“All the familiar rituals of daily life—things as fundamental as the way we wake up in the morning, get to work, shop for our groceries—are remade as an intricate dance of information about ourselves, the state of the external world, and the options available to us at any given moment.”—Adam Greenfield 
Descriptions of technosocial futures often lack the engaging nuances and compelling richness of experiential narratives, so Greenfield describes the human experience of everyware as “one coherent paradigm of interaction,” in which “all the information we look to our phones or Web browsers to provide becomes accessible from just about anywhere, at any time, and is delivered in a manner appropriate to our location and context.” 
For design and user experience, the implications of this vision are profound. Everyware is a truly ubiquitous experience—perhaps the first. Everyware will span and merge formerly discrete social, cultural, chronological, economic, geographic, and technological contexts in a way that challenges all design disciplines, perspectives, methods, and techniques. The ubiquity of everyware requires everyone in the growing ecology of co-creation—whether professional designers, consumers, or those who span multiple roles—to internalize this new reality and reframe their viewpoints on the nature and boundaries of designed experiences.
More importantly, everyware will become the reference by which we define our understanding of and expectations for our lived experiences. Even when beyond the immediate reach of everyware on an island in the Net—because of the absence of connectivity, information supply, or electric power—we will imagine and describe our daily lives using its terminology. We will speak the language of everyware and see the world through its looking glass, regardless of whether we consciously realize we’re doing so.
The First of Many Fictions
Everyware builds on and extends ideas about ubiquitous computing Mark Weiser first set out as a researcher at Xerox PARC in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Weiser’s central goal in this work was to escape the single-person-sitting-at-a-desktop model of human-computer interaction and move toward what he called “the third wave in computing,” creating “calm technology.”
“First were mainframes, each shared by lots of people. Now we are in the personal computing era, person and machine staring uneasily at each other across the desktop. Next comes ubiquitous computing, or the age of calm technology, when technology recedes into the background of our lives.”—Mark Weiser 
Weiser fully articulated his vision for ubiquitous computing in a 1991 essay titled “The Computer for the 21st Century,” which defined the first principles and the desired experience of ubiquitous computing. His essay is foundational reading for anyone interested in understanding the origins and evolution of the ubiquitous experience.
In “The Computer for the 21st Century,” Weiser embarked on a difficult path to an undiscovered country—one where the notion of the computer is transformed: “…we are trying to conceive a new way of thinking about computers in the world, one that takes into account the natural human environment and allows the computers themselves to vanish into the background.” As Weiser imagined them, “ubiquitous computers … reside in the human world and pose no barrier to personal interactions.” They “…will be invisible in fact as well as in metaphor.” Weiser believed the era of ubiquitous computing would “gradually emerge as the dominant mode of computer access over the next twenty years.”
In addition to defining ubiquitous computing, Weiser’s essay summarized the efforts of Xerox PARC to create and use prototypes of ubiquitous devices in support of their daily work and collaboration. It also presented the technological case for ubiquitous computing’s near-term arrival and broad adoption. To make this vision persuasive, Weiser turned to a familiar design tool, sketching a simple, but comprehensive experience scenario, describing the texture of an average workday for a commuter balancing career and family in a world of ubiquitous computing. Weiser concluded his essay with another experience-based prediction: “Machines that fit the human environment, instead of forcing humans to enter theirs, will make using a computer as refreshing as taking a walk in the woods.” Weiser’s experience scenario is of greatest note for designers—as an example of both the now hoary genre of ubiquitous techno-utopian bliss and how everyware’s first incarnation centered on the human experience it enabled and defined.
Though Weiser recognized the impact ubiquitous computing would have on everyday touchstones like family, the morning commute, and working with colleagues, surprisingly, he did not think ubiquitous computing would bring about fundamental changes in society. “Like the personal computer, ubiquitous computing will enable nothing fundamentally new, but by making everything faster and easier to do, with less strain and mental gymnastics, it will transform what is apparently possible.”
Weiser updated his vision for the 21st-century computer in a 1996 essay he wrote with John Seely Brown, titled “The Coming Age of Calm Technology.” In contrast to “The Computer for the 21st Century,” his later essay directly articulated the enormous social impact of everyware, comparing its significance to the changes effected by writing and electricity.
The central tenet of Weiser and Brown’s updated vision was this: “Ubiquitous computing will require a new approach to fitting technology to our lives, an approach we call calm technology.” Calm technology gives the user experience a central role in ubiquitous computing—as opposed to the functional uses of early Xerox PARC prototype devices or civic implications or profit potential. Weiser and Brown provided a simple mandate for the state of mind calm technology must inspire: “If computers are everywhere, they better stay out of the way, and that means designing them so that the people being shared by the computers remain serene and in control.” 
Weiser and Brown’s vision is notable for its prescience, but they built on a tradition of predictions about the impacts of computing technology that pioneers like Norbert Wiener and John Von Neumann made when working in the era of the birth of cybernetics after World War II.
As a consequence of Wiener’s experiences as a leading scientist for the U.S. government during and after the war, he came to believe that information technology would refashion society, acting as “the second industrial revolution.”  Wiener wrote about the far-reaching transformations cybernetics and information science would bring to all areas of society, from industry to philosophy. Wiener wrote at the very beginning of the computer era, casting his insights and ideas as predictions rather than established historical fact.
Forty years later, in 1985, James H. Moor published a now classic paper titled “What Is Computer Ethics” that succinctly outlined this second industrial revolution. Moor saw the computer revolution occurring in two stages. The first stage was that of “technological introduction,” in which innovators developed and refined computer technology. According to Moor, this first stage occurred in the United States and elsewhere in the developed world during the first forty years after the Second World War.
At the time Moor wrote his paper in 1985, he believed the industrialized world had only recently entered the second stage of the computer revolution, marked by “technological permeation.” In this stage, technology becomes completely integrated into everyday human activities and social institutions, changing the very meaning of fundamental concepts like money, education, work, and fair elections.  Moor’s “technological permeation” describes the current state of the “second industrial revolution” Wiener predicted, and his second stage marks the onset of the age of everyware.