The Community for Technology Leaders

Changing the World


Pages: pp. 2-4

Eight years after its inception, IEEE Pervasive Computing magazine is in great shape. We've published 32 issues with an impressive 29 articles accepted in 2008 alone covering topics as diverse as "Garden Variety Pervasive Computing" from our special issue on art, design, and entertainment to "Physical Access Control for Captured RFID Data" from our issue dedicated to security and privacy. Departments, interviews, and features have supplemented these articles, adding real value to the magazine and proving to be immensely popular over the years. The magazine's success is due in no small part to my predecessors, founding editor in chief (EIC) Mahadev "Satya" Satyanarayanan and his successor Roy Want, and the many members of the community who have served on the editorial board. I feel truly honored to be entrusted with the product of so much hard work by so many people—I hope I can repay this trust by helping to steer IEEE Pervasive Computing to the next stage of its incredibly successful journey.

The Team

Any EIC depends on his or her editorial board, and IEEE Pervasive Computing is fortunate to have a truly excellent one. This issue brings with it several changes to report. First, we say goodbye and thank you to Gregory Abowd, John Heidemann, John Krumm, Franklin Reynolds, and Anand Tripathi, who have provided many years of service to the magazine. With this issue, Tim Kindberg and James Landay will also finish their terms but both will remain on the editorial board. Tim has served the magazine in the role of AEIC since its inception, and I'm sure both Satya and Roy would want to join me in thanking him for his efforts over all these years. Replacing Tim and James are two new AEICs: Paul Lukowicz and Ramón Cáceres. Both are current members of IEEE Pervasive Computing's editorial board and are well acquainted with the magazine and its mission. AEICs perform a crucial role by overseeing the review process for all papers submitted and providing the EIC with recommendations based on the results of this review process. The new team of AEICs and their areas of expertise are listed below:

  • Joe Paradiso—graceful integration of technology with users;
  • Chandra Narayanaswami—middleware, devices, and novel interaction techniques;
  • Ramón Cáceres—testbeds, networking, security, and virtualization; and
  • Paul Lukowicz—sensing, wearable computing, and activity recognition.

Of equal importance are the department editors who regularly contribute the pieces that are such an important part of the magazine's success. The current editors are

  • Applications—Beverly Harrison and Anind Dey;
  • Conferences—Jason Hong;
  • Education & Training—Scott Midkiff;
  • New Products—Maria Ebling and Ramón Cáceres (in transition);
  • Standards & Emerging Technologies—Sumi Helal;
  • Wearable Computing— Paul Lukowicz (in transition); and
  • Works in Progress—Anthony Joseph.

Joining the editorial board this issue is Deborah Estrin. Deborah was one of the founding AEICs, and it's great to have her back onboard.

Several new appointments are in the pipeline; I'm looking forward to introducing new members of the editorial board in the coming issues—working with the existing volunteers to assemble a team that continues to produce a magazine of which our community can be proud.

Our Mission

IEEE Pervasive Computing's mission is to act as a catalyst for progress toward Marc Weiser's vision. During my time as EIC, my main objective is to position the magazine at the heart of the vibrant community that exists in the area of mobile and ubiquitous/pervasive computing, making it an invaluable resource for people working in this area. As the discipline matures, the magazine should extend its coverage to include additional aspects of information sharing, community building, and advancement of the subject. This includes supporting those people trying to establish careers in the field, long-term researchers in the area, and entrepreneurs looking to productize pervasive computing technologies. Of course, such an objective isn't without challenges—for example, how should we most effectively deliver the magazine's content in a world in which the way we consume media is changing almost daily? Exploring and addressing these challenges is going to be one of the themes of the next few years. One key feature of the magazine that I hope will never change is the amazingly high quality of the magazine's production. Over the years, countless people have told me how much they appreciate the magazine's quality and look and feel. Much of the credit for this goes to the dedicated IEEE staff who work tirelessly to produce such an excellent publication. Going forward, I hope we can maintain these production values and constantly exceed people's expectations when they encounter each new issue.

In coming issues, we'll be introducing new departments and features that will help us continue in our role as a catalyst. In the meantime, I want to share with you the editorial calendar for the coming year (you can always find it on the IEEE Pervasive Computing Web site as well,

  • April–June: Labeling the World. Recent progress in robustly tagging objects and locations in the real world enables a variety of exciting applications in areas such as context-aware systems and mixed/augmented reality. This special issue will report on new research in this expanding area of pervasive computing, both in terms of enabling technology and innovative applications.
  • July–September: Connected Youth. Today's youth are the first generation to grow up with pervasive computing as part of their everyday lives. More and more, they're shaping the frontier of digital media in general and pervasive computing in particular. This issue will cover applications with a youth focus, studies of the ways young people are appropriating pervasive technology, and a glimpse into how the rest of our lives will be changed when "pervasive" technology finally lives up to its name.
  • October–December: Hostile Environments. This special issue will report on the latest research related to applications of pervasive computing systems in environments that are potentially dangerous and physically challenging to both humans and electronics. Examples include disaster management, safety and security, aeronautics, environmental monitoring in harsh and/or remote environments (underground, submarine, arctic, desert, and jungle), extreme sports, and the military. The issue aims to span a broad range of topics, from requirements and usability analysis through specific technological challenges (sensing, communications, power supply, ruggedized electronics, and reliability) to concrete application and experience reports.

We usually plan issues 18 months ahead, so if you have ideas for special issues that you would like us to consider, please email me. The board will then discuss these at the annual editorial board meeting, typically held in June or July each year.

Spreading the Word

At our annual editorial board meeting, it's traditional for the EIC to present statistics on the number of submissions, subscriptions, and the like. One point that often comes up is just how large an impact publishing in IEEE Pervasive Computing can have. Many of the articles we've published have numerous citations and are heavily downloaded. Given all this good news, I'd like to encourage everyone both to submit their own work to IEEE Pervasive Computing and, just as important, to encourage others to read and submit to the publication as well. Visit for more information on how.

The title of this introduction is "changing the world," reflecting my firm belief that we're entering a new era of mobile and pervasive computing. Major technical advances have been made since the time Weiser wrote his groundbreaking article, and many of the limitations with which early researchers struggled have simply disappeared. Devices such as Apple's iPhone are truly transformational—representing the first really viable instantiations of the types of devices Weiser envisaged, creating new opportunities for developers and users alike. In parallel with these obvious hardware developments, researchers have worked tirelessly to address many of the really hard problems, such as activity recognition, privacy management, and calm computing (interacting with users in a nonintrusive manner), that are at the heart of pervasive computing. These problems are nowhere near solved but, as a community, we have moved a long way in the past two decades. We now have the technological and scientific base to begin to change the world with pervasive computing technologies. In so many areas of life, the technology we're producing has the potential to act as a real force for good—delivering massive benefits in fields such as assisted living, environmental sensing, transport, entertainment, and education. As we start a new year, I hope you will join me in working to make sure that our field helps change the world for the better and that IEEE Pervasive Computing fulfills its role as a catalyst for this change. Enjoy the issue.

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