Ubiquitous computing in the real world: Lessons learnt from large scale RFID deployments

Shin'ichi Konomi, George Roussos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Ubiquitous computing technologies are slowly finding their way into commercial information systems, which are often constructed at considerably larger scale compared to what is possible in research demonstrators. Furthermore, lengthy and costly preparation or upgrade of existing infrastructures, training of employees and users in the new ways of working, controlled introduction of new functionality, features and services to manage risk, unexpected behaviors due to the wider variety of possible real-world situations, incremental approach to systems development so as to better identify successful aspects, regard for the economics of systems as a core requirement, and selection of open or closed systems are all issues that are mostly outside the scope of current ubiquitous computing research but play a critical role in industrial deployments. In this paper we review two case studies of fully operational Radio Frequency Identification-based systems: the Oyster card ticketing system used at the London Underground in the UK, and retail applications deployed at the Mitsukoshi departmental stores in Tokyo, Japan. We examine each case in terms of technologies, user interactions, and their business and organizational context and make several observations in each case. We conclude by drawing general lessons related to ubiquitous computing in the real world and identify challenges for future ubiquitous computing research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-521
Number of pages15
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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