Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


Ubiquitous computing often presented as a third wave of computing, a departure from its predecessors—mainframe and personal computing. We examine this claim and argue that ubiquitous computing is not a departure from traditional computing but rather an evolutionary and natural step, which is in-sync with the global trends influencing the development of information technologies. Using two interrelated analytical prisms—megatrends and equilibriums, this paper provides a new point-of-entry for understanding ubiquitous computing from a perspective that accounts for human nature and the technology they use. We demonstrate that, together, megatrends and equilibriums provide a foundation for understanding information systems, and in particular ubiquitous computing systems. As an illustration, we provide systems architects and mangers with a set of four megatrends and another set of four equilibriums, which must be understood to better develop, implement, and manage ubiquitous computing environments.