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Air-Java: Networking for Smart Spaces



Kevin L. Mills


Increasingly people work and live on the move. To support this mobile lifestyle, especially as work becomes more intensely information-based, companies are producing various portable and embedded information devices. Concurrently, some interesting pico-cellular wireless technologies promise to outfit these portable and embedded devices with high bandwidth, localized, wireless communication capabilities that can also reach the globally wired Internet. An impressionist painting emerges of small, specialized devices roaming among islands of wireless connectivity within a global ocean of wired networks. Each wireless island becomes a Smart Space, where available services and embedded devices can be discovered, accessed, interconnected with portable devices carried onto the island, and then the combination of imported and native devices can be exploited to support the information needs of the current island inhabitants. In this paper, I outline three specific human-information interaction challenges that the research community must address in order to reap the benefits of specialized information devices within Smart Spaces. Before these research challenges can be adequately addressed, the research community must have some Smart Spaces with which to experiment. I describe AirJava, which combines Java Jini with pico-cellular wireless technology to empower small devices to discover each other, to exchange programs, and to interact. While a technoogy like AirJava should emerge in the next five fears, I propose a means of building AirJava adapters today so researchers can begin experimenting with Smart Spaces.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Embedded Systems Workshop, USENIX Association
Conference Dates
March 29-31, 1999
Conference Title
Embedded Systems Workshop


human-information interaction, mobile code, pico-cellular wireless networks


Mills, K. (1999), Air-Java: Networking for Smart Spaces, Proceedings of the Embedded Systems Workshop, USENIX Association, -1 (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created October 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017