Sunday, June 15, 2003

Ubicomp and everyday life

Fiber Computing
The overall objective of the proposed work is to embed computing power into ordinary objects used in everyday life. Some of our everyday objects are made out of fibers (clothes, curtains, table cloth etc.), some partly contain fibers (arm chairs, wallpaper etc.) or some can be made to incorporate fibers (doors, walls, sports equipment etc.) ... The purpose of the FiCom project is to embed computational functionality, i.e. transistor logic, to these fibers. This will bring an ordinary object that incorporates this fiber into an artifact that can sense, compute, remember and/or interact with its surroundings.

Global Smart Spaces
The goal of the GLOSS project is to make computing systems cognitively and physically disappear ... Moreover, the GLOSS project will go beyond current research foci of local interaction and local mobility, to investigate smart spaces in a global context. GLOSS will enhance natural interaction with physical architectural environments by providing location-sensitive user interactions through a cohesive movement/activity map supported by networks of information ... GLOSS aims to provide information technology that respects social norms - allowing established ways of interaction to be generated or saved as required.

Situating Hybrid Assemblies in Public Environments
SHAPE is devoted to understanding, developing and evaluating room-sized assemblies of hybrid, mixed reality artefacts in public places. Hybrid artefacts exhibit physical and digital features and can exist in both physical and digital worlds. They combine interactive visual and sonic material with physically present manipulable devices ... The consortium combines social and computer science expertise and is concerned to motivate innovation through studies of people's activity in public places and techniques of participatory design.

Ambient Agoras: Dynamic Information Controls in a Hybrid World
The project "Ambient Agoras" aims at providing situated services, place-relevant information, and feeling of the place (genius loci) to the users, so that they feel at home ... It integrates information into architecture through smart artefacts, and will especially focus on providing the environment with memory, which will be accessible to users ... Finally, "Ambient Agoras" will augment reality by providing better "affordances " to existing places. It aims at turning every place into a social marketplace (= agora) of ideas and information where one can interact with people.

See also Filling the "gaps" in disappearing computer initiative "i.e. we do not have many projects touching these topics, and we should have some more ..."

And follow up on Disappearing Acts: Theories and Conceptual Frameworks for Ambient Technologies:

1. ambient, pervasive, ubiquitous, contextual, spatial and ‘disappearing’ computing: are these synonyms, do they reflect distinctive research agendas, or just institutional rivalries?
2. does ‘exploding’ computing capacity onto many communicating devices (a) permit, or (b) require radically different design philosophies? If so, will these remain a specialism or take over the mainstream? In other words, is it a new paradigm, or just a new opportunity brought on by miniaturization and communication?
3. to what extent should ambient etc. computing systems have designed properties or emergent properties?
4. does attention to the ‘sociality’ of communicating devices also require greater attention to the ‘sociality’ of their users?
5. to what extent will communicating ambient devices also be intelligent agents? If they are, do they risk repeating the problems of earlier AI agendas?
6. should ubiquitous etc. computing still be seen as in opposition to virtual reality, or will these fields converge?
7. does ambient etc. computing represent the next round in a cultural myth of mastery and control of/with technologies?
8. do the design and testing of ambient etc. systems call for radical methodologies?

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