W3C Interaction

W3C Workshop on the Ubiquitous Web

Call for Participation (now closed)

9 - 10 March 2006

Keio University - Tokyo, Japan

See also press release (24th January 2006), position papers, and draft workshop agenda.


"Ubiquitous" is generally used for something that is seemingly present everywhere and often encountered. Ubiquitous computing is a term introduced by Mark Weiser in the early nineties to refer to a world where people are surrounded by computing devices and a computing infrastructure that supports us in everything we do. Such devices are now in place - in our pockets as cell phones and PDAs, in our homes in consumer devices of all kinds, and at work in myriad functions.

The Web was introduced at the start of the nineties and has now become part of everyday life, and is used by people from all backgrounds and ages. The Web has had a dramatic impact on how we find information, how we communicate, and how we purchase products and services. 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. Some of this work is already underway, but additional work is needed to realize the full potential of the Web for distributed applications, with an opportunity to move the Web to a whole new level.

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. Application mobility will allow users to seamlessly switch between devices whilst continuing to access the same applications. Device limitations will be circumvented through being coupled to other devices and by exploiting networked services as part of distributed applications. As users, we will be able to choose how we interact with these applications according to our current needs and the characteristics of the devices we are using. In one sense, the Web will disappear, as it becomes ubiquitous and taken for granted, thereby vanishing into the background of the global computing and network infrastructure.

W3C is holding a workshop on the Ubiquitous Web. Attendees will discuss the vision of a Ubiquitous Web, with an examination of enabling technologies and consideration of what remains to be done to fulfill the vision. The Workshop will provide an opportunity to share use cases, research results, and implementation experience. See the list of potential topics, and Dave Raggett's presentation on the Ubiquitous Web as given at the W3C Seminar on Multimodal Web Applications for Embedded Systems, on 21 June 2005.

Existing Work and Opportunities for Further Work

The Workshop will provide an opportunity to look at how existing work fits the needs of the Ubiquitous Web, for instance:

The Web APIs Working Group aims to standardize established Web scripting interfaces such as the Window object, and the XMLHTTPRequest interface used for exchanging XML via HTTP (commonly referred to as AJAX). Web page scripts form an essential part of rich Web applications, and interoperability depends in turn on standard interfaces.

Delivery Context Interfaces (DCI) provide Web applications with access to user preferences, device capabilities, and environmental conditions in terms of a hierarchy of properties represented as DOM Nodes. The DCI further allows applications to configure the device via setting properties, and to dynamically adapt to changes via handling events raised by properties, for example, changes in a phone's location or that a new message has just arrived. This is subject to security and privacy considerations. DCI Properties are expected to support property specific interfaces in addition to the basic interfaces defined by the DCI itself. We have a framework, but now need to build a vision and consensus around the properties that populate that framework, and to leverage existing work by a variety of industry specific groups.

The Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces describes a way to couple user interface components to interaction managers via DOM events. The architecture enables local or distributed implementations. The IETF Widex Working Group is developing protocols for exchanging DOM events and updates between devices with a view to enabling the application logic to run on a different device than the user interface. The ability for browsers to respond to external sources of events will enable new kinds of Web applications, for instance, when using a cell phone to listen to voice messages, allowing you to see a list of message time and contact details, or allowing a customer service agent to drive your browser when talking with you over the phone. It is also key for applications involving the coordination of multiple devices, e.g. a handheld device and a wall mounted display.

Some obvious missing pieces include the means for Web applications to manage resources within temporary or persistent sessions, and the means to describe properties of such sessions. HTTP is stateless, and work arounds exist using cookies and conventions for embedding session information within URIs, but a more flexible framework is needed, especially for resources and bindings that last beyond individual Web pages. The means to extend device capabilities via network based resources (e.g. printers, projectors, speech synthesis and recognition, natural language translation, geographic location, etc.) depends on a means to discover such resources and bind them as part of the session. There is an opportunity to use URIs for naming devices, services and sessions. This will enable the use of rich metadata (the Semantic Web) for resource discovery, acting across different kinds of networks and integrating a wide variety of information sources, through leveraging the distributed nature of the Web.

Workshop Goals

The main objective of this workshop is to build a better understanding of the Ubiquitous Web, and to identify potential areas for standardization:

Expected Audience

We expect several communities to contribute to the workshop:

Requirements for Participation

Position papers are required to participate in this workshop. Each organization or individual wishing to participate must submit a position paper by the date shown below. Participation is pending acceptance of the position paper by the program committee.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

Position Papers

Position papers will be the basis for the discussion at the workshop. Papers should explain the participant's interest in the workshop, explain their position and include concrete examples of their suggestions. Position papers should be written in English. Examples may be illustrated with non-English languages with an English explanation.

All papers should be 1 to 5 pages, although they may link to longer versions or appendices. Allowed formats are valid HTML or XHTML, PDF, or plain text. Papers in any other format (including invalid HTML/XHTML) will be returned with a request for correct formatting.

Papers must be submitted by email to team-ubiwebws-submit@w3.org by 10th February 2006.

Accepted position papers will be published on the public Web page of the workshop. Submitting a position paper comprises a default recognition of these terms for publication.

The Program Committee will ask the authors of particularly salient position papers to explicitly present their position at the workshop to foster discussion. Presenters will be asked to make the slides of the presentation available on the workshop home page in HTML, PDF, or plain text. For a Web-based solution for slide presentations, see HTML Slidy.

See the schedule below for submission and registration deadlines.

Workshop Organization

Workshop Chairs

The Workshop will be co-chaired by Professor Larry Rudolph, at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Professor Hideyuki Tokuda, Faculty of Environmental Information at Keio University, both of whom have extensive experience in the area of Ubiquitous Computing.

Program Committee


To ensure maximum interaction among participants, the number of participants will be limited. To ensure maximum diversity, the number of participants per organization will be limited in the event the overall participation limit is reached.

W3C membership is not required to participate in this workshop.

Workshop sessions and documents will be in English.


The workshop program will run from 8:30 am to 6 pm on both days.


The workshop will be held at 6F East building, Mita campus, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. Details will be included with acceptance notification. Local Contact: Yasuyuki Hirakawa, <chibao@w3.org>

There are plenty of hotels nearby. One suggestion is the Shinagawa Prince hotel which is directly opposite the Shinagawa railway station, and can be reached from Narita via the Narita express train or by the airport limousine bus, To get to the Mita campus, you can either take a taxi, or take the JR Tokaido line one stop to Tamachi station (in the Tokyo direction) and then it is about an 8 minute walk to the Mita campus, following the pedestrian fly over across the main road. Here are some more details on how to get to the Mita campus.

Another hotel with an online reservation form in English is the Hotel Villa Fontaine Hamamatsucho, which is located next to Tamachi station. You may also want to consider the Hotel Jal City Tamachi (also near Tamachi station), and the Hotel Celestine which is the nearest to the Mita campus. Note that neither of the last two hotels provide an online reservation form in English.

Keio will provide a video projectors, wired and wireless microphones, a podium for the speaker, a wireless 802.11b LAN, and US style power sockets for your notebooks.


Information on registration will be sent with the notification of acceptance. There will be no fee for participation.

Important Dates

10 February 2006
Deadline for position papers. Submit position papers to team-ubiwebws-submit@w3.org
17 February 2006
Acceptance notification and registration instructions sent. Program and accepted position papers posted on the workshop web site.
24 February 2006
Deadline for registration.
9 March 2006
Workshop begins (8:30 AM)
10 March 2006
Workshop ends (6:00 PM)
3 April 2006
Conference minutes and conference deliverables posted on the workshop web site.

Workshop organizers: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> and Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>.

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