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The Future of Making: How Innovation Disrupted Itself in 2013
19 December 2013 | Bloomberg
by Marcus Chan

"It's only fitting that among the many things disrupted by technology in 2013, innovation itself couldn't resist change. Specifically, the process of how new products are made.

We're not talking solely about manufacturing technologies such as 3-D printing, which seems to generate endless headlines because of the cool, sometimes scary and often odd things (fetus paperweights?) you can now create with these machines.

"3-D printing gets all the hype, but even perhaps more profound is this larger change," said Steve Hoover, CEO of PARC, Xerox's storied research-and-development company, where Steve Jobs drew inspiration for the Mac."

 

Realising the benefits of a totally connected world
9 December 2013 | ComputerWeekly.com
by Cliff Saran

"The internet of things will transform everyday life, from managing airports’ passenger flow to heating buildings and caring for the elderly.

 The ability to network electronics in a standard way is set to revolutionise intelligent device control. It represents the world defined by the so-called internet of things (IoT), where electronic equipment transmits data into the cloud over the internet using TCP/IP.

 As Computer Weekly reported earlier this year, GE is developing a sensor network based on the principals of IoT to monitor turbines constantly in order to reduce downtime.

 In the home, internet-based home automation is now possible thanks to low cost computing devices – such as the Raspberry Pi – RF networks and infrared-to-IP interfaces. British Gas’s Connected Home business, for example, sells a £200 internet-connected central heating controller.

IoT scales up to city-wide initiatives. For instance, Xerox Parc has developed a system for managing traffic flow in Los Angeles with dynamic pricing at parking meters. The company deployed 7,000 sensors around the city to detect if a parking meter was occupied and adjusted pricing dynamically to ensure 20% of parking spaces were always available."

 

 

What Are your Ideas Trying to Tell You?
30 October 2013 | Forbes.com
by Jeremy Clark

"The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling has been credited with saying: “If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas.”  Companies of all sizes have embraced that advice, investing considerable time and energy into innovation projects, amassing vast storehouses of ideas along the way.  If we take Pauling’s definition of ‘good’ to mean ‘breakthrough’—having the potential to create dramatically higher level of value than current solutions—then these vast databases seem to be a positive sign.

It’s a shame, then, that the second part of Pauling’s advice tends to be overlooked: “Most of (your ideas) will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away.”  It’s certainly true that most ideas written on a Post-It note or submitted to an online system never get used, but the reason has more to do with a bias toward short-term payback in most innovation processes than informed filtration.

Most innovation campaigns involve a discovery phase (developing insights about the challenge) followed by an ideation phase (brainstorming solutions).  For most companies, built for efficient replication, this “divergent” activity is uncomfortable.  When the brainstorming is complete, there tends to be a relieved resurgence of reflexive execution-bias, a comforting sense of making choices and assigning development actions.   This “convergent” activity is often known as the selection phase."

 

A major challenge for marketing the internet of things? Explaining why it has value
Experts at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference estimated the internet of things will gain mainstream acceptance in about five years.
16 October 2013 | GigaOM
by Signe Brewster

Smoke detectors are nearly omnipresent in American homes, where they are only noticed during emergency situations or the more common false alarm. It’s a simple relationship that works well enough for most people. So why do we need a product like Nest’s new Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector?

Answering that question will be a necessary challenge for the Internet of Things industry as it enters the consumer space, a panel of experts said Wednesday at the GigaOM Mobilize conference. While it’s easier to describe in the business sector how connected devices can save companies money, convincing a consumer to pay more for a connected version of something they use every day won’t come as simply.

 

How to build for a world where you’re connected to hundreds of devices
We asked experts how 50 billion connected devices and 6 billion people change their industry. In this essay PARC’s Mike Kuniavsky tackles the topic of programming.
1 October 2013 | Gigaom
by Mike Kuniavsky

"Over the next decade or two, everything that can have connected digital technology injected into it, will. Today’s smart watches and smart shirts, such as adidas’ miCoach Elite, will become ubiquitous as will adaptive technology such as connected cutlery like Lift Labs’ spoon for measuring and correcting Parkinson’s tremors. The trajectory is clear each person will have hundreds of connected devices in their life.

