Several companies and research institutions have been developing a vision of the future known as pervasive--or ubiquitous--computing, in which computer processors and networks are embedded into everyday objects, allowing people and devices to interact seamlessly.

The fundamental concept has been around since the 1980s. But now, one company, a research and development division of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), is taking its specific manifestation of this vision--called HP Cooltown--to school.

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