Ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, etc. are research lines that, with slight differences, emphasizes their efforts in improving everyday life of users. However, all these approaches share a common set of requirements, for the underlying IT infraestructure, devoted to support advanced services. A key component of these, sometimes called "new paradigms", is the fact that technology is found embedded in the environments were we live. In this paper we are going to propose a comprehensive vision for modelling this type of environments from a practical point of view. This work cover form HW developments, which seamless integrate in the environment, to automatically generated services based on user needs. In the last decade, authors of this work have been proponents of a unified approach, based on the distributed object abstraction, allowing synergies to be better exploited. Remote device management, wireless sensor and actuator networks, hardware components and now even reconfigurable hardware platforms and service platforms are considered as part of a large evolving systems sharing a common middleware and a single desing methodology.