Ubiquitous Media and the Active Office Paper / Publication

Author(s): William Buxton

In 1991, Mark Weiser published an article that outlined Xerox PARC's vision of the next generation of computation (Weiser, 1991). He referred to this model as Ubiquitous Computing, or UbiComp. In what follows, we introduce a complimentary component of Weiser's story: what we call Ubiquitous Video, or UbiVid. The groundwork for UbiVid was laid by research into in "media spaces" (Gaver et al., 1992; Mantei et al., 1991; Stults, 1986; Bly, Harrison & Irwin, 1993). The ideas that we discuss build upon this work. We argue that UbiComp and UbiVid are two sides to the same story. Together, they make up something that may best be called Ubiquitous Media, or UbiMedia. Our belief is that this notion of Ubiquitous Media provides a useful model for conceiving of future systems and their usage models. This paper is based on research undertaken at Xerox PARC, Rank Xerox EuroPARC and the Ontario Telepresence Project. Many of the ideas discussed have been implemented or prototyped. Many more have not. Our purpose here, however, is not to report on research per se. Rather, our intent is to convey the model of future computation that lies behind much of our work. Our hope is to aid communication and provide the basis for future discussion.

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