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Courses > Ubicomp 2008S

Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing

Spring Semester, 2008
Computer Science and Information Engineering Department
Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia
National Taiwan University
Class Time: Tuesday 2:20 ~ 5:10
Room: CSIE 310

Course Description:

"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it." Mark Weiser, "Computer for the 21th Century," Scientific American, September, 1991.

Ubiquitous and pervasive computing (UbiComp/PerCom) is how computing will be used in the future. It is about moving beyond the traditional desktop computing model, into embedding computing into everyday objects and everyday activities. The vision is that the virtual (computing) space will be seamlessly integrated with our physical environment, such that we as people cease to take notice of computing artifacts. In this course, we will focus specifically on the following topics to realize this vision of ubiquitous computing:

  • UbiComp vision and criticism
  • Smart everyday objects and context awareness
  • Ambient and tangible interfaces
  • Localization system
  • UbiComp software system

This is a research-level course with the goal to prepare graduate students and senior undergraduate students for research in the area of ubiquitous and pervasive computing. This course will have two main components: paper readings and hands-on projects. The papers will be drawn mainly from recent conference proceedings. In the hands-on projects, students will form teams to explore actual design and prototype of ubiquitous computing systems or applications.


  • Like to verbally communicate your ideas
  • Some programming and hardware experiences (design and prior HCI experience are plus)
  • Creativity

Teaching Staff and Office Hours:

  • Instructor: Hao-hua Chu (朱浩華), Room 518, email: hchu (at)
  • Teaching assistant: Holin Chang (張鶴齡), Room 336/338, email: craneage (at)


  • Arvin Tsui (崔文)
  • Yu-Chen Chang (張育誠)
  • Howard Liu (劉根豪)
  • Ted Lai (賴宗德)
  • Sigma Chen (陳威翰)
  • Eddy Chou (周世福 )
  • Joe Cho (邱孟傑)
  • Martin Yu (游名揚)
  • Joost Kuckartz
  • Tzu-Chow Chou (周子超)
  • Icarus Xu (許舜棋)
  • Vincent Lin (林韡承)
  • Heng-Wei Chang (張恆瑋)
  • 林居正
  • Eunice (陳玉潔)
  • Kenneth 謝俊科
  • 盧俊達
  • 孟杰

Student Projects

Face On:: by Matrin Yu



Sleeping Doll:: Shun-Chi Hsu, Heng-Wei Chang

The sleeping doll is an interactive doll that assists parents in modifying their child's sleeping habit. A smart phone with accelerometer are used in developing this platform. The sleeping doll works as follows. First, a doll records a bedtime story between a parent and the child. After the bedtime story, the child would hold the hold to sleep. The accelerometer inside the doll detects the child's motion. If a child is moving, the doll stops playing the recorded sound.

video(24.4MB), slides

Mug Forest:: Howard Liu, Joe Cho

The goal of the Mug-Forest is to motivate people to stay hydrated by drinking water regularly and developing a good water-drinking habit. The Mug-Forest project has two parts. The first part is the phone extension, in which a person’s cell phone can be attached (detached) to his/her everyday drinking mug for enabling this service. By using available sensors on a smart phone, the phone can detect who/when/where/what is in a drinking action. For examples, a phone’s accelerometer can be used to detect a drinking action; a phone’s camera can be used to recognize what was the type of drink (i.e., water, soda, etc.); etc. The second part is collaboration, in which many people’s drinking behaviors are virtually linked together to form a “forest”. That is, each user participates by registering his/her phone to our system, and then he/she is designated a “tree” in a forest. His/her drinking habit would affect not only his/her tree but the overall wellness of the forest. We hope to use social collaboration for an effective habit development and behavior persuasion.

video(379MB), slides

Polite UPoster:: by Kenneth

In the modern age, people usually suffer from info-stress. They do not pay attention to the priority properly. Therefore, this project aims to develop the Polite UPoster that helps human attention management. In this research, some museum studies were conducted and treated the difference between galleries and public spaces. What is the “polite” interaction? The system sense the human context, then responds with attentive mode or inattentive mode interactions. Additionally, the traditional presentation information is reorganized by the polite way. The polite presentation approach reduces the cognitive load of visitors and augmented geographical and content information intuitively.

video(10.3MB), slides, report

Saving Promoter:: by Jeffery Chou, Eunice Chen

The Saving Promoter tracks people’s spending habit and motivate a change in people’s spending behavior. It is an artifact-based persuasive technology implemented on a cell phone. It uses various persuasive technology design principles to tries to help people keep their budget. Moreover with the help of a cell phone’s GPS, the Saving Promoter is location-aware. It records the amount of money people spend on different locations. If they have spent a lot of money on a place, the next time they come near it, the Saving Promoter will remind them that they have already spent too much there.

