“Ubiquitous Computing”: Mark Weiser

A few thousand years ago people of the Fertile Crescent invented the technology of capturing words on flat surfaces using abstract symbols: literacy. The technology of literacy when first invented, and for thousands of years afterwards, was expensive, tightly controlled, precious. Today it effortlessly, unobtrusively, surrounds us. Look around now: how many objects and surfaces do you see with words on them? Computers in the workplace can be as effortless, and ubiquitous, as that. Long-term the PC and workstation will wither because computing access will be everywhere: in the walls, on wrists, and in “scrap computers” (like scrap paper) lying about to be grabbed as needed. This is called “ubiquitous computing”, or “ubicomp”.

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