Virtual Office of the Future

Virtual Office of the Future

December 2016: With the opening of the Living Lab smart office space in cooperation with the University of Kaiserslautern, the applications of the Competence Center Virtual Office of the Future (CC VOF) found an ideal environment for further evaluation and development.

Therefore, the activities of the VOF will be continued in the Living Lab smart office space and the CC VOF dissolves as organisational unit into the Living Lab.

If you are interested in the topics of the CC VOF, you’re invited to visit the Living Lab smart office space in Kaiserslautern:



DFKI’s competence center Virtual Office of the Future focuses on assisting of knowledge workers in office environments and while being mobile: These are innovative solutions to support both reactive and proactive exchange of context-specific knowledge, individual and organizational process know-how, and goal-oriented information extraction.

The competence center conducts research and development partnerships with companies and invents innovative solutions and products in the field of intelligent office applications.

The background of these activities is the realization that modern knowledge-intensive work processes are not possible without effective office tasks. Corporate revenue and modern productivity rest on the structured management of information and knowledge sources in dynamic and goal-oriented process structures. The demands of a flexible, time and spatially distributed, potentially global work organization on the one hand, and the technical possibilities of modern information and communication techniques on the other will lead to completely new forms of cooperative, distributed and ad-hoc organized problem solving.

Semantic Technologies play a major role in the research as can be seen in the Semantic Desktop approach. A recent prototype can be found at

Some recent topics are

  • Leveraging personal and organisational information sources to realise knowledge-based services
  • Integrating personal knowledge spaces to agile group knowledge spaces (From Semantic Desktop to Group Information Management, CSCW)
  • Personalized and context-specific delivery of information tailored to current problems
  • Intuitive composition and usage of personal and organisational knowledge spaces on different devices
  • Assisting the process of writing knowledge-intensive texts by using internal (personal knowledge in the Semantic Desktop) and external knowledge (e.g., Wikipedia or organisational databases)
  • Embedding of office hardware (e.g. multifunctional devices, paper, and digital pens) into the new knowledge-based environment and creating added-value services
  • Attention-based perception using eye tracking for user assistance
  • Information assessment on short-term relevance vs. long-term value for realising Managed Forgetting, Contextual Remembering, and Synergetic Preservation.

Head: Dr. Heiko Maus