Ambient Computing – The Shift

Ambient Computing

First there was the machine and the human – Industrial Revolution.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution image is of a huge mechanical machine and ladies in Boston around the 1920s.

IBM Personal Computer

The IBM PC image is of a man, and an IBM PC at about 1981.

Cloud Data Center

The image of the Cloud Data Center at about 2008 and Microsoft Azure – more compute power and less human interaction.


The Alexa image, Alexa was released around 2014.

Alexa is:

Invisible – part of your home furnishings – physical presence does not stand out.

Embedded – Alexa looks like an accessory to your living room. While it is a very powerful computer/machine.

Frictionless – Take Alexa out of the box, plug it in, no keyboard, mouse or dangling cables. Alexa understands its environment – it is cognitively aware.

Interconnected – the human is center. The human speaks. Alexa connects to huge amount of compute resources. Alexa speaks a response to the human – the response factoring in OSINT, Social Media, human environment, etc.

With ambient computing the user can interact with the computer without worrying where it is. We could ask what we need with our voices, a keyboard, or a pencil. The device that processes that information could be anywhere in the environment. In the building where we are, in the clothes we wear, or in a remote server we connect to with a new kind of wifi.”

Easy to miss the transition. But it is here. Interesting to see how long the human is the center.

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