In the pervasive computing (or ubiquitous computing or ambient intelligence), we assume that in the future, the environment will be full of computing elements. For example, all systems such as watches, PDA, washing machines and so on will have a computing power. So, in short terms: pervasive computing could be defined as "computing everything for everyone, everywhere and at all times".
The main question is: how to use this computing power to improve society? And how to manage this large amount of processing elements?
One answer could be to put in each of these elements a piece of intelligence to reduce the need of human management of the system and improve its self-adaptivity.
This is the goal of the AETHER project.