From HAL 9000 in Arthur C Clarke's Space Odyssey
science fiction saga to Eddie and Deep Thought from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams, or even Dr. Theopolis from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
, voice interaction with computers was very much the stuff of science fiction when I was growing up. These days, of course, I can use my voice to tell an iPod touch to change music or get convincingly beaten in a TV game show by IBM's Watson but when shopping for a new computer, available options still depend on physical touch for input and visuals for output. The folks behind the ubiquitous computer (or Ubi for short) are hoping to change that by launching an affordable, unobtrusive and useful little box that's always ready and waiting to tell you what you need to know.