Seattle Conference on Scalability: Communicating Like Nemo

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Development on December 23, 2008

Scuba diving is a social activity where divers are encouraged to dive in groups of two or more people. However, humans who are underwater are unable to freely verbally communicate or have an instinct to help them keep track of important information such as time, depth, and direction. Thus, we need ubiquitous systems that can provide information quickly and enable communication between divers. Current dive computers are mainly text based with a small font size and equipped with neither communication nor collaboration support for divers. For this reason, it is obvious that the application of computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) into dive computers is necessary. By interweaving CSCW and ubiquitous technology for critical life support systems, it enables us to develop collaborative dive computers to increase activity-awareness, position-awareness, and safety for divers. Due to the nature of the underwater domain and mobile systems, one of the major challenges is the intermittence in the communication links. These intermittences can be caused by divers swimming at various speeds which cause the devices to be out of range. Because these are life and death situations, these systems must have a high tolerance level. We can apply fault tolerance technique to create a reliable network. Hence, allowing divers to communicate like Nemo. The aforementioned fault tolerant techniques are suitable for a variety of systems, not only underwater critical life support ubiquitous systems. We can also abstract away from this setting and apply it to other ubiquitous mobile systems such as health monitoring.

Speaker: Jennifer Wong,
Jennifer Wong is a M.Sc. Candidate in Computer Science at the University of Victoria. Her research interest includes fault tolerance in mobile collaborative systems and computer science education. She has been a member of the SPARCS (Solving Problems with Algorithm, Robotics, and ComputerS) outreach research team and is the volunteer coordinator for the Computer Science Volunteer Program.

Slides for this talk are available at

Google Tech Talks
June 14, 2008

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