Ubicomp 2016, Workshop on "Collective Adaptation in Very Large Scale Ubicomp: Towards a Superorganism of Wearables"
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Personalized wearable ICT systems presented in fashionable and appealing lifestyle-designs have gained critical user acceptance, and comprise momentum to bring wearable computing to a socio-technical mass phenomenon within the next few years. Early indicators for this expected wearable systems 'tsunami' are the 'spring tide' of 7.6 billion mobile connections as of the end of 2015, 21.3 mio. shipped smart watches in 2015 with an expected annually growth of 42.8% until 2019, and a possible market for more than 200 million wearable devices in 2019.
The 3rd instantiation of the workshop (after UBICOMP 2014 and UBICOMP 2015) will reattach to last years agenda and ask the questions on the potentials and opportunities of turning these massively deployed wearable systems to a globe spanning superorganism of socially interactive personal digital assistants. While the individual wearables are of heterogeneous provenance and typically act autonomously, we can assume that they can (and will) self-organize into large scale cooperative collectives, with humans being mostly out-of-the-loop. We may not assume a common objective or central controller, but rather volatile network topologies, co-dependence and internal competition, non-linear and non-continuous dynamics, and sub-ideal, failure prone operation. We could refer to these emerging massive collectives of wearables as a "superorganism", since it exhibits properties of a living organism (like e.g. 'collective intelligence') on its own. In order to properly exploit such superorganisms, we need to develop a scientific understanding of the foundational principles by which they operate.