World Wide Web Consortium To Hold Ubiquitous Web Workshop

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Participants to Explore the Synthesis of the Web and Ubiquitous Computing -- 24 January 2006 - W3C is bringing together representatives from industry and research organizations on 9-10 March in Tokyo, Japan for a Workshop aimed at exploring the vision of the Web as a distributed applications platform for use in offices, home networks, and in mobile, automotive and other industries. Workshop attendees will discuss the potential for increasing the range and reducing the cost of developing and deploying such applications, how current W3C Activities fit into the vision of the Ubiquitous Web, and help W3C to identify further opportunities for standardization.

What is the "Ubiquitous Web"?

Ubiquitous means something that is often encountered and seemingly present everywhere. Ubiquitous computing, as described 15 years ago by Mark Weiser, postulates a world where people are surrounded by computing devices that are interconnected via networks, and which support us in everything we do. Despite the success of the World Wide Web on the desktop, we have only just begun to tap the potential provided by the increasing range of devices in use.

The Ubiquitous Web seeks to broaden the capabilities of Web browsers to enable new kinds of Web applications, particularly applications that coordinate with other devices and adapt dynamically to the user, device capabilities and environmental conditions. Applications will be able draw upon network services to extend device capabilities. People will be able to focus on what they are doing rather than on devices. Application mobility will allow people to keep working or playing while seamlessly switching from one device to another.

What technologies are needed for the Ubiquitous Web?

What makes the Web so effective for application developers is the ease with which you can create applications using a combination of markup, graphics, style sheets and scripts. The Ubiquitous Web will make it easy to build distributed applications by presenting clean abstractions to Web developers for accessing device capabilities and communication services. Resource description and discovery will be key to creating Ubiquitous Web applications. The use of URIs (Web addresses) for naming devices, services and sessions will enable the use of rich metadata (the Semantic Web) for resource discovery, and for acting across different networks and leveraging the distributed nature of the World Wide Web.

Ubiquitous Web applications will be able to identify resources and manage them within the context of temporary or persistent sessions. A more flexible framework for sessions is needed than today's workarounds based on cookies and on embedding session information in URIs. Resources can be remote, such as a network printer and projector, or local, such as the device's estimated battery life, network signal strength, and audio volume level. Resources are not limited to hardware and can also be services, such as speech recognition, natural language translation, and identification of a device's geographical location.

W3C Moves Forward With Ubiquitous Web Workshop

The Workshop is being held by W3C on 9-10 March in Tokyo, Japan, and will be co-chaired by Professor Larry Rudolph, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Professor Hideyuki Tokuda, Faculty of Environmental Information at Keio University, both of whom have extensive experience in ubiquitous computing.

The Workshop is expected to result in the following deliverables:

  • Use Cases and Potential Requirements
  • Candidate Technologies
  • Workshop position papers
  • Workshop presentations
  • Workshop minutes
  • Recommendations regarding future work

Participants need to submit a position paper by 10 February 2006. Information and details on the Workshop are provided in the Call for Participation. The Workshop deliverables will be published on the Web, and future directions could include the creation of a W3C Working Group to work on areas that Workshop attendees identify as suitable for standardization.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see


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