Will Ubiquity change the way we use Local

Mozilla Labs introduced Ubiquity today. What is Ubiquity? Not really sure but it seems to be/do the following:

-It is a natural language command interface for Firefox.
-Words invoke commands that interact with API’s and social networks
-A cool way to create mashups on the fly that communicate your intent
-A new way to interact with Local information

It appears that like all command driven interfaces you need to learn something and that will slow adoption. As Robert Scobie points out it is only for the passionate users who want to be more productive. He says: What is it? It’s a box that lets you ask different questions and get answers. It’s sort of like search. But far more powerful.

But here are the examples that caught my eye:
Example of Ubiquity Mashup

The ability to create a personalized map with directions on the fly without doing the heavy lifting of going to Google Maps, entering the address etc etc appeals to me. A one stop shop to share local information with your friends and social network.

Hmm, what do you think? Will it, or something like it, gain widespread adoption? Will it lead the way to increased integration of social networks and local into our every day routines of communication? Or will it just be too much commitment for most people to learn?

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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9 thoughts on “Will Ubiquity change the way we use Local”

  1. This seems like a REALLY cool idea but I don’t see it taking much market share away from Local search, at least in the near future, since only the truly techie crowd will have heard about it.

  2. Hi David

    I agree short haul…this has a very limited appeal…too complicated.

    The idea though of making API’s available to do work at the end user communication and create a truly customized web experience is as they say “far out, man”.

    I also wonder if, long haul, a typed language interface is the best way to get this stuff to happen.


  3. Or will it just be too much commitment for most people to learn?

    Unless they market the heck out of it, adoption will likely be slow and limited. I could be wrong, though. The SM crowd could pick this up and deem it the essential next big thing.

    Interesting, definitely!

  4. @Miriam

    I’ve been trying to play with it a little bit and while I am not totally comfortable with the interface, I see its productivity gains even in blog writing (linking to Maps, linking to Wikipedia, linking to definitions).

    Like all new interfaces it is awkward feeling. But I remember the first time I tried a mouse (1984 with Steve Jobs doing the roll out) and I found that foreign at the time.


  5. I already installed and using it.It’s nice and great firefox addon.

    With Ubiquity,no need to switch or open new window/tab,all network application can do in one webpage as mashups mentioned by Mozilla Lab.

    We need to think that web browser no only for view,it also need edit and manage application in future.

    Ubiquity and Firefox is the best combination .

  6. Hi Wongsk

    Yes it is convenient but it assumes that the browser in the primary interface to search/mashups and I think I would prefer the functionality at the OS level…


  7. Mike,
    The first mouse-like thing I ever used was called a Koala Pad which came with a stylus and was a tremendous big thing with an early Texas Instruments computer my family owned in the early 80s. When we got our first mouse, I thought it wasn’t as fun as the Koala Pad.

    I remember an elementary school teacher asking my class if any of the children had ever used a computer. I was the only kid who raised her hand. I think of that sometimes, and laugh to think how things have changed. I’m very grateful to my father (a computer programmer) for making me a ‘cool’ kid by bringing home early computers from PONG on. Of course, back then, I guess that probably made me a ‘nerd’.


  8. This looks like a very handy add-on, I could definitely see the time-saving potential. However, a few months after this was originally posted I have still not heard of Ubiquity mentioned anywhere else. So, despite its convenience and innovation, looks like it really is taking a while to catch on. Still, I think that it will eventually become far more popular because innovative/time-saving things like this tend to catch on. I’m looking forward to it being widely used. Also, it would be really nice to have something like this at the OS level, as you had also mentioned, Mike. That would allow for even greater flexibility and creativity with what can be achieved.

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