Calm Computing

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Definition

Calm computing is a state of technological maturity where a user's primary task is not computing, but where computing augments and brings relevant information to the experience. Rather than focusing on computing and data, calm computing places emphasis on people and tasks.

The terms "calm computing" and "calm technology" were coined by PARC Researcher Mark Weiser in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. He felt that the promise of computing systems was that they might "simplify complexities, not introduce new ones".[1]

Mark is best known for his contributions to the field of mobile computing. He is often referred to as the father of Ubiquitous Computing. He coined the term in 1988 to describe a future in which PCs would be replaced with invisible computers embedded in everyday objects. He believed that this would lead to an era of "calm technology," in which technology, rather than panicking us, would help us focus on what is really important to us.[2].

Weiser believed that ubiquitous computing would lead to an era of "calm technology," in which technology, rather than panicking us, will help us focus on what is really important to us". [3] Weiser felt that calm technology would appear when needed and recede into the background when finished with.

Related Reading

References

  1. Begole, Bo. Ubiquitous Computing for Business. FT Press, 2011. Pg. 12.
  2. Want, Roy. Biography of Mark Weiser. Xerox PARC. http://www-sul.stanford.edu/weiser/Bio.html
  3. Want, Roy. A Ubiquitous Life. Bio of Mark Weiser. http://www-sul.stanford.edu/weiser/Bio.html Accessed Jul 2011.