Smart world is an attractive prospect with comprehensive development of ubiquitous computing involving penetrative intelligence into ubiquitous things, including physical objects (e.g., wearable devices), cyber entities (e.g., cloud services), social people (e.g., social networking) and human thinking (e.g., brain cognition). This work systematically overviews related works in the field of the smart world, and explains prospects in emerging areas. The smart world evolutions are discussed through four progressive phases, and the representative projects are accordingly introduced. Meanwhile, smart world elements and the smart world driven applications are respectively analyzed in the contexts of cyber–physical– social-thinking hyperspace. Moreover, enabling technologies including ubiquitous intelligence, web intelligence, brain informatics, social computing, big data, and security and privacy are respectively discussed. Finally, perspectives referring to ubiquitous sensing, ubiquitous object modeling, smart services, and philosophical, ethical and legal issues, are presented for identifying trends and challenges in the smart world.
Smart world is an attractive prospect involving penetrative intelligence into ubiquitous things, including physical objects, cyber entities, social people, and human thinking. It begins with several smart applications such as smart city, smart home, and smart agriculture, are changing traditional lifestyles, and will eventually encompass all aspects of the cyber, physical, social, and thinking spaces . In the smart world, ubiquitous things are basic elements to construct such smart applications, in which ubiquitous computing is an essential prerequisite for service support and ambient intelligence. In a certain degree, an ultimate goal of the smart world is an integrated cyber–physical–social-thinking hyperspace involving comprehensive interconnections and intelligence of physical perception, cyber interaction, social correlation, and cognitive thinking through the whole aspects of everyday life . Increasingly, the heterogeneous hyperspace will cover countless smart devices, applications, and networks. From a philosophical perspective, the smart world fundamentally changes the existent environments, and it indicates that the surrounding world becomes almost entirely integrated with human beings with more fuzzy boundaries. For instance, the number of internet-connected devices are exceeded that of people on the Earth. By 2020, there will be 50 billion, and be on average approximately seven internet-connected devices per person. Meanwhile, available computing capability keeps rising, and inexpensive sensors, actuators, and processors become more prevalent in applications. Meanwhile, physical objects have more flexible interactive modes to connect with the human and the corresponding homes, buildings, vehicles, and critical infrastructures .