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Ubiwise Simulator for Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiwise is a desktop-computer based simulator for learning about the interaction of people in places with many computing and communications devices as well as other physical objects.

Overview Paper :

UBIWISE, A Ubiquitous Wireless Infrastructure Simulation Environment.
by John J.Barton, HP Labs, Vikram Vijayaraghavan, Stanford University. Palo Alto, CA 94304

Copyright HP,2002; submitted to Ubicomp 2002.

Abstract. We describe Ubiwise, a simulator for ubiquitous computing. The simulator concentrates on computation and communications devices, either integrated with physical environments or carried by people. It maintains a three dimensional model of a physical environment viewed by users on a desktop computer through two windows. One window uses the Quake III Arena graphics engine to show a first-person view of the physical environment. The other window from a Java program shows a close-up view of devices a user may manipulate using the desktop keyboard and mouse in place of physical controls. These windows attach as clients to a server maintaining the model of the environment. Multiple users can attach to the same server to create interactive ubiquitous computing scenarios. We describe how Ubiwise looks to users and how it can be used as a tool for ubiquitous computing.


Ubiwise is an extensible multi-client/multi-server system. Two clients represent each user:

  1. Wise, a Java based device emulator
  2. Ubisim, a 3D Quake III Arena -based physical-environment emulator.

These clients can also be used independently for some purposes. Two servers synchronize these clients:

  1. Event Heap
  2. Ubisim "game" server

Underneath this system are some libraries we use:

  1. Nexus HTTPD, source included in ubiwise
  2. libjpeg, source included.
  3. Stanford Event Heap, jar file included.

On top of this core we plan to add

Ideally these elements will add together to create a useful tool for Ubicomp research and development.


(I'm looking for new place to store the zip file...). Current version is 0.28 (Changes)

Ubiwise comes a one zip file routed at ubiwise. One section of the zip file, ubiwise/quake3/source, is covered by a license from idsoftware included in the distribution as "QIIIA Game Source License.doc". If you cannot agree to that license, please delete that section of the distribution. You can still use the wise code.

Detail Installation directions


The Wise project provides an up-close simulated interaction interface for handheld devices and a run-time environment to load, manage, and debug simulations, prototypes, or examples of Java code for wireless protocols, device registration, discovery, and aggregation, and so on. We try to do as much experimentation as we can as Java code just because it seems easier.

Wise requires

  1. Java JRE 1.3.
  2. To modify or build wise you need the wise source, the JDK 1.3, and a Java compiler (we use Jikes).
  3. 10MB for a build.

Wise documentation.


The Ubisim project provides a 3D simulation of a interaction place containing devices some handheld, some fixed in the place. The simulation includes physical interactions, the effect of space and time on communications, and the impact of multiple users.

Ubisim requires:

  1. Retail Quake III Arena (Q3A).
    1. Q3A requires 540MB disk space and a mainstream OpenGL graphics card.
  2. To modify or extend Ubisim you also need: C or C++ compiler (we use Microsoft Visual C++)
  3. 550MB if you do a full install of Q3A and a full source build of ubisim.

Ubisim Documentation