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"TalkingAssistant: The Indispensable Ubiquitous Computing Device"

Thursday, February 26, 2004
By Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser, Full Professor and Dean of Computer Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt
5:15 - 6:00 p.m. Registration and Networking
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Presentation and Discussion
Open to the Public. Pre-registration recommended.
Held in the Vintage Room at the Stanford Barn, 700 Welch Road, Palo Alto.
Click Here to view Presentation (25.28MB .pdf)

*This Challenge-the-Expert is sponsored by SAP Corporate Research.
There is no fee to attend.

Back in the PC era, each user disposed of his or her personal computer. In the upcoming "Post-PC era" of ubiquitous computing, each user is confronted with several - soon many - computers (mobile self-owned, shared, or, increasingly, embedded). Dr. Max Mühlhauser's presentation will briefly re-phrase opportunities and challenges of this dawning era, and in the sequel, emphasize the role of audio. The challenges of ubiquitous computing will be sketched following a categorization into five main areas, abbreviated as S.C.A.L.E. Attendees can use this part of Dr. Mühlhauser's presentation as a 'personal checklist' for the evaluation of multi-year R&D programs and enterprise innovation strategies.

During the second hour, audience participants will be able to "challenge" Dr. Mühlhauser for an interactive discussion. As a basis for discussing the future key role of audio in enterprises, an ongoing research project headed by Dr. Mühlhauser will be introduced: the Talking Assistant headset-embedded computer. Talking Assistants combine processing and storage, speech, wireless networking, location and head tracking, and digital identity in a single mobile device. The open hardware/software platform and API, short-range and worldwide connectivity make it a potential key to greatly enlarging the spectrum and coverage of enterprise applications -- combining the low cost of both equipment and system integration with unique potentials for hands-free/eyes-free operation.

The current "on-premises" version of Talking Assistants will be shown at this Challenge-the-Expert session. As an outlook on the next version, the demo will exploit the truly ubiquitous (i.e. worldwide use of similar audio devices for public everyday life) and discuss the impact on future enterprise applications. Thereby, Talking Assistants will be discussed in context of the Mundo project, another project headed by Dr. Mühlhauser that follows the vision of a global market of Internet services: a vision and effort which major Japanese companies are starting to embrace, too.


Max Mühlhauser is a Full Professor & Dean of Computer Science at the Technische Universität in Darmstadt, Germany. Dr. Mühlhauser received his Doctorate in Informatics from the University of Karlsruhe and founded a research center for Digital Equipment Corporation. Since 1989, he worked as either professor or visiting professor at universities in Germany, Austria, France, Canada, and the U.S. Dr. Mühlhauser has published more than 160 articles, co-authored and edited books about eLearning and distributed and multimedia software engineering, and has patents in mCommerce pending. He is head of the Telecooperation Division and the departmental computing center, co-head and speaker of the IT Transfer Office ITO, and co-supervisor of two Ph.D. programs funded by the National Funding Agency DfG: "Enabling Technologies for Electronic Commerce" and "Systems Integration in Ubiquitous Computing". Dr. Mühlhauser remotely supervises researchers in Austria, and is a project leader at the Hessian Telemedia Technology Competence Center. His core research interest is development support for next generation Internet applications, mainly in the following areas: mobile/ubiquitous/ambient computing and commerce, eLearning, distributed multimedia and continuous media, multimodal interaction, hypermedia and SemanticWeb, cooperation, and ubiquitous security. The enabling technologies applied comprise distributed object-oriented programming, event-based and peer-2-peer infrastructures, and hypertext.


This Challenge-the-Expert program is sponsored by SAP Corporate Research. There is no fee to attend. Pre-registration is highly recommended. To pre-register, please send your name, title, company name, telephone number and email address to:

Ms. Claire Kahrobaie
Manager, Client Services
T: 650.462.9800