Pervasive computing is a software engineering concept that espouses the use of computerized technology anytime and anywhere. Also known as “ubiquitous computing,” the idea is that computing can be done using any device and format wherever the user may be.

Pervasive computing can exist in several forms, stemming from the use of laptops to household appliances. Some of the technologies that make it possible are microprocessors, mobile codes, sensors, and the Internet.

In short, pervasive computing happens every time people use digital devices to connect to technological platforms.

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What Are the Key Principles of Pervasive Computing?

The main goal of pervasive computing is to embed computation into an environment that allows users to enjoy everyday objects’ benefits through information processing. It satisfies the following fundamental principles:


This principle dictates that all computing should be done by nodes or individual computing devices on a distributed network. A central location or hub is unnecessary for users to communicate in an open community that changes dynamically. 


Pervasive computing should occur even on the smallest of devices to supply a few or at least one type of data point. A laptop or mobile phone should, thus, process information.


Pervasive computing-enabled devices should be able to act in a synchronized manner when linked to infrastructures like the Internet or even a home or office network.


Perhaps the most crucial feature of pervasive computing is that devices should work even without acknowledging their existence. Users should not have to alter or manually enter data to facilitate connections; otherwise, the pervasive computing environment ceases to be “pervasive.” It must be open and nonrestrictive.

What Are the Advantages of Pervasive Computing?

Pervasive computing can collect, process, and communicate data, making it better at adapting to users’ activities and context. In short, it allows networks to understand the environment to improve human experience to a great degree. Some of the advantages of pervasive computing include:

Information Management

Since pervasive computing does not require users to manually input data, it allows effortless communication for professional and personal transactions among many different kinds of intelligent and portable devices. Users can access relevant information easily, making the decision-making process seamless anytime, anywhere.

Device Integration

Pervasive computing makes it easier for users to integrate non-intelligent devices into smart environments. Smart devices have embedded microprocessors that allow them to connect even simple gadgets, such as telephones, calculators, or kitchen appliances, to complex networks. This interconnectivity enables users to eliminate mundane tasks.

Productivity Enhancement

Since smart devices use computing technologies that are “out-of-sight,” users can improve their productivity cost-effectively. People no longer need to be tied down to their desktops to accomplish tasks.

Are Pervasive Computing and the Internet of Things One and the Same?

The Internet of Things (IoT) was actually born out of pervasive computing. Some claim that there is no difference between the two. IoT was created to allow users to connect everyday objects, such as kitchen appliances, to the Internet. Like pervasive computing-enabled systems, IoT devices let users stay connected wherever they may be. But some believe that pervasive computing focuses more on human connectivity issues. Unlike IoT, its intention is not to be noticed or no longer need human intervention.

In sum, both IoT and pervasive computing share the same goals. They also face the same technical concerns, such as privacy, ethics, and security.

Pervasive computing pulls the wires off network computing, allowing users to become more productive by gaining access to information anywhere and anytime.