Generally speaking, contemporary computer technology is designed according to an application- and document-centered model. This model enables users to work with specific, targeted applications that support the manipulation of particular kinds of information and performing specific tasks, like writing a letter or making a budget. This model has proven well suited for office work at a desktop, but the personal and task-oriented approach provides little support for the aggregation of resources and tools required in carrying out higher-level activities. It is left to the user to aggregate such resources and tools in meaningful bundles according to the activity at hand, and manual reconfiguration of this aggregation is often required when multi-tasking between parallel activities.
To meet these challenges, we are pursuing the concept of Activity-Based Computing (ABC). In activity-based computing, the basic computational unit is no longer the file (e.g. a document) or the application (e.g. MS Word) but the activity of a user. The end-user is directly supported by computational activities which can be initiated, suspended, stored, resumed, and shared on any computing device in the infrastructure at any point in time, handed over to other persons, or shared among several persons asynchronously or in real time. Furthermore, the execution of activities is adapted to the usage context of the users, i.e. making activities context-aware.
Read more about activity-based computing in;
- Jakob E. Bardram and Henrik B. Christensen. Pervasive Computing Support for Hospitals: An Overview of the Activity-Based Computing Project. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 6(1):44-51, 2007.