That’s the good news. But we can also see enough of this future to see that managing a multi-device, software, and behavior world will require rethinking how we design, perhaps from scratch."

 

PARC Tackles Parking
9 July 2013 | Bacon's Rebellion
by James A. Bacon

"James Glasnapp, a senior researcher with PARC, discovered that there can be a wide gap between theory and reality. As an ethnographer — a researcher who studies the behavior of people in natural settings — he and his team members conducted close-up studies of parking in California communities that allowed the PARC parking team to fine-tune its product both before and after commercializing it last year in downtown Los Angeles."

 

Q&A: Meet Ellen Isaacs, Corporate Ethnographer at PARC
12 April 2013 | Healthbiz Decoded
by Katie Manderfield

"As a principal scientist at PARC, Isaacs often employs corporate ethnography in order to reach new insights and to better grasp the needs of Xerox’s clients. HealthBiz Decoded spoke with Isaacs about corporate ethnography and her multi-faceted career at PARC."

 

Podcast -- What the Internet of Things Can Learn From Minecraft and Lemmings
4 April 2013 | GigaOM
by Stacy Higginbotham

"Once we have a home full of connected devices do we really want to individually manage all of them? Mike Kuniavsky, a principal in the Innovation Services Group at PARC, explains in this week's podcast how we’re going to have to think differently about programming devices for the Internet of Things. Devices will need to know what they contain and how those elements might contribute to a certain scenario in the home."

 

Xerox Digital Nurse Assistant Displays Relevant Data Upon Entering Patient Rooms
14 March 2013 | Medgadget
by Kapa Lenkov

"Delivering real-time data that matters most to clinicians when and where they need it.

Digital Nurse Assistant (DNA) is a new electronic medical record extender developed by the Xerox Healthcare Provider Solutions group in conjunction with PARC. Using IT technology, the DNA helps make hospital healthcare systems more efficient and effective by automating many tasks that nurses currently handle by hand. By delivering real-time data that matters most to clinicians when and where they need it, the DNA reduces much of the manual busywork that currently wastes as much as 30 percent of a nurse’s time every day."

 

PARC Hard at Work to Solve Problems in Health Care, Batteries, Traffic
8 March 2013 | eWeek
by Chris Preimesberger

"PARC this week reminded everyone what an innovator it is. The lab, nestled in the Palo Alto, Calif., foothills, on March 6 gave reporters a look into diverse projects that it is working on and that will reach the market in a few years, such as long-living batteries, on-demand downtown parking and digital health care-assistant devices." 

 

The Power of Observation
The science of ethnography provides a better parking experience
1 February 2013 | The Parking Professional
by Ellen Isaacs and David Cummins

"In the last few years, PARC has applied this rapid ethnography method to projects in healthcare, transportation, and mobile communication, all of which generated specific, long-lasting benefits. Some of the most fruitful ethnography projects have involved parking. For whatever reason, parking seems to evoke some of the more interesting behaviors in the human repertoire. 

The following examples showcase how rapid ethnography research is helping uncover innovative solutions to simplify and improve parking enforcement as well as the way people find and pay for parking."

 

TEDx conference seeks bright ideas for Broadway
29 January 2013 | Los Angeles Times
by Howard Sherman

"'What is the best that Broadway can be?' was the central question of the second TEDx Broadway conference, which continued to explore the query that fueled last year’s inaugural conference...

The conference mixed seasoned producers like Daryl Roth and Disney Theatrical Group’s Thomas Schumacher, artists such as playwright Kristoffer Diaz, actor George Takei and designer Christine Jones, and experts in other fields including Ellen Isaacs, principal scientist at PARC; tech and media entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, and Susan Salgado, the founder with restaurateur Danny Meyer of Hospitality Quotient..."

 

Video -- Ethnography: Ellen Isaacs at TEDxBroadway
28 January 2013 | TEDxBroadway

Watch Ellen Isaacs present on the theme of "Using Ethnography to Envision a Better Future," exploring how ethnography can be used to help Broadway envision the best that it can be in 20 years time.

