Fujitsu and Xerox subsidiary the Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) have teamed up to develop all-pervasive network systems to bring unobtrusive computing into every aspect of our lives.
The firms have signed a multi-year joint research agreement to establish and facilitate ubiquitous computing "well beyond 2010".
According to the partners, networking and computing systems have permeated our daily lives but still remain obtrusive and cumbersome to use.
The project aims to integrate these systems seamlessly into everyday life to create "a ubiquitous network society".
The companies plan to develop technologies for a variety of environments including healthcare services, local disaster recovery systems, and personalised customer services that tie businesses and consumers together with "ubiquitous customer relationship management".
To develop these systems, Fujitsu and Parc plan to focus on simpler secure wireless networking, interoperable software architecture and ad-hoc sensor network technology.
They also promised to develop technologies to protect privacy and simplify security, together with advanced information visualisation systems. The fruits of the collaboration are promised as early as 2006.
"Fujitsu has highly regarded Parc's long-term research perspective and its ability to create visionary concepts, such as ubiquitous computing, that incorporate social science insights," said Takashi Aoki, corporate vice president of Fujitsu.
He added that, by partnering with Parc, Fujitsu will also gain access to many of the Xerox division's technologies for use in its own products and services.
Mark Bernstein, president and centre director of Parc, said: "Beyond the broad commercial potential, we are excited that working to support Fujitsu's international customer base will fuel new ideas about the potential for Parc research."
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