video(61.6MB), slides

Mirror Me:: by Meng-Chieh Yu

每個人無時無刻不在呼吸,卻很少人注意自己呼吸方式是否有效率。Mirror me運用擴增實境的概念,將多媒體呼吸學習物件(蝴蝶、呼吸氣流、皇冠)結合至攝影機擷取到的使用者影像之中。希望使用者能在此有趣的、活潑的互動模式下,學習正確的呼吸模式(腹式呼吸、呼吸頻率),並讓身體更健康,心情更開闊。

video(10.5MB), slides, report

SpinTrack:: by Ted Lai

SpinLoc is a precise indoor localization system by utilizing spinning beacons and Doppler shift effect to target stationary object. We have tested SpinLoc in an indoor garage environment and SpinLoc can achieve a medium error of 39 centimeters and 90% error of 70 centimeters. In the future, we would like to extend SpinLoc to SpinTrack, in order to localize mobile object.

video(20.8MB), slides

YATT:: by Joost Kuckartz



uBike:: by Yu-Chen Chang, Sigma Chen


video(87.3MB), slides

House with Memory:: by 林居正, 盧俊達

House with Memory explores the possibility of a house that remembers what happens in it. The house ``sees'' through surveillance cameras and ``recollects memories'' to show in display. Though the displayed clips of memory serve no specific persuasive goals, the resident within shall become more aware of his/her life in the house. Also non-residents can get the glimpse of life inside the house.

video(178MB), slides

War-Walking v.s War-Driving:: by Arvin Tsui, Vincent Lin

War-driving is currently the most widely adopted method for building large-scale radio maps in metropolitan Wi-Fi localization. Although the human effort cost for war driving is smaller than that of war walking, its positional accuracy is also lower than that of war walking. This work compares radio maps built from war driving and walking and analyzes how selective map characteristics affect positional accuracy.

research report, slides



Course Schedule

Lecture Topics Readings Weekly Questions
2/19 Introduction course description (ppt) & UbiComp introduction (ppt)
2/26 Reading List Overview Students will sign up for paper presentation  
3/4 Ubicomp Vision & Criticism

Mark Weiser. The computer for the 21th century, Scientific American. September 1991.pdf; Presenter: Joost

Mark Weiser, John S. Brown. The coming age of calm technology. 1996. pdf; Presenter: 居正

Optional: 鄧兆旻, 未來科技大勢:極簡的科技與消失的電腦, 數位時代雙週 2005/03/15. (UbiComp explained in Chinese) pdf


Discussion summary pdf

3/11 Ubicomp Vision and Criticism

(criticism #1) Yvonne Rogers. Moving on from Weiser's Vision of Calm Computing: Engaging UbiComp Experiences. UBICOMP 2006. pdf; Presenter: Ted

David Tennenhouse. Proactive computing. CACM May 2000. pdf; Presenter: 恆瑋

Mark Weiser. Some computer science issues in ubiquitous computing. CACM, 36(7):75-85, July 1993. (html); Presenter: Eddy

Gregory Abowd, Elizabeth Mynatt. Charting past, present and future research in Ubiquitous computing. TOCHI 7(1), 2000. pp. 29-58.pdf; Presenter: 舜棋


Questions pdf

Discussion summary pdf

3/18 No Class


3/25 Smart everyday objects and context awareness I

(criticism #2) Kasim Rehman, Frank Stejano, George Coulouris. Visually interactive location-aware computing. UBICOMP 2006. pdf Plus (criticism #3) Donald Norman. Three Challenges for Design. Interaction, 2007. pdf [short paper] ; Presenter: 俊科

Anind K. Dey and Gregory D. Abowd. Towards a better understanding of context and context-awareness. In the Workshop on The What, Who, Where, When, and How of Context-Awareness, as part of the 2000 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2000), The Hague, The Netherlands, April 3, 2000. pdf; Presenter: Vincent

Pei-yu Chi, Jen-hao Chen, Shih-yen Liu, Hao-hua Chu. Designing smart living objects - enhancing vs. distracting traditional human-object interactions. HCII 2007. pdf;


Questions pdf

Discussion summary pdf

Project idea presentation


4/1 Smart everyday objects and context awareness II

Barry Brown, Alex S. Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph Jofish Kaye, Rachel Eardley. Locating family values: a field trial of the Whereabouts clock. UbiComp 2007. pdf; Presenter: 玉潔

J. Scheirer, R.W. Picard. Affective objects. MIT Media Lab, March 2000. pdf; Presenter: Howard

H. Gellersen, M. Beigl, H. Krull. The Mediacup: awareness technology embedded in an everyday object. HUC 1999.pdf Also Ju-Chun Ko, Yi-Ping Hung, Hao-hua Chu. Mug-Tree: a playful mug to encourage healthy habit of drinking fluid regularly. UbiComp 2007. pdf; Presenter: Ju-Chun


Project idea presentation




Tangible interaction

Hao at CHI 2008 conference

Hiroshi Ishii. Bottles: A transparent interface as a tribute to Mark Weiser. in IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, Vol. E87-D, No. 6, pp. 1299-1311, June 2004. pdf; Presenter: Joe

C. Wisneski, H. Ishii, A. Dahley, M. Gorbet, S. Brave, B. Ullmer, P. Yarin. Ambient displays: turning architectual space into an interface between people and digital information. in Proceedings of International Workshop on Cooperative Buildings CoBuild, 1998. pdf; Presenter: Eddy

Hiroshi Ishii, Brygg Ullmer. Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms. CHI 1997. pdf; Presenter: Sigma


4/15 Tangbile interaction and beyond

Hayes Solos Raffle, Amanda J. Parkes, Hiroshi Ishii. Topobo: A Constructive Assembly System with Kinetic Memory. CHI 2004. pdf; Presenter: Heng-Wei

K. Ryokai, S. Marti, H. Ishii. designing the world as your palette. CHI 2005. pdf; Presenter: Vincent

E. D. Mynatt, J. Rowan. A. Jacobs. A., S. Craighill. Digital family portraits: supporting peace of mind for extended family members. ACM CHI 2001. pdf; Presenter: Sigma


4/22 Localization I

(Survey) J. Hightower, G. Borriello. Location Systems for Ubiquitous Computing. IEEE Computer, August 2001. pdf; Presenter: 舜棋

(Ultrasound-RF) A. Ward, A. Jones, A. Hopper. A New Location Technique for the Active Office. IEEE Personal Communications, Vol. 4, No. 5, October 1997, pp 42-47.pdf; Presenter: Joe

(WiFi fingerprinting) P. Bahl and V. N. Padmanabhan. RADAR: an in-building RF-based user location and tracking system. INFOCOM 2000. pdf; Presenter: Ted

(Ultrasound-RF) N. B. Priyantha, A. Chakraborty, and H. Balakrishnan. The Cricket location support system. Mobicom 2000. pdf; Presenter: 子超


4/29 Project plan presentation





Project plan presentation

5/6 Localization II

Veljo Otsason, Alex Varshhavsky, Anthony LaMarca, Eyal de Lara. Accurate GSM indoor localization. UbiComp 2005. pdf; Presenter: Ming-yang

J. Krumm, K. Hinckley. The Nearme wireless proximity server. UbiComp 2004. pdf; Presenter: Arvin

(Adaptation) Yi-chao Chen, Ji-rung Chiang, Hao-hua Chu, Polly Huang,Arvin Wen Tsui. Sensor-assisted Wi-Fi indoor location system for adapting to environmental dynamics. ACM MSWIM 2005. pdf;

(Collaboration) Li-wei Chan, Ji-rung Chiang, Yi-chao Chen, Chia-nan Ke, Jane Hsu, Hao-hua Chu. Collaborative localization - enhancing WiFi-based position estimation with neighborhood links in clusters. Pervasive 2006. pdf;


Questions pdf
5/13 Localization III

James Scott and Boris Dragovic. Audio location: accurate low-cost location sensing. Pervasive 2005. pdf Plus Robert J. Orr and Gregory D. Abowd. The smart floor: a mechanism for natural user identification and tracking. CHI 2000. pdf [short paper] ; Presenter: Arvin

D. Dearman, A. Varshavsky, E. D. Lara, K. Truong. An exploration of location error estimation. UbiComp 2007. pdf; Presenter: Vincent

Hao-Ji Wu, Ho-Lin Chang, Chuang-Wen You, Hao-Hua Chu, Polly Huang. Modeling and optimizing positional accuracy based on hyperbolic geometry for the adaptive radio interferometric positioning system. LOCA 2007. pdf;

Ho-Lin Chang, Jr-Ben (Ben) Tian, Tsung-Te Lai, Hao-Hua Chu, Polly Huang. Spinning beacons for precise indoor localization. in submission. pdf

Arvin Wen Tsui, Hao-hua Chu. Unsupervised learning for solving RSS hardware variance problem in WiFi localization. in submission. pdf


Questions pdf
5/20 UbiComp tools

S. Greenberg, C. Fitcheett. Phidgets: easy development of physical interfaces through physical widgets. UIST 2001.pdf; Presenter: Joost

Björn Hartmann, Leith Abdulla, Manas Mittal, Scott R Klemmer. Authoring Sensor-based Interactions by Demonstration with Direct Manipulation and Pattern Recognition . CHI 2007. pdf; Presenter: 俊達

Pei-Yu Peggy Chi, Jen-Hao Chen, Hao-Hua Chu, Jin-Ling Lo. Enabling calorie-aware cooking in a smart kitchen. Persuasive 2008. pdf;