 

Xerox Designs System to Reduce Busywork for Nurses
The system automatically pulls up patient files and lets nurses use mobile devices to document work
14 November 2012 | MIT Technology Review
by Susan Young

"...worked with ethnographers to see exactly what nurses do each day to better understand how to help them. The PARC ethnographers helped uncover some of the details of the Permanente study, such as why it took so long to document things and how difficult electronic medical records are to use."

 

Video -- What's next from the people who invented the PC?
4 November 2012 | CNET
by Brian Cooley

"PARC is a legendary and often misunderstood place. Once Xerox's outpost in Silicon Valley, it's now a separate company within Xerox, and it focuses on applied R&D. PARC is where you'll find the beginnings of the personal computer, LAN, voice command, and laser printing. Today its work branches far beyond computing, with a strong emphasis on ethnography, the study of what people do and how they do it."

 

How Xerox Uses Analytics, Big Data and Ethnography To Help Government Solve "Big Problems"
22 October 2012 | Forbes
by Ben Kerschberg

"Few have not experienced the uncomfortable experience of circling city blocks for a parking space. Researchers at Xerox have designed algorithms and implemented dynamic parking systems in Los Angeles that change the way we park...

PARC ethnographer Ellen Isaacs wrote recently, 'even when you have a clear concept for a technology, you still need to design it so that it’s consistent with the way people think about their activities...you have to watch them doing what they do.'"

 

How Can We Make Devices Better? By Studying What People Actually Do
20 September 2012 | GigaOM
by Mathew Ingram

"Many new technologies are based on what companies and designers seem to think their users might want to do, or what they envision them wanting to do, but not as many are based on what people actually do, Ellen Isaacs told attendees at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference on Thursday...

Surveys of users can only reveal so much about how people use technology, Isaacs said, for a number of reasons: for one thing, people forget certain steps because they have become so familiar they are almost invisible, but sometimes those steps are the most important parts of the process they are describing."

 

The Power of Observation
How companies can have more 'aha' moments
15 September 2012 | GigaOM
by Ellen Isaacs

Focus groups can only tell you so much. Companies in the mobile business also need to know the right problems to solve, which involves understanding people’s implicit needs and unknown desires. Ellen Isaacs, a user experience designer and ethnographer for PARC, explains the benefits of using ethnography to develop better mobile products.

 

Healthcare's Often Missing Element - The Human Element
2 August 2012 | Forbes
by Dan Munro

"In an effort to help providers to maximize the value of an EHR, Xerox turned to researchers at the venerable PARC (a company that Xerox spun-off about 10 years ago) as a way to explore the landscape of innovation around EHRs...

These large scale connections (Xerox, ACS, Allscripts) combined with the innovation engines of companies like PARC and The Breakaway Group represent an exciting development. It’s where innovation – including the human element – meets scale – in healthcare. PARC’s influence is still relatively early – and most clearly represents the opportunity around that human element. [PARC CEO] Steve Hoover summarized it best..."

 

Only 26 Percent of Americans Want Electronic Medical Records...
When it comes to healthcare, are Americans resistant to change?
31 July 2012 | release
by Xerox

"'A big part of PARC’s healthcare work for Xerox is using ethnography and other social science methods to observe and analyze actual work practices – not just what people say they do,' said Steve Hoover, CEO, PARC, a Xerox company. 'If there’s one thing that this survey tells us, coupled with our own experiences, it’s that you should never develop or deploy technology outside of the human context.'"

 

...Simplifying The Patient Care Process By Improving Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology.
31 July 2012 | The Street

"Americans routinely use electronic files to manage their finances, communicate with friends and family and even take college courses – but when it comes to medical records – only 26 percent want them digital. The findings come from the third annual Electronic Health Records (EHR) online survey of 2,147 U.S. adults, conducted for Xerox by Harris Interactive in May 2012...

To help caregivers do more with this patient information, Xerox is working with researchers at PARC to explore EHRs as a gateway to a variety of healthcare innovation possibilities. The resulting technology tools will simplify back-office and front-line processes, reduce errors, and free up caregivers to spend more time and attention on day-to-day patient care."

