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The Disappearing Computer

Streitz, N. and Nixon, P. (2005) The Disappearing Computer. Communications - ACM, 48 (3). pp. 32-35. ISSN 0001-0782

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Computers are with us everywhere and we are aware of their increasing significance for our lives. In parallel, the spread of computers caused a shift in our activities: away from real, physical objects in the environment as the sources of information toward computer monitors as the interfaces to information. This shift had implications for the design of information systems. Computers became primary objects of our attention resulting in an area called 'human-computer interaction.' Today, however, we must ask: Are we actually interested in interacting with computers? Isn't our goal rather to interact with information, to communicate and to collaborate with people? Shouldn't the computer move into the background and disappear?