Serendipity within a Ubiquitous Computing Environment: A Case for Opportunistic Browsing

  • Oscar de Bruijn
  • Robert Spence
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2201)


We investigate an important interaction that can take place in a ubiquitous computing environment, that of opportunistic browsing, a form of information gathering on the fly. Opportunistic browsing is characterised by being ubiquitous, unintentional and effortless. In this paper, we clarify the concept of opportunistic browsing and place it within a cognitive framework. We further discuss the nature of the interactions that can be triggered by the serendipitous discovery of information through opportunistic browsing and the importance of context-awareness, and we identify important research issues.


Serendipitous Discovery Ubiquitous Computing Environment Content Selection Important Research Issue Coffee Table 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Anderson, J.R.: Rules of the Mind. LEA, Hillsdale (1993)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    de Bruijn, O., Purcell, P.A., Spence, R., Stathis, K.: Agent-Based Interaction Design for Connected Communities. Manuscript in preparation (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cherry, E.C.: Some Experiments on the Recognition of Speech, with One and Two Ears. J. of the Ac. Soc. of Am. 25 (1953) 975–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Choo, C.W., Detlor, B., Turnbull, D.: Information Seeking in the Web: An Integrated Model of Browsing and Searching. FirstMonday 5 (2000)
  5. 5.
    Davenport, E., Whyte, A., Barr, K., Buckner, K.: LiMe Deliverable 2.3 Taxonomies of Tools, Community Content and Narratives (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Ericsson, K.A., Kintsch, W.: Long-term Working Memory. Psych. Rev. 102 (1995) 211–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Marchionini, G.M.: Information Seeking in Electronic Environments. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (1995)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pascoe, J., Ryan, N., Morse, D.: Issues in Developing Context-Aware Computing. In: Gellersen, H-W. (ed.): Proc. of the First Int. Symp. HUC'99. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 1707. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York (1999) 208–221Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Potter, M.C.: Very Short-term Conceptual Memory. Mem. & Cog. 21 (1993) 156–161Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Potter, M.C.: Understanding Sentences and Scenes: The Role of Conceptual Short-Term Memory. In: Coltheart, V. (ed.): Fleeting Memories: Cognition of Brief Visual Stimuli. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. (1999)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Suchman, L.A.: Plans and Situated Actions. The Problem of Human Machine Interaction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1987)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weiser, M.: The Computer for the Twenty-First Century. Scientific American, September (1991)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weiser, M., Brown, J.S.: The Coming of Age of Calm Technology.
  17. 17.
    Wilson, T. D.: Information behaviour: An interdisciplinary perspective. Info. Process. & Manage. 33 (1997) 551–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wisneski, C., Ishii, H., Dahley, A., Gorbet, M., Brave, S., Ullmer, B., Yarin, P.: Ambient Displays: Turning Architectural Space into an Interface between People and Digital Information. In: Norbert A. Strietz, Shin'ichi Konomi, Heinz-Jürgen Burkhardt (eds.): Cooperative Buildings, Proc. of the First Int. Workshop, CoBuild'98. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 1370. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York (1998) 22–32Google Scholar
  19. 19.
  20. 20.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oscar de Bruijn
    • 1
  • Robert Spence
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringImperial CollegeLondonUK

Personalised recommendations