 

Cassidy: PARC still in the business of innovation 10 years after Xerox spinoff
12 July 2012 | San Jose Mercury News
by Mike Cassidy

"PARC, once known as Xerox PARC, was spun out as a subsidiary of Xerox in 2002. For the past decade it's been responsible for its own bottom line, and it's been expected to turn a profit. It was a change from the days that PARC served one master: Xerox. Now, Hoover says, less than half the lab's work is for Xerox; the rest involves projects for other companies and government agencies. …PARC's independence means that its 180 scientists and technologists can't simply come up with ideas that are world-shattering, mind-bending and brilliant. A good portion of them have to be things that PARC and companies working with PARC can sell -- and in the near-term. Profit vs. blue-sky research: It's one of the oldest balancing acts among the research lab crowd.

...All that said, Hoover is determined to make sure that PARC researchers keep reaching for the next big thing that nobody has thought of yet. Yes, the lab has identified core areas that guide its research, including health and wellness, big data, cleantech, printed electronics, networking and innovation services. But, Hoover says, as much as 25 percent of its research investments are spent on projects outside the core areas, allowing scientists to stumble onto unforeseen breakthroughs."

 

The psychology of... Avatars
Digital versions of us are not only altering the way that we perceive ourselves, but how we go on to behave in the real world.
14 June 2012 | Edge

"'Studies have shown that, in general, people create slightly idealised avatars based on their actual selves,' says Nick Yee, a research scientist at PARC. He should know: Yee has spent the past ten years studying the effects of avatars on human behavior in settings such as Second Life and World Of Warcraft."

 

PARC, 10 Years After Xerox Spin-Off, Says It's All About Innovation
14 May 2012 | Forbes
by Connie Guglielmo

"Its clients include big names like Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Panasonic, Motorola and Honda, the U.S. government and a bevy of startups, some of whom it has spawned or invested in. Last year, 40 percent of its deals were with startups, up from 12 to 15 percent just three yeas ago.

In addition to 200 researchers  including ethnographers who study people and their problems to understand how technology can actually work on their behalf – Hoover also manages a business development and marketing team of about 20 people who work with those researchers to identify potential projects and inventions with market potential."

 

...Research Projects Aimed at Making Healthcare Less of a Pain
10 April 2012 | HealthNewsDigest

"If you think back to the last time you saw a doctor, it’s easy to see the barriers that stand between patients and physicians: excessive paperwork, difficulties sharing test results and medical records, confusing payment instructions, not to mention the limited time doctors have with each patient.

...Mobile care coordination: Ethnographers – researchers who track the habits of workers as they go about their day – and technologists at PARC, A Xerox company, are working with practicing nurses to develop the Digital Nurse Assistant – a combination of in-room displays and mobile technology that delivers information on past, current, and planned actions for a patient. Displays turn on automatically when a recognized clinician enters a room to treat a patient, and mobile devices allow caregivers to document their work without locating and logging into a workstation."

 

The perils of Farmville: A look into the social gaming phenomenon [audio]
Radio Times
15 February 2012 | WHYY Radio
by Marty Moss-Coane

"Zynga, a social games company that has created hits like Farmvilleand Words With Friends, made headlines recently after Facebook released data indicating that Zynga is responsible for about 12 percent of its annual revenue... Generating billions of dollars and claiming over 50 million users, they are extremely popular and an important part of the gaming industry. But these types of games have been embroiled in a debate...

We also here from Nick Yee of PARC, who studies player motivations and the psychological implications of social gaming."

 

Love and Warcraft: Spouses Being Pushed Aside For Video Games
14 February 2012 | U.S. News & World Report
by Jason Koebler

"A survey has found an increasing number of spouses who don’t play video games are becoming 'gaming widows', seeing their significant other spend all their time in online worlds.

...Nick Yee, a research scientist at PARC who focuses on social interactions in virtual environments, says the findings aren't surprising..."

 

The Perils and Pleasures of Online Gaming for Married Life
14 February 2012 | Scientific American
by Ferris Jabr

"...Nick Yee of PARC in California has surveyed more than 35,000 players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft. He has found that only 25 percent of MMORPG players are teenagers. What’s more, nearly 36 percent of players are married and 22 percent have children."

