NUS Module Review: IS4151 Pervasive Technology Solutions and Development

Module: IS4151 Pervasive Technology Solutions and Development

Semester taken: SEM2 AY2020/2021

Lecturer / Tutor: Tan Wee Kek

Module Synopsis (taken from

Pervasive technology is immensely omnipresent in our daily life and brings novel business prospects. Indeed, pervasive technology immerses the users in a triad of interaction, computation, and communication. But it also presents significant challenges ranging from technology architectural design and security concerns among many. This module will study the mechanisms and operating environments of pervasive technology. Some of the topics covered include computer and network architectures for pervasive computing, wearable technologies, internet of things, mobile computing mechanisms, location mechanisms, techniques for security and user authentication.

Main Learning Objectives

  • Understand Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology & its applications
  • Design and develop pervasive technology solutions
  • Understand ethical issues (e.g., privacy) for pervasive technology

Course Deliverables / Graded Components

  • Group Project: 60%
  • 3 Individual assignments: 30%
  • Class participation, Online quizzes: 10%

Personal Review

I decided to take this module because I was keen to learn about IoT technology! As I was interested in the healthcare industry, I knew that IoT has been a great enabler in enhancing digital health and bringing healthcare beyond the four walls of a clinic or hospital. As such, I wanted to equip myself with the relevant knowledge and skillset. In general, pervasive technology is quite a powerful tool in building a smart nation. A classic example shared by Prof Tan was: “you wake up and your smart coffee machine knows when to brew your coffee every morning, and when you run out of coffee beans, the machine would automatically order for a refill without you having to remember and manually do so”.

The lesson format was lecture and lab style. The module content was largely technical, covering IoT architecture, edge computing, single-board microcontrollers, single-board computers, and server-side backend integration. Towards the end, the module also discussed about some ethical and social issues of pervasive computing.

The largest graded component was the group project, where students were tasked to design and develop a pervasive technology solution to solve a real business problem. I think this project was very helpful in solidifying my learning due to its extensive hands-on nature (same for the individual assignments). I got to work with micro:bit, Raspberry Pi, sensors and actuators, and developed a React Native mobile application too! It was indeed quite empowering and rewarding to be able to build solution(s) based on IoT architecture.

Ending Note

This is a technical module, which involves both hardware and software development. It is alike to a step up from IS3106 due to the use and integration of smart hardware with your application. Despite its technical rigour, I enjoyed learning from this module!

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