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The Ubiquitous Web

Dave Raggett,

The Ubiquitous Web

Ubiquitous. [adj]

  1. (seemingly) present
    everywhere simultaneously.
  2. often encountered
    [Latin ubique everywhere]

Oxford English Dictionary

Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing represents a powerful shift in computation, where people live, work, and play in a seamlessly interweaving computing environment. Ubiquitous computing postulates a world where people are surrounded by computing devices and a computing infrastructure that supports us in everything we do.

Mark Weiser, The Computer of the 21st Century, Scientific American, Sept 1991.

Ambient Intelligence

Ambient Intelligence implies a seamless environment of computing, advanced networking technology and specific interfaces. It is aware of the specific characteristics of human presence and personalities, takes care of needs and is capable of responding intelligently to spoken or gestured indications of desire, and even can engage in intelligent dialogue. Ambient Intelligence should also be unobtrusive, often invisible: everywhere and yet in our consciousness — nowhere unless we need it. Interaction should be relaxing and enjoyable for the citizen, and not involve a steep learning curve.

EC Information Society Technologies Advisory Group, 2001.

Web Browser as Information Appliance

The Web browser has become an appliance for accessing all manner of information and services. It shrinks into the background in that users don't need to learn from scratch each time they visit a new web site. The browser is an application platform and avoids the need to install and manage new software each time you want to use a new application — you just point the browser at the website and you are off and running. For developers, markup and scripts are much easier than C++ and Java. Application developers are deserting Microsoft Windows for the Web.

New Roles for Web Browsers


Glass Walls

Ubiquitous Web

The Ubiquitous Web seeks to broaden the capabilities of browsers to enable new kinds of web applications, particularly those involving coordination with other devices. Some examples include connecting a camera phone to a nearby printer, using a cell phone to give a business presentation with a wireless projector, and viewing your mailbox while listening to your messages.

Ubiquitous Web

These applications involve identifying resources and managing them within the context of an application session. The resources can be remote as in a network printer and projector, or local, as in the estimated battery life, network signal strength, and audio volume level. The Ubiquitous Web will provide a framework for exposing device coordination capabilities to Web applications.

Device Coordination

Ubiquitous Web Requirements

Enabling Technologies

The DOM and Distributed Services



Universal Resource Identifiers

Descriptions and Ontologies

Role of Web Services

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)


Next Steps