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 Thursday, April 03, 2003

In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, there is increasing discussion around the concept of "ubiquitous networks" and "ubiquitous communications". The term "ubiquitous comes from the Latin "ubique", meaning "everywhere". Although it is still an evolving concept, the vision is a pervasive information infrastructure of interconnected devices where computing, content, and network resources become transparent to users (if you saw the film "Minority Report", it gives you an idea of what a ubiquitous networked world may resemble). Ubiquitous communications will mean the constant presence of networks that permit interacting and exchanging information with anybody, anywhere, any time and with many types of equipment, typically using radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.

RFID standardization work has been going on in the Auto-ID Center, which involves a number of companies, MIT (US), the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Adelaide (Australia). Recently, the RFID Journal announced a new Japanese-backed Ubiquitous ID Center, indicating it was a potential rival to the Auto-ID Center. The piece The Auto-ID vs. the Ubiquitous ID vs. ? from Professor Ken Sakamura's TRON laboratories at Tokyo University explains the differences between the two initiatives.