press release : Launch


LONDON, UK—June 22, 2004—The inventor of the mouse, hypertext, and word processing comes to London to introduce a new research project to change the way we interact with text.


Liquid Information is proud to announce that Dr. Douglas Carl Engelbart will be in London to present the Liquid Information Research Project at University College London Interaction Center (UCLiC) at 3PM on the 28th of June.

Dr. Engelbart

Dr. Engelbart is a visionary who foresaw and in large part created interactive, personal computing as we know it today. He invented email (on an internal system), hypertext/web-links (though Ted Nelson is credited with coming up with the term), word processing and more. Dr. Engelbart's basic vision is to augment mankind's intellect to further our ability to solve urgent, complex problems collectively. "We have hardly seen the beginning in the quest to augment our capabilities" says Dr. Engelbart.

The Liquid Information Research Project

The Liquid Information Research Project at UCLiC was founded in close collaboration with Dr. Engelbart, and his team in California. Says project director Frode Hegland: "It is a dream come true for us to collaborate with Dr. Engelbart on realizing his vision. The web has become an immense ocean of knowledge, but the very simplicity which catapulted it into our lives does not provide enough control for the knowledge workers of today who use the web to access crucial information."

The project is run by Mr. Frode Hegland and overseen by Prof. Paul Cairns under the supervision of UCLiC head Harold Thimbleby. With other luminaries involved, including Vint Cerf, co-author of TCP/IP and considered by many to be the father of the Internet, the project is not lacking in vision or technical expertise. This is a truly global project, based in London. Technical project management is handled by Steve Schmidt and eJobShop in Californa, lead programmer is Dr. Mikhail Seliverstov at Penza State University, Russia. Initial funding is provided by private companies in Singapore and the UK.

The Goal

The goal of the Liquid Information Research Project is to improve how we navigate through, and interact with text, particularly on the web, to enhance our digestion of important information.

The way we access information on the web is far from ideal. Currently, web-links have to be manually coded (or pre-set up for database driven sites). Adding commentary to a page, such as the authors glossary definition is not practical. Allowing users to change the layout of a page to highlight information is not possible. The only way users can interact with the page is through searches and clicking on the hand-made links. And scrolling.

The project provides users with a small, 'Hyperwords Menu' menu on web pages which appears when they point to words in the document, allowing them to look words (and phrases) up in dictionaries and glossaries, as well as re-format the document they are reading based on the word they are pointing at, such as showing only paragraphs with the word etc. With Liquid Information, navigating the web becomes a much smoother and more intuitive experience.


A demo is available on the project's website, at


Dr. Engelbart is the inventor of almost every single means through which we use computers - not only the mouse and the systems mentioned above, but also the fundamental change of using a screen and a keyboard (before Dr. Engelbart, users interacted with computers using only punched cards). He changed the way we work, think and communicate. With the team in London doing the day to day work, he is now set to change our world again.


UCLIC is a leading UK Centre of Excellence in Human-Computer Interaction, working collaboratively with industry and the research community and drawing on the best open scientific traditions in computer science and psychology.

UCLIC. Address: 4th Floor. Remax House. 31/32 Alfred Place. LONDON WC1E 7DP. Great Britain.
Nearest tube is Goodge Street. Nearest main road it Tottenham Court Road.

Further Information

Doug Engelbart - -
Liquid Information Research Project -

Press Contact
Frode Hegland
Liquid Information
(+44) 7834 730 924