone software can detect devices in conference rooms to automatically connect audio and video to everyone’s devices.
  • Sensors in industrial equipment can monitor wear and tear, fuel and other factors and then automatically schedule maintenance based on the data.
  • Electrical grids can automatically detect fluctuations in demand or supply across the grid and shift resources to balance energy distribution.
  • The latest trains and freight wagons can monitor weight, delivery times and warehouse activity to adjust speed automatically. This helps to ensure shipments arrive on time and save fuel.
  • And obviously, self-driving cars. Because within certain limits, they can take their passengers to their destination, respond to traffic and avoid danger without intervention.

Next generation IoT Supercars

The Future Of Ambient Computing

Virtual Reality (VR) will also allow us to immerse ourselves in virtual images of an immersive digital world.

Similarly, programming, problem-solving, and other applications have become possible where users “exist” as avatars in the digital plane. This impacts real code that translates into real changes in the real world. 

Ambient Computing is much bigger than smart devices and is an intelligent computing platform. Which is based on billions of devices that are part of the Internet of Things and also capable of sensing and interacting with people. As this new way of computing evolves, future computing will become less device dependent or even deviceless.

Eventually, it will also become universal. It will also understand users in different settings, from home, work and even public places. Where connected devices act as gateways to the intelligent cloud that manages our digital experiences. So, are you ready for the future?

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Author Bio

Vishnu Narayan is a content writer working at ThinkPalm Technologies. He is a passionate writer, a tech enthusiast, and an avid reader who tries to tour the globe with a heart that longs to see more sunsets than Netflix!