Natural Language in your Browser

How great would it be if you could just tell your browser what you wanted and have it obey you? Well, that’s just what the guys down at Mozilla Labs are working towards with their prototype of some new technology they called Ubiquity. It tries to address the issue of having to open multiple web browser windows to perform different actions, often cutting and pasting between them, trying to get a consistent message across to someone else.

Here’s a short video that demonstrates that it’s all about:

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

What Ubiquity achieves is an alternative interface to harnessing the power of the services that already exist on the web (though I won’t go as far as using the buzzword Web Services). It’s an idea that has been proven through Mashups, however this power can now be accessed through natural language, just type what you want into the Ubiqity interface. It looks like a great piece of technology (although not ground-breaking) and has even made Scoble promise not to use IE8! I’ve installed it on this machine and will have a play, just remember it’s still a prototype and so might be a bit flaky.

Personally, I’m really happy to see this development as what it does is makes the browsing experience more useful to people who don’t have the technical skills to build stuff from scratch. Casual users shouldn’t need to learn those skills, just as you shouldn’t need to learn how to rebuild a carburettor is you want to drive a car. There’s even more information about this on Techmeme, so start reading!


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