Today the 12th international conference on Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp2010) started in Copenhagen. The conference is very competitive showing a wide range of work in the space of computing beyond the desktop. This year 39 of 202 papers and notes were accepted in the main program. In this part of the program there is a focus of work from North America (which seems to go together with conferences becoming ACM conferences).
The opening keynote was by Morton Kyng on "Making dreams come true - or how to avoid a living nightmare". In his talk he outlined his view on palpable computing which basically described user centered development of pervasive systems.
This years Ubicomp has a large number of demos and it was fun to engage with these and with the people presenting them. Christian Winkler from our group had an invited demo on "Sense-sation: An Extensible Platform for Integration of Phones into the Web" showing a combined web and mobile phone platform that eases the development of applications that run across several phones. For example is it very easy to create an application where you have a map interface and you can mark an area on the map and request that each of the devices currently in this area is going to take a photo and sent it back (given that the devices run the platform and that you have the right to use the camera on these phones). There will be a full paper on this in a few weeks published at the Internet of Things Conference in Japan and you can already check out the web page: http://www.test.sense-sation.de/
As Ubicomp is not held at a hotel (which I like) there is also no conference hotel with a default bar. Hence the organziers name a Ubicomp 2010 bar: Nyhavn 17. I think this is a good idea!