Pervasive Computing

Handheld technology has evolved to the point that people are able to use their phones as coupons instead of using paper coupons or shopping program cards. That when you walk into a store, the store recognizes you and is able to welcome you by name, and on the sales floor it can picture you in items of clothing.

Handheld technology enables more varied interactions between individuals and companies, places and other people. Two unique uses of this technology highlights its potential.

To build excitement about Monday Night Football on ESPN, “Monster Media teamed up with Wieden + Kennedy and MacDonald Media to engage passers-by in a full-body responsive, real-time, street-level interactive ad where users

[could] really get ‘in the zone’ and challenge a quarterback from the upcoming game and see how their high scores match up against players from other cities. These cutting-edge displays were strategically placed in highly-trafficked locations in NYC, Boston and Chicago.”

Location based gaming, where “you visit a place, say your favorite burrito shop, open up the [gaming] app and are shown a list of challenges” associated with the location is a growing phenomena. Companies like Scvngr, Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt are capitalizing on smart phone technologies, GPS, and the user’s interest to create real-time activities to enable companies to have deep relationships with their consumers.

A growing voice in the interactive community is saying that pervasive computing will be the end of desktop computers. Right now though pervasive computing is opening up new channels of communication and interaction between businesses and individuals.