2005 Pervasive Computing

Pervasive Computing

Pervasive Computing: Embedding the Public Sphere, 62 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 93 (2005) (with Prof. Dana Cuff, UCLA Architecture Dep’t).


Pervasive Computing (PerC) is what happens when the Internet gets ubiquitous, embedded, and animated. Ubiquitous access to the Internet through mobile, wireless devices is imminent. More important and less understood, the Internet will soon invade real space as networked computing elements become embedded into physical objects and environments. Through this implantation, the physical world will gain digital qualities, such as computer addressability through unique identification codes. Since these elements can also be animated, the environment will be able to respond directly to what it senses. PerC will profoundly alter the construction and experience of the public sphere. As a case study, we (one of us from law, the other architecture) focus on what it might do to the shopping mall. After examining two possible scenarios, called smooth and friction malls, we tease out four basic design principles of privacy, transparency, open access, and publicity. Our recommendation is to embed these public sphere qualities into PerC as PerC is being embedded into the public sphere.

  • Keywords: Pervasive computing, rfid, privacy, open access, public forum, transparency, architecture, shopping mall
  • [download published version @ SSRN]