Questions pdf
5/27 Persuasive objects I

(Intro) Phillip King, Jason Tester. The landscape of persuasive technologies. CACM, May 1999. pdf Plus: Garrry Martin, Joseph Pear. Behavior modification - what it is and how to do it. 7th Edition, Prentice hall, 2002. (first 4 chapters). ; Presenter: Ted

Jin-Ling Lo, Tung-Yun Lin, Hao-Hua Chu, Hsi-Chin Chou, Jen-Hao Chen, Jane Yung-Jen Hsu, Polly Huang. Playful tray: adopting UbiComp and persuasive techniques into play-based occupational therapy for reducing poor eating behavior in young children. UbiComp 2007. pdf;

Lars Hallnas, Johan Redstrom. Slow technology: designing for reflection. PUC 2001. pdf; Presenter: Sigma


Project progress

Questions pdf

6/3 Persuasive objects II

Yu-Chen Chang, Jin-Ling Lo, Chao-Ju Huang, Nan-Yi Hsu, Hao-Hua Chu, Hsin-Yen Wang, Pei-Yu Chi, Ya-Lin Hsieh. Playful toothbrush: UbiComp technology for teaching tooth brushing to kindergarten children. CHI 2008. Plus Comparison (Toothtunes) Hasbro. toothtunes (url) ;

Jason Nawyn, Stephen S. Intille, Kent Larson. Embedding behavior modification strategies into a consumer electronic device: a case study. UbiComp 2006. pdf; Presenter: Yu-ming

Sunny Consolvo, David W. McDonald, Tammy Toscos, Mike Y. Chen, Jon Froehlich, Beverly Harrison, Predrag Klasnja, Anthony LaMarca, Louis LeGrand, Ryan Libby, Ian Smith, James A. Landay. Activity Sensing in the Wild: A Field Trial of UbiFit Garden, CHI 2008. pdf; Presenter: Howard




Persuasive objects III

Mitchell Page, Andrew Vande Moere. Evaluating a wearable display jersey for augmenting team sports awareness. Pervasive 2007. pdf; Presenter: Joe

Chueh-Min Cheng, Meng-Fang Chung, Ming-Yang Yu, Ming Ouhyoung, Hao-Hua Chu, Yung-Yu Chuang. ChroMirror: A Real-Time Interactive Mirror for Chromatic and Color-Harmonic Dressing. CHI 2008.

Ernesto Arroyo, Shawn Sullivan, Ted Selker. CarCoach: a polite and effective driving coach. CHI 2006. pdf; Presenter: 玉潔

S. S. Intille, K. Larson, E. Munguia Tapia, J. Beaudin, P. Kaushik, J. Nawyn, R. Rockinson. Using a live-in laboratory for ubiquitous computing research. Pervasive 2006.pdf; Presenter: Howard


Questions pdf


Project demonstration


Project report and video submission


Optional readings

The tangible UI talk from Hiroshi Ishii (MIT Media Lab) at NUS

(Survey of context-aware computing) G. Chen, D. Kotz. A survey of context-aware mobile computing research*, Technical Report TR2000-381, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, November 2000. (pdf)

(Domesticity) William W. Gaver, Jake Beaver, and Steve Benford. Ambiguity as a resource for design, ACM CHI 2003. (pdf)

(Domesticity) W. Gaver, J. Bowers, A. Boucher, A. Law, S. Pennington, and N. Villar. The history tablecloth: illuminating domestic activity. DIS 2006. (pdf)

(Tool) Yang Li, James A. Landay. Activity-Based Prototyping of Ubicomp Applications for Long-Lived, Everyday Human Activities. CHI 2008.

Claudio Pinhanez, Mark Podlaseck. To Frame or Not to Frame: The Role and Design of Frameless Displays in Ubiquitous Computing Applications. UBICOMP 2005. (pdf)

William W. Gaver, Jake Beaver, and Steve Benford. Ambiguity as a resource for design, ACM CHI 2003. (pdf)

(Smart tablecloth) W. Gaver, J. Bowers, A. Boucher, A. Law, S. Pennington, and N. Villar. The history tablecloth: illuminating domestic activity. DIS 2006. (pdf)

- (Overview) Jurgen Bohn, Vlad Coroama, Marc Langheinrich, Friedemann Mattern, Michael Robs. Living in a world of smart everyday objects - social, economic, and ethical implications. Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 2004. pdf

Kenji Okuda, Shun-yuan Yeh, Chon-in Wu, Keng-hao Chang, Hao-hua Chu. The GETA sandals: a footstep location tracking system. PUC 2007. pdf; Presenter: ?



  • Class discussion (30%)
  • Final Project (70%)


  • 1/23/2008: preliminary website is up.