Rather than adapt human behavior to suit a life surrounded by computerized systems, is it possible to adapt the systems to suit humans? Mark Weiser called for this fundamental change to the design and engineering of computer systems nearly twenty years ago. We believe it is possible and offer a series of related theoretical developments and practical experiments designed in an attempt to build a system that can meet his challenge without resorting to black box design principles or Wizard of Oz protocols. This culminated in a trial involving 32 participants, each of whom used two different multimodal interactive techniques, based on our novel interaction paradigm, to intuitively control nine distributed devices in a smart home setting with a mean success rate of 60.4% on the first attempt, which increased to 89.35% by the third attempt. The theoretical work and practical developments have led to our proposal of seven contributions to the state of the art.