Will communicating objects be the invaders of tomorrow? One speaks of it, one hears of it, but does one know what they will be, what they will represent, what they will do? What are "smart devices"?
The concept of a device is commonly understood as that of a physical object composed of mechanisms, hydraulics, electronics, data processing. Its capacities depend on the whole or part of these components that will bring certain degrees of life to it and will produce an operational tool.
Communication, experienced by such objects, is characterised by transfers of data which will take on a conversational aspect if the data involves action by the object which receives it, it having capacities of emission which will make react with another object.
And since one speaks about communication and interactivity, why not introduce into this system such concepts as communicating entity? This intervention causes an opening up concepts like multitude , synchronisation or time sharing, human specificities and characteristics (emotion, mood, capacity of analysis and synthesis, intelligence, memory, adaptation, etc.) and therefore a large range of parameters in which the interest will be to be used as models with the physical objects.
CyberMonde is a research programme of France T l com R&D, sponsored by the Scientific Direction. It is intended to take possession of new technologies to able to ensure the advances necessary for France T l com and its business units and to be an engine of the innovation in:
co-ordinating research around some great changes of technology and usage;
suggesting vision for their impacts for the future of the services and the networks;
accelerating the transfer towards the market, preparing and testing in time unsuspected innovations from these changes.
The CyberMonde program addresses the general set of themes of the ˜virtual environment characterised by these guidelines:
to always be able to be everywhere and in a capacity of communication;
to develop environments (and the associated interfaces) the communicating of which is based on smart physical devices (sensors, actuators);
to be able to immerse itself in real, augmented or virtual spaces;
to be able to project itself remotely in adapted forms (tele-presence, clones and avatars).
Two major objectives emerge:
not to restrict CyberMonde to virtual environments only, but to consider as natural and real that contents that it is image, audio, interaction, etc., intervene and must intervene in any communication system;
to keep in the centre of our concerns the communication dimension which constitutes the main goal of France T l com and to have in line of sight the end- user , i.e. the human being (but not only) which will place the functioning of these environments at his disposal.
The two major objectives of the CyberMonde program take on again the traditional comprehension of the cyberspace which combines virtual and telematic reality and adds ubiquity, quasi-permanent, real or simulated presence (teleportation):
To implement virtual environments within the traditional context, i.e.:
to divide and make live joint virtual and real elements,
to envisage the access and diffusion modes of shared information,
to put in place the methods and tools adapted to the preceding tasks ,
to develop suitable supporting technologies,
to adapt to the material constraints (networks, terminals, etc.).
To invent new fields of communication:
to support all the modes of interactions,
to offer forms of presentation,
with the help of the available material, to free itself from the place and time.