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Wearable Computing

The wearable computing project aims to develop next generation ultra mobile computing hardware and software. Our first prototype of this has been a ``cyberjacket'', developed during the summer of 1997. This first prototype was developed using off-the-shelf components. In the course of the project we want to target higher levels of integration of hardware and software. Our specific aims are: to develop a highly integrated version of the cyberjacket with low power requirements; to develop a software architecture for mobile computing having a natural model for interaction; and to develop applications of wearable computing.

The current prototype cyberjacket has a relatively low level of integration. We have chosen to use standard components, so that we could develop a working prototype in a short time. Around 75% of the components can be removed by the next integration stage, which will lead to a considerable reduction in power consumption, and a reduction in weight.

The software model that we use on the current cyberjacket consists of C programs interacting by means of sockets, running on a Linux kernel. This is not an optimal solution; the heavyweight concurrency and communication models are not what we want, and interaction between the mobile jacket and the environment or between mobile jackets is not properly modelled. The solution that we target will have lightweight concurrency and communication, and will cater for interaction with the outside world.

There are many applications that can be developed on the cyberjacket. Our current targets include a Bristol tourist jacket (guiding people around the interesting sites in Bristol), a situated remembrance agent (remembering people about, for example, a letter they have to post when they walk past the post office), a multi user game (digital paintball), and applications in professional environments (such as hospitals). http://wearables.cs.bris.ac.uk/

Staff and Students

Cliff Randell, David May, Henk Muller, Angus Clark, Mike McCarthy

Collaborators

Equator: University of Sussex, University of Nottingham, University of Lancaster, Royal College of Arts, University of Glasgow, University of Southampton, University College London.

Support

EPSRC.