From late 1960s the dream about a natural interaction with computer was transformed into the meme of the “Desktop” metaphor invented in PARC, widespread across all operating systems. Its conceptual architecture became a “de-facto” standard in the IT industry. The state of HCI in this area was put almost into the stasis for almost 30 years. A recent introduction of devices with touch screens and intelligent voice assistants like iPhone, Microsoft Surface and Siri, gave a new energy to this area of HCI. Beauty and art of intuitive direct interaction with content in comparison to an abstract mouse-based paradigm captured the so-called Y and Z generations and transformed the computing into a new and bright world of natural, personalized user experiences.
WHY X,Y,Z PROJECTS AIMED ON UBIQUITOUS, SEMANTIC, PERSONALIZED COMPUTING DIDN'T SUCCEED THAT MUCH? WHAT'S THE SECRET SAUCE?
Initiatives around ubiquitous, semantic and personalized computing are a long story. NEPOMUK (SemanticDesktop.org) supported by European Union, Semantic Desktop by Pi Corp, Microsoft’s Semantic Engine and several other projects aimed to deliver a seamless, powerful & personalized user experience on top of semantic storage backend. The problem is that saying that these projects really succeeded isn’t correct. They delivered great technologies, some of which are now shipping in big products like Semantic Search in SQL Server 2012 that was originally the so-called Microsoft Semantic Engine. I can’t dig into details of the Semantic Engine as it was an internal project; still it was presented to the public at Microsoft PDC 2009. But, still, they didn’t really succeed on their own. Why?
As we are developing a system that also can be characterized as ubiquitous, semantic, and personalized, we constantly ask ourselves, what is the secret sauce that was missing from these projects?