I think I've seen just about everything now. Just when I thought Canonical couldn't pull another boner move like the Amazon 'Lens' privacy issue, they continue head long into Smart Scopes, a full specification fleshed out for Ubuntu 13.04 and beyond. I think you'll find the picture below showing Smart Scopes in action descriptive:
No, It's deja-vu all over again I am afraid. Someone pushes a feature request from the top (cough Mark Shuttleworth), and it gets written regardless of whether it even makes sense to do so.
That appears to be how Ubuntu development is governed, with some favoritism mixed in. Unlikely there is any consensus vote taken for feature acceptance -- just put in -- no questions asked. I've written before that Ubuntu community are chumps on the outside looking in. Had they really any control over their 'own' community Distro, would Smart Scopes ever have seen the light of day? I think not.
It's just more affirmation that the Ubuntu community should seriously give consideration to forking Ubuntu to regain control and rebuild what was once a great product.
Mir, a new 'one of a kind' Display server technology, so far will only be adopted and used in Ubuntu and not by any other Distribution. Plans announced in June 2013 to add Mir to 13.10 (without an X fallback option) were postponed on October 1, 2013 and so won't be making their debut until version 14.04 at the earliest.
As mentioned, other Derivative Ubuntu development teams have steered away from supporting Mir in favor of staying for the 13.10 cycle with X.org server technology but a view to adopting Wayland in the long term.
Ubuntu continues on a course which is questionable and with each release cycle a new round of feature enhancements put its future into question.