W3C Ubiquitous Web

Ubiquitous Web Domain

Mission | Activities

Nearby: People of the Ubiquitous Web Domain.


W3C's Ubiquitous Web Domain is focusing on technologies to enable Web access for anyone, anywhere, anytime, using any device. This includes Web access from mobile phones as well as other emerging environments such as connected TVs and even automobiles. To enable the next generation of Web user interfaces, we are working on APIs for mobile devices and automobiles, VoiceXML and technologies for multimodal interaction.

"The Web is becoming more and more pervasive as an applications platform, and effective standards are crucial for reducing the costs of deploying applications across a wide range of devices and environments, whether in the office, at home or on the move. The Ubiquitous Web will provide people with access whenever and wherever they find themselves, with applications that dynamically adapt to the user's needs, device capabilities and environmental conditions. " -- Philipp Hoschka, Ubiquitous Web Domain Leader


Mobile Web Initiative Activity

From the introduction of the Mobile Web Initiative Activity Statement:

W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative addresses issues of interoperability and usability for the mobile Web through a concerted effort of key players in the mobile production chain, including authoring tool vendors, content providers, handset manufacturers, browser vendors and mobile operators.

Mobile Web access has many advantages. Unlike the fixed Web, the mobile Web goes where you go. No longer do you have to remember to do something on the Web when you get back to your computer. You can do it immediately, within the context that made you want to use the Web in the first place.

With mobile devices, the Web reaches a much wider audience, and at all times in all situations. It has the opportunity to reach into places where wires cannot go, to places previously unthinkable (e.g., providing medical information to mountain rescue scenes) and to accompany everyone as easily as they carry the time in their wristwatches.

Moreover, today, many more people have access to mobile devices than access to a desktop computer. This is very significant in developing countries, where Web-capable mobile devices may play a similar role for deploying widespread Web access as the mobile phone has played for providing “plain old telephone service”.

Currently, the Mobile Web Initiative is focusing on the usage of the mobile Web for social development, and the supervision of work related to mobile devices across W3C groups.

Read more on the Mobile Web Initiative Activity home page.

Dominique Hazaël-Massieux is the Activity Lead.

The Activity includes this group:

Multimodal Interaction Activity

From the introduction of the Multimodal Interaction Activity Statement:

The Multimodal Interaction Activity seeks to extend the Web to allow users to dynamically select the most appropriate mode of interaction for their current needs including any disabilities in order to enable Web application developers to provide an effective user interface for whichever modes the user selects. With multimodal Web applications, users can provide input via speech, handwriting and keystrokes, with output presented via displays, pre-recorded and synthetic speech, audio, and tactile mechanisms such as mobile phone vibrators and Braille strips.

The goal of the Multimodal Interaction Activity is to clearly define how to author concrete multimodal Web applications, for example, coupling a local GUI (e.g., HTML user agent) with a remote Speech I/F (e.g., VoiceXML user agent). The Multimodal Interaction Working Group is important as a central point of coordination within W3C for multimodal activities, and the group collaborates with other related Working Groups, e.g. Voice Browser, Scalable Vector Graphics, Compound Document Formats, Web Applications and Ubiquitous Web Applications.

Read more on the Multimodal Interaction Activity home page.

Kazuyuki Ashimura is the Activity Lead.

The Activity includes this group:

Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity

From the introduction of the Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity Statement:

The Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity was launched on 30 March 2007 with the vision of enabling value-added services and business models for ubiquitous networked devices, based upon W3C's strengths in declarative representations. The Activity includes the Geolocation Working Group, the Ubiquitous Web Applications Working Group (closed), the Device APIs and Policy Working Group, the Model-Based UI Working Group (closed), the Points of Interest Working Group (closed), the System Applications Working Group's, the Near Field Communications Working Group and the Web Real-Time Communications Working Group .

Read more on the Ubiquitous Web Applications Activity home page.

Dominique Hazaël-Massieux is the Activity Lead.

The Activity includes these groups:

Voice Browser Activity

From the introduction of the Voice Browser Activity Statement:

The telephone was invented in the 1870s and continues to be a very important means for people to communicate with each other. The Web by comparison is very recent, but is rapidly becoming a competing communications channel. The convergence of telecommunications and the Web is now bringing the benefits of Web technology to the telephone, enabling Web developers to create applications that can be accessed via any telephone, and allowing people to interact with these applications via speech and telephone keypads. Historically W3C's standardization work on Voice technology of the Voice Browser Working Group was driven by the needs of call center telephony. However, today's mobile devices use not only the visual user interface but also the speech interface for accessing the Web, so the work is now driven by mobile device needs as well. Visual interfaces are very useful for accessing the Web but there are several possible barriers of communication only with the visual interface on small devices, and Voice technology could be a promising solution to the barriers. For example, Voice is available on any kind of phones and in all kinds of languages. Also it requires much less training to use since it is more natural than usual visual user interfaces.

Read more on the Voice Browser Activity home page.

Kazuyuki Ashimura is the Activity Lead.

The Activity includes this group:

Web and TV Activity

From the introduction of the Web and TV Activity Statement:

The main goal of this activity is to clarify the relationship between Web and TV, with a view to identifying work items either in the form of new W3C Working Groups, or specific work that should be done in existing Working Groups.

TV is a mature but rapidly-changing market. With the advent of IP-based devices, connected TVs are progressing at a fast pace and traditional TV broadcasting is quickly evolving into a more immersive experience where users can interact with rich applications that are at least partly based on Web technologies. There is strong growth in the deployment of devices that integrate regular Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and SVG, coupled with various device APIs.

There is huge potential for the future to create an interoperable platform where Web and TV benefit from each other, for instance through the introduction of additional device APIs specifically targeted at TVs, or by bringing Web accessibility guidelines to TVs.

Read more on the Web and TV Activity home page.

Kazuyuki Ashimura is the Activity Lead.

The Activity includes this group:


The activities of the Ubiquitous Web Domain are partially supported by the follwing EU commission projects:

Philipp Hoschka, Ubiquitous Web Domain Leader
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