 

Dentsu and PARC reach ethnography agreement
Research firm Dentsu Marketing Insight and its ad agency parent have reached an agreement with Xerox-owned innovation firm PARC to source ethnography services.
9 November 2011 | Research
by James Verrinder

"PARC Ethnography Services Group will work with the Japanese firms to make naturalistic, in-person studies of consumer behaviour available to Dentsu clients.

Kenichi Kobayashi, CEO at Dentsu Marketing Insight, said: "Ethnographic research scientifically defines how to truly understand your customer. We know our clients will now see their services, brands, and products in a completely new light through these ethnographic findings."

 

Meshin for Android tackles communication chaos
Mobilize
2 November 2011 | GigaOM
by Kevin C. Tofel

"Meshin, a Xerox-funded incubator project at PARC, updated its beta Android application that hopes to 'bring order to communication chaos.'

...there’s a number of companies working on this problem. However, I’m surprised that these applications aren’t getting adopted by the mass market: More people are buying smartphones, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that these same people are or will be inundated by notifications and messages.

Am I the only one with 'communication chaos' or do I just have too many digital contacts across my work and personal worlds? Regardless, I’m keeping an eye on this space."

 

Reinventing Innovation at PARC
28 July 2011 | Harvard Business Review HBR Blog Network
by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer

"A few weeks back, we saw firsthand a hotbed of innovation in a place that many observers had long ago given up on. Its resurrection convinces us that other organizations can do the same by creating a culture of consideration, coordination, and communication, and marrying that culture to a responsive business model. That resurgent hotbed is PARC (formerly Xerox PARC)…

Over the past several years, PARC — spun off as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002 — has reinvented itself as a font of innovation for Xerox and a variety of other organizations worldwide. It has delivered a stunning array of software and hardware innovations to global corporations, startups, and the U.S. government, and it does a brisk business in IP licensing.

How is it that this place, widely ridiculed 20 years ago, has revived? When we visited, we not only saw pieces of PARC's storied past, but we saw what happens there today, how it happens, and how innovation continues to thrive."

 

A tour around “first church of technology” PARC [videos]
(the innovative lab that started a ton in tech)
17 May 2011 | Scobleizer
by Robert Scoble

"While there I met with several people to get a taste of what they are working on now. Visiting here is like visiting Jerusalem (home of the first church). It’s where everything seemed to start and is still filled with brilliant people."

PART ONE: Future of Networking
PART TWO: How Ethnographic research leads to new business ideas
PART THREE: Ubiquitous Computing research
PART FOUR: Keeping our Cloud Computing Safe

 

How We Waste Time on Email
28 February 2011 | Private Equity Hub
by Joanna Glasner

"The inbox, used appropriately, can be one of the most successful productivity tools of all time.  For most of us, however, it ends up being a huge time sink.

That was one of the findings of Victoria Bellotti of PARC, who combines backgrounds in psychology and human-computer interaction to study how people are actually using (and misusing) the digital technologies that are supposed to make their lives easier. Bellotti, who spoke at last week’s Inbox Love conference in Silicon Valley, says that in the case of email, certain practices are particularly unproductive...

Overall, Bellotti says, startups and enterprises could do a lot to improve the email experience. Particularly useful would be tools to make it easier to determine which bits of information are important, and once having determined that, to be able to find them.

'I would love to see email turned into a knowledge worker’s dashboard,” she says. “It should be integrated with SMS and voicemail and social networking… and your system should have the capability to recommend these things that might be a priority.'"

 

Inbox love and hate mail
FTTechHub
26 February 2011 | Financial Times
by Chris Nuttall

"I’m not sure whether it should be love or hate...

All of the speakers were against the notion that email was a dying technology, next to more social and instant interactions such as Facebook and instant messaging...

Victoria Bellotti of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) said its researchers had studied the inbox as a habitat and found that it was doing a lot of things it wasn’t designed for – to-do lists, project tracking, document archiving and batch processing.

It was a Grand Central Station for knowledge work, where people were still doing most of their communication. Overload was a real problem, where people could be handling 30 different threads of conversations at the same time as well as their regular work."

