Time-Machine Computing

Imagine that your computer has a dial for time-traveling. With such a computer, when you create a document you can simply leave it on the desktop. You can also remove documents at any time. If you later need to refer the previously created information, you can time-travel to the day when that document was on the desktop. You might also see other related information that were simultaneously placed on the computer screen, and these items would help you to recall the activity context at that time. We named such time-centric approach Time-Machine Computing , or TMC.


TimeScape” is an experimental desktop environment based on the TMC concept. With this environment, a user only have to deal with a single desktop surface without being bothered with folder hierarchies. The user can always remove unnecessary files from the desktop, and a variety of interaction/visualization techniques supports a user to navigate over a time-dimension.


  • Jun Rekimoto, “Time-Machine Computing: A Time-centric Approach for the Information Environment”, ACM UIST’99, 1999. PDF
  • Jun Rekimoto, “TimeScape: A Time Machine for the Desktop Environment”, CHI’99 late-breaking results, 1999. PDF
  • Jun Rekimoto, “TimeScape: Towards Time-Centric User Interfaces”, Workshop on Interactive Systems and Software (WISS’99), PDF (In Japanese)
  • SONY VAIO XR notebook PC. It provides a “TimeView” user-interface which is based on this research.