"a great and troubling beauty": Cognitive speculation and ubiquitous computing

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16 Scopus citations


Jeffrey Bardzell and Shaowen Bardzell critically analyze a paper by Mark Weiser, titled, 'The Computer for the 21st Century'. In this essay, Weiser proposes a new paradigm of computing, ubicomp, which he claims would replace the PC as the dominant form of human-computer interaction. The essay rejects reductive conceptualizations of the field, dismissing the notion that ubicomp means little more than computers at the beach and proposes instead a more or less new physical world, one which would throw all of us into a new mode of human experience, which he calls 'embodied virtuality'. The primary argument against Weiser's vision agenda today is that it is no longer useful to guide ubiquitous computing. Technology has evolved, and so have our conceptualizations of ubicomp. We have a better conceptual understanding of context and its relationship to computing. The authors advocate for the ongoing updating of ubicomp's vision agenda, and to do so in a cognitive, rather than fantasy-based, way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-794
Number of pages16
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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