 

Finding inbox meaning in a time of overload
Email is a habitat: the place where many knowledge workers spend most of their working day online. [invited/ guest contributed]
4 February 2011 | Inbox Love blog
by Victoria Bellotti

"Email is, for many knowledge workers, a habitat: the place where they spend most of their working day online. Indeed it can be thought of as knowledge work’s Grand Central Station as far as information distribution and workflow are concerned...When taking prototypes to the real world as products, the main challenge for new technology adoption in this area is that people tend to stick with the email client they have, despite its shortcomings. This could be due to factors such as employer policy, dependency on legacy content, or fear of upheaval in mission-critical aspects of work. And makers of the dominant mail clients do not seem to be highly motivated to overhaul the email user’s experience."

 

Online games reveal players' personalities – to who?
19 January 2011 | New Scientist
by Jim Giles

"Websites that track your buying and browsing habits can seem to read your mind - but you ain't seen nothing yet. Future sites may attempt to gauge your personality, and tailor what they show you accordingly.

That's the possibility raised by a new study of computer gamers, which has revealed that a player's behaviour within the game mimics their real-world character traits. Using similar information from the internet as a whole, it might one day be possible to profile a web surfer's personality.

Most sites currently present the same content and layout to everyone who visits...

Nick Yee and colleagues at PARC in California reckoned this personalisation could be made far more sophisticated if websites could assess visitors' personalities. He also had a hunch that the real-world traits that define an individual's personality could be gleaned from their online behaviour...

Yee's hunch proved correct."

 

The WoW Factor: How much do you know about the players behind the avatars?
22 December 2010 | WoW Insider
by Lisa Poisso

"How much do you think you know about your fellow WoW gamers? WoW Insider brings you this exclusive quiz designed by MMORPG researcher Nick Yee, based on actual U.S. data from the PARC PlayOn 2.0 study linking player survey data with their armory data."

 

Magitti: The Future of Location Apps From PARC?
8 November 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Richard MacManus

"Begole showed me an app that brings the concept of 'ubicomp' to a commercial reality. Magitti is a next generation location-based mobile app, currently in commercial trials in Japan. It goes further than popular apps like Foursquare and Gowalla. As well as using GPS data to figure out where you are, Magitti computes a user's preferences and context. It then makes recommendations of near-by places to go, based on that personal data. Location has been one of the biggest trends in 2010 and Magitti is one probable future of such apps, so let's check it out...

Magitti is currently in trials in Japan, one of the most advanced Mobile Web nations on earth."

 

Innovation PARCs here
Palo Alto Research Center that paved way for PCs in the '70s is far from fading, but now looking to solar and other new technologies
22 September 2010 | San Jose Mercury News
by Troy Wolverton

"While acclaimed for inventing the laser printer, the desktop interface for PCs and the idea of 'ubiquitous computing' that paved the way for the PalmPilot and iPad, PARC isn't mired in the past. If anything, PARC, which was spun off from Xerox in 2002, has a broader mission today...

'PARC has not just survived but it's absolutely thriving,' said Paul Saffo, a longtime valley watcher and the managing director of foresight at San Francisco-based Discern Analytics. 'It's a vibrant organization that is still helping reinvent the future. ...An astounding number of the foundational ideas for Silicon Valley came out of PARC,' Saffo said."

 

PopSci's Future Of: PARC
10 December 2009 | Popular Science/ Discovery.com
by Baratunde Thurston

Hosted by author/pundit/comedian and The Onion editor Baratunde Thurston, each PopSci: Future Of episode examines, through in-depth interviews with maverick scientists and hands-on experience with breakthrough research and extraordinary prototypes, how important aspects of human life will fundamentally change or evolve within our lifetimes.

While the PARC technology featured in this episode highlights adding efficiency to dressing rooms and decision-making when shopping, the mirror prototype demonstrates the potential for computer vision to bridge the physical and digital worlds to enable user control, infer preferences, make recommendations, and more.

 

What Your Phone Might Do for You Two Years From Now
4 November 2009 | The New York Times
by Bob Tedeschi

But James Begole, a principal scientist at PARC, the research lab based in Palo Alto...said screens, at least, would be fundamentally different.

...

PARC’s software, called Magitti, is in its testing phase in Japan, and could reach the American market in the spring of next year.

