Image: Close-up photo of a chameleon's skin made up of many colors


Your settings. Instantly. Everywhere.

What if every computer you encounter could instantly change to present information and operate in the way that best fits your needs and preferences?  

What if people who have difficulty using computers could easily discover the many setting options and special features available to make the computer easier to use?  

These are the questions that Morphic was created to answer.

Our Story So Far

The first phase of Morphic grew out of auto-personalization work done at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, and virtual accessibility work at the Trace Research & Development Center. These ideas were expanded and became the focus for an international collaboration. An open source development effort began in 2010, with grants from Europe, Canada, and the United States, as well as foundation and industry support. The result was a proof of concept demonstration of cloud-based auto-personalization in 2013. 

The second phase of Morphic development (feature discoverability) grew out of work to make Morphic scalable and easier to use. Pilot testing, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education, showed that auto-personalization was great once a person's preferred settings were known and stored. However, many people are not aware of what -- if anything -- is available to make the computer easier to use. Tools were needed so that Morphic could make it easy to explore the settings and features available and then save personal preferences to the cloud.

For current pilot testing in libraries and a community college, a third phase of development has been added. Work is in process to enable Morphic to provide limited and simpler mini-environments for people who have difficulty with complexity -- or who want simpler environments for particular tasks.

Funding for the second and third phases of Morphic development has been provided by two large grants from the U.S. government. An international team is carrying out development and pilot testing of Morphic, led by the Trace R&D Center, University of Maryland.

Morphic Development Partners include:

  • Trace Research & Development Center (Univ. of Maryland)
  • Inclusive Design Research Centre (OCAD University, Toronto)
  • Raising the Floor-US
  • Raising the Floor-Int'l
  • Center for Civic Design
  • Misericordia University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Microsoft 
  • IBM
  • Morphic Pilot Testing Sites - see Pilots

The Next Step

The goal of the Trace Center and its partners is to move Morphic from R&D and testing all the way through to widespread availability.

Examples of prior Trace Center successes include development and transfer of the original access features built into Windows, Mac, and Linux computer operating systems, leadership in development of web content accessibility guidelines now adopted internationally, and development of EZ Access techniques now deployed in many touchscreen information, ticket, and self-service kiosks found in post offices, train stations, airports, and museums.

By collaborating with technology companies, consumers, and service providers, and focusing on identifying and removing barriers to digital inclusion, we hope to make Morphic more widely available in the U.S. and then  internationally.

You can follow our progress on this website, or contact us at

Funding for Morphic Development Has Been Provided By

  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration, grant H421A150006.
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, grants H133E080022 and H133E130028
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, grant 90RE5027.
  • The European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013), grant agreement 289016 (Cloud4all) and grant agreement 610510 (Prosperity4All).
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • The Canadian Foundation for Innovation
  • The Adobe Foundation
  • The Consumer Electronics Association Foundation