Posts Tagged ‘Universe’

Our Take on the Google’s Knowledge Graph

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Just recently wrote a comment on Google’s Knowledge Graph announcement, and decided to share it here as well as discuss this topic in relation to our Zet Universe.

My Thoughts on Google’s Knowledge Graph

Talking about this announcement, there is nothing really new, but it is an interesting way of telling the story about Google’s competition with network of data stored in Facebook.

The biggest problem is that graphs Google & Facebook have are different, lets compare them:

  • Google has a network of connections between pages, but not between real things (PageRank grew out of links between scientific articles)
  • Facebook, in contrast, has network of connections between people, and also network of connections between people and web pages they reference to
  • Now, Facebook has places and other elements like cities, products, companies, etc., and also has connections between them and people.

    Also, as places have location stored (in form of physical address of latlong), Facebook also has a geographic data useful to show related places based on location (show me restaurants near Nikolina Gora), which adds a geo dimension to data.
    Then, Facebook also has a database of check-ins (ok, granted, 4sq might have a larger one, still, Facebook has larger userbase), so it has a connection between people, places and time they visited these places.
    So, Facebook has a lot of knowledge captured in form of entities manually added and checked for content quality (and owners in several cases – like for products, companies, etc.), while Google has sophisticated entity extraction technologies to do the same job that Facebook users already made.
    At the end of the day, all connections are created by people. This is important.
    Facebook beats Google with its ability to have entities created using a combination of human and simple entity extraction while Google largely uses sophisticated entity extraction approach.
    As it was commented in the article, computers will bring only their own understanding and point of view.
    I agree with importance of automatic data extraction, believe into Open Graph initiative by Facebook, but I also believe that combination of human and AI will better serve the Knowledge graph that any AI-only initiative brought to life by Google.
    Personally, I believe that human role in data organization will be still the leading power of information organization in the XXI century, and computers will be in best cases advising us.


Zet Universe and Interest Graph

Coming back to Zet Universe, we are using an approach more similar to the one Facebook has. We provide users with tools to organize their knowledge around their activities. We look into data and provide search on it. We use semantic indexing algorithms to find similar documents by the content, but we record user interaction with content, and we record positions of elements stored on the infinite zoomable space. We provide lightweight semantic markup tools to users to help them to mark/tag information as they think about it.

This helps us to understand similarity & identify connections between entities by following our users thoughts. And this is the way we build our Interest Graph (as we call it).

We believe that computers shouldn’t make visualization of our own knowledge automatically but rather give us a chance to do it in the way we think about it.

To sum our approach, here is a short statement:

It is good idea to automate visualization for data I have no sense for, but for my data I want to see it organized in the way I think about it.

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Zet Universe is a New Non-Desktop “Metaphor” for the Post-PC World

January 7, 2012 4 comments

From late 1960s the dream about a natural interaction with computer was transformed into the meme of the “Desktop” metaphor invented in PARC, widespread across all operating systems. Its conceptual architecture became a “de-facto” standard in the IT industry. The state of HCI in this area was put almost into the stasis for almost 30 years. A recent introduction of devices with touch screens and intelligent voice assistants like iPhone, Microsoft Surface and Siri, gave a new energy to this area of HCI. Beauty and art of intuitive direct interaction with content in comparison to an abstract mouse-based paradigm captured the so-called Y and Z generations and transformed the computing into a new and bright world of natural, personalized user experiences.

Zet Universe explicitly breaks the conventions of the traditional PARC “Desktop” metaphor and introduces a set of experiences that are build on top of the new visual, direct touch and gestural interaction model, on the world of everyday things and on the knowledge of how people organize the world in their minds, leaving behind the old concepts of myriads of overlapped windows, folders and shells.

Zet Universe is inspired from the touch language of iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Surface, from the motion input sensors of Microsoft Kinect, from the beautiful concepts of Semantic Web, to the theory of spatial and temporal information organization. Zet Universe creates a transparent, ubiquitous environment within which user is left with content and actions she can apply to it, removing the complexity of the underlying technologies.

Zet Universe builds the HCI experience around personal and shared interests, designed to deliver a new, living metaphor of interaction with information in the XXI century.

Categories: Universe Tags:

Our UX Work in Progress

As we are working hard towards project’s vision, we are also hardly prototyping the new user interface of the Universe, and have some great news to share:

  1. We moved to a new zoomable multi-touch framework, the so-called “Universe UX Framework”, developed in-house. Look at how smooth it is, and how great is responsiveness of UI!
  2. You can add several items to Universe and they’ll build up a mountain of Data that you can easily transform into a wide area with content arranged as you wish
  3. You can move several items simultaneously using several fingers
  4. You can use pinch-n-zoom and rotate individual items; and it is up to your screen for how many such operations could be done at the same time – sky is the limit

Our new Zoomable Multi-Touch Framework is using render transforms to apply changes to visualization which makes overall user experience smooth and quite interactive. Our framework uses WPF4 and Windows 7 as a foundation, but this is just a prototype, for now.

We use concept of Data Mountain to add several items to the surface; Data Mountain idea was first introduced by my ex-manager @ MSR Mary Czerwinski and George Robertson more than a decade ago.

Here is a short video showcasing our new achievements in UI space:

Our UX Work in Progress

Introducing Zet Universe!


We are glad to introduce you to an updated project, called Zet Universe, with roots coming from Context-aware Computing Shell UX, and Web Universe (a concept of modern context-aware web browser).

Project Overview


Zet Universe is the ubiquitous digital work environment with a game-changing natural user interface that learns and expands on users interest graph over the time.


Zet Universe addresses the needs of generation Z mindsets to have a simple yet powerful digital work environment with natural user experience across multiple devices.
Tools to tackle information are currently split between various products and platforms, leading to overload, context loss, permanent thought and action flow disruption, productivity decrease and extremely poor experience.


Like original Context-aware Computing Shell UX, Universe is a system that is designed to enable user to:

  • Concentrate on important projects
  • Switch between projects without loosing context
  • Return to previous projects after long time
  • See whole picture of the project and easily jump to its detailsin order to:
  • Reintroduce people’s information processes around their interests

Universe is the Interest Graph

  • Universe will reintroduce people’s information processes around their interests – from inception to learning, updates and sharing.
  • Universe is interest graph that uses sophisticated machine learning algorithms to extract interests from personal information.
  • Universe stores and makes user information of any kind (files, notes, people, places, documents, etc.) available across one’s devices via cloud service.
  • Universe gives relevant recommendations within current user activity over the time.


Check them out at the product’s official page: Zet Universe

Learn more

  1. Zet Universe by Neocyte Labs
  2. Zet Universe – a new, living metaphor of interaction with information in the post-PC world.

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