The School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton is another core mSpace sponsor and contributor. ECS is a wolrd-leading world-leading centre of excellence for research, teaching, enterprise and innovation in Computer Science, Electronics and Electrical Engineering.
AKT is a six year research program to investigate issues around acquiring, modelling, reusing, retrieving, publishing and maintaining knowledge. Among its partner universities, it has developed a suit of technologies to support each of these theme.
The mSpace approach itself was first modelled in AKT's CS AKTive Space Browser for exploring information about Computer Science research in the UK. This ap won the Semantic Web Challenge, 2003. AKT has developed a set of related demonstrators since then such as AKTive Futures which leverages features of mSpace interaction while incorporating a variety of bleeding edge semantic inference technologies to represent and support domain exploration for building new knowledge, in this case for industrial decision support.
The Equator IRC is a six year project to explore the technical, social and design issues in the development of new inter-relationships between the physical and digital. The project is co-lead by 8 institutions, including Southampton. It has been another early supporter of the mSpace project. Equator provisioned the first mSpace computing hardware from which components of the mSpace Classical Music demo still run. Equator also provided travel support to have the first paper on a formal model of mSpace presented at the 2004 annual ACM conference in Hypertext and Hypermeida. The paper won the ACM Special Research Distinction Awarded for Excellent Presentation of Theoretical Concepts