CSE 118

Applications in Ubiquitous Computing (Fall 2021)


“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it” (M. Weiser)

Ubiquitous computing looks at how we can use technology everywhere and in everything that we do. Examples include Augmented and Virtual Reality, smart sticky notes, table-top displays, home security, everything IoT, wearables, medical technology, HUDs, even your AC’s thermometer control.

While scrolling through memes is fun, this only exploits a tip of what is possible with current technology. Today, even simple web browsers can read your brain, transform your webcam into a smart sensor listen to you (and speak back), create digital instruments, connect people through audio and video in real-time, and so much more.

This class will show how to leverage the power of ubiquitous technologies to create experiences that extend human intelligence and capabilities. This might take the form of new modes of communication, sensor-feedback mechanisms for extra-sensory phenomena, disability technologies, and so much more!

This course will give you hands-on experience with a human-centered workflow that focuses on problems, design, and finally development. Students will be grouped in teams and will design, create, and deliver low-fi prototypes, as well as a working final prototype alongside a final presentation/demo. Based on both the feasibility and refinement of their class work, students may be offered the opportunity to continue their work in a collaborative research project after the course concludes. Independent research credit can be provided in subsequent quarters as CSE 198 / CSE 199.

Course Description

Ubiquitous Computing is a field that considers how technology can fade into the background, permeating space in such an intuitive way as to become unnoticed by its users.

This is a project-based course that focuses on using cheap sensors and networked multimodal devices to create novel and thoughtful technologies. Students will work in groups to identify problems, design technological solutions, and implement those solutions.

Successful students in this class often follow up on their design projects with actual development and deployment of their technological intervention.

More information

See CSE 118 (Ubiquitous Computing) on Canvas: https://canvas.ucsd.edu

Nadir Weibel
Nadir Weibel
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering