Halfway to the Future 2019

HttF 2019

The theme setting paper for the Ubiquitous Computing panel.

Moving on from Weiser’s Vision of Calm Computing: Engaging UbiComp Experiences

A keynote by Yvonne Rogers (UCL)

A motivation behind much UbiComp research has been to make our lives convenient, comfortable and informed, following in the footsteps of Weiser’s calm computing vision. Three themes that have dominated are context awareness, ambient intelligence and monitoring/tracking. While these avenues of research have been fruitful their accomplishments do not match up to anything like Weiser’s world. This paper discusses why this is so and argues that is time for a change of direction in the field. An alternative agenda is outlined that focuses on engaging rather than calming people. Humans are very resourceful at exploiting their environments and extending their capabilities using existing strategies and tools. I describe how pervasive technologies can be added to the mix, outlining three areas of practice where there is much potential for professionals and laypeople alike to combine, adapt and use them in creative and constructive ways.


Yvonne Rogers. 2006. Moving on from weiser’s vision of calm computing: Engaging ubicomp experiences. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp '06). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 404–421. https://doi.org/10.1007/11853565_24