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Ubiquitous Interaction Devices
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Ubiquitous Interaction Devices

"Building tomorrow's technology on today's hardware"


In recent years, the mobile phone market has grown tremendously, giving the average consumer access to cheap, small, low-powered and constantly networked devices that they reliably carry around. Similarly, laptop computers and PDAs have become a common accessory for businesses to equip their employees with when on the move.

The Ubiquitous Interaction Devices project seeks innovative ways to extend these commodity devices to make some of the concepts in the last decade of ubiquitous computing research a reality (e.g. context-aware or location-aware interfaces).

Current projects include:

  • SpotCode Interfaces take advantage of modern camera-phones, which offer a programmable interface to allow real-time image processing, as well as Bluetooth to facilitate local wireless networking. This project demonstrates how camera phones can be used as a sophisticated pointing device facilitating interaction with both active and passive displays in the environment.
  • Audio-Networking uses ubiquitously available sound hardware (i.e, speakers, soundcards and microphones) for low-bandwidth wireless networking. It has a number of characteristics which differentiate it from existing wireless technologies:
    • It offers fine-grained control over the range of transmission by adjusting the volume.
    • Walls of buildings are typically designed to attenuate sound waves, making it easy to contain transmission to a single room.
    • It allows existing devices that play or record audio to be networked easily (e.g. voice recorders).
  • Computer/Telephone Integration connects a desktop telephone to a personal computer's soundcard, enabling the PC to support collaborative applications that react according to what the user is doing with their phone, and who the user is talking to. An example application is an audio-conferencing application which augments a normal teleconference with a visual interface which lists the call participants, gives cues about the current speaker, and recent history of conversation.
    (web pages coming soon)


  • Ubiquitous Computing needs to catch up with Ubiquitous Media
    Anil Madhavapeddy and Nick Ludlam
    To appear in the proceedings of the Pervasive 2005 UbiApps workshop, May 2005
    [PDF] [Bibtex]
  • Using Smart Phones to Access Site-Specific Services
    Eleanor Toye, Richard Sharp, Anil Madhavapeddy and David Scott
    To appear in the IEEE Pervasive Computing Special Issue on the Smart Phone, April-June 2005
  • Using Visual Tags to Bypass Bluetooth Device Discovery
    David Scott, Richard Sharp, Anil Madhavapeddy and Eben Upton
    In the ACM Mobile Computing and Communications Review (MC2R) Special Section on Discovery and Interaction of Mobile Services, January 2005
    [PDF] [Bibtex]
  • Using Camera-Phones to Enhance Human-Computer Interaction
    Anil Madhavapeddy, David Scott, Richard Sharp and Eben Upton
    In the adjunct proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing
  • Context-Aware Computing with Sound
    Anil Madhavapeddy, David Scott, and Richard Sharp
    In the Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP-2003), October 2003.


Anil Madhavapeddy David Scott Richard Sharp Eben Upton
Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge Laboratory for Communication Engineering Intel Research Cambridge Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Anil Madhavapeddy David Scott Richard Sharp Eben Upton