 

The Origin of the Computer Mouse
Now an endangered species, it was crucial to the development of personal computing and the Internet
18 August 2009 | Scientific American
by Larry Greenemeier

"Mouse technology found its way from Engelbart's lab to Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto Research Center...in 1971, when Bill English, a computer engineer who had worked for Engelbart at SRI, joined PARC. Xerox was the first to sell a computer system that came with a mouse—the 8010 Star Information System in 1981, but the term 'mouse' wouldn't become a part of the modern lexicon until Apple made it standard equipment with its original Macintosh....The emergence of the Microsoft Windows operating system and Web browsers hastened the mouse's pervasiveness throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of the 21st century."

 

Tech meccas: The 12 holy sites of IT
The fathers of invention
3 August 2009 | InfoWorld
by Dan Tynan

Tech mecca No. 6: Xerox PARC -- Palo Alto, Calif.

"Besides being the geek equivalent of Jerusalem, Mecca, and the mythical city of El Dorado rolled into one, PARC is also an independent research business, having spun off from Xerox in 2002. It now delves into such arcana as context-aware computing, human-machine interfaces, and biomedical systems, to name but a few. In other words, don't even think about trying to get in without a VIP pass, though a regular Thursday lecture series is open to the public."

 

Mr. Taggy & the History of Search at PARC
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Steven Leckart

There are plenty of nifty search engines that don't begin with "Goo" and end with "gle," as Wired points out. But one site they forgot to include is MrTaggy, which was created by PARC's Augmented Social Cognition Area...The goal: be part-search, part-recommendation engine by tapping the wisdom of the crowd.

 

PARC's Responsive Mirror = Every Girl's Shopping Fantasy Come True
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Lisa Katayama

By streaming video taken by the camera through their spatially oriented machine learning software, PARC researchers have figured out how to give people like me a real-time interactive comparison shopping experience... The technology hasn't hit retailers yet, but PARC researchers are hoping to implement it in dressing rooms soon.

 

Computers for the people
22 April 2008 | CNET News.com One More Thing blog
by Tom Krazit

"Designing a user interface for a mobile computer isn't hard; all you have to do is think like a person. Sounds simple, but it's taken a long time for that realization to set in, said Stu Card, manager of the user interface group at PARC. 'Mobile computing is much more intimately tied to a user's life. You need to design simultaneously...'"

 

The Year in Hardware
The Past 12 Months Have Featured Touch Screens, Context-Aware Gadgets, Autonomous Vehicles and Brain-Computer Interfaces
26 December 2007 | ABC News
by Kate Greene

"...a number of products and research projects tried to make phones and other gadgets even smarter. ...Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center have developed an application for a phone that suggests things that the user might want to do, places to eat and shop, and things to see, based on location, time of day, past preferences, and even text-message conversations."

 

New PARC software turns a cell phone into a personal assistant
Can recommend local restaurants, concerts or where to buy the latest Xbox
21 November 2007 | Computerworld
by Sharon Gaudin

"'We're trying to make [the cell phone] more like a human,' said Victoria Bellotti, a principal scientist at PARC. 'Instead of just directing stuff at you, it tries to make inferences about what kind of activity you're engaged in...' PARC is researching and developing the software on behalf of a Japanese company, Dai Nippon Printing Co."

 

Trust Me
9 October 2007 | Wikipedia Weekly interview, Episode 32

"Witty Lama interviews the people behind Wikidashboard - the tool designed to increase social transperancy and trust on Wikipedia - from the Augmented Social Cognition research group at PARC."

 

PARC opens incubator, may change plodding reputation?
21 September 2007 | VentureBeat
by Chris Morrison

"...Over the decades, PARC has incubated about a dozen companies. A new program called Startup@PARC, however, could incubate the same number of companies in just a year or two. PARC will work work with several companies at once, and has issued a formal application process here to kick it off..."

 

Navigating your brain made easier
7 August 2007 | The News & Observer
by Paul Gilster

"Highly anticipated startup Powerset is close to releasing a natural language search engine that has everyone in the trade talking. The reason for the buzz is the pedigree involved. Powerset licensed a natural language technology from Xerox's fabled Palo Alto Research Center, tapping 30 years of expertise."