At its most basic, a ˜smart object is a physical device equipped with a processor, memory, at least one network connection, and various sensors/actuators, some of which may correspond to (input/output) human interfaces. It receives joint inputs from its environment and /or the user through its sensors, from other smart objects or software processes through its network connections. A smart object also has the ability to update its current internal state and to produce combined outputs through its actuators and the networks. Smart objects range from the simplest to the most complex devices, for example, from electronic tags to networked appliances or networked robots, and from heart-rate monitors to wireless-enabled PDAs.
Until recently, information and communication technology has concentrated on pure processing, storage and transmission, on communication between humans, or between humans and stored information. This book covers the new technological range of capabilities coming from the generalized combination of physical interaction with networking and processing. It is primarily in this respect that smart objects have a truly revolutionary potential.
An object is ˜smart, first and foremost, because it can communicate and interact with its environment. Yet how much autonomy and proactivity should a smart object be capable of for this generalized, spontaneous communication to come to fruition?
Finally, and most importantly, how and when will smart objects come to be used in real-life applications?
About the Editors
Gilles Privat is a senior scientist with France T l com R&D, contributing general expertise in the field of networked embedded systems and ubiquitous/pervasive computing. He has authored over 40 technical publications and holds 8 patents, and he also serves as a program committee member of several international conferences.
G rard Poulain is a senior scientist with France Telecom R&D, working as a psychologist in the field of human computer interaction and dialogue, using multimedia, software agents , avatars and virtual reality. He is involved with a number of conferences in these areas, and he is also the author of 2 scientific books and over 50 scientific papers.
Claude Kintzig works in Research and Development for France T l com, where he is responsible for the scientific management of research in areas such as multimedia, virtuality, and software agents. He is the author of over 20 papers and is also involved with a number of conferences in this subject area.
Pierre-No «l Favennec is consultant and director of Collection Technique et Scientifique des Telecommunications, France. He is the author of 2 scientific books and over 100 scientific publications as well as 12 patents. He is also President of URSI France.