ICS-FORTH has recently initiated AmI-Garden, a smart farming project in the framework of its Ambient Intelligence Research Programme. A small experimental IoT greenhouse has been constructed and equipped with polycarbonate cover sheets and all the necessary infrastructure and hardware (automatic window-roof opening/closing, sliding door, fan installation for heating/cooling, vegetable breeding lamps etc.). Inside the greenhouse, a network of wireless sensors is used to measure environmental conditions and parameters, such as air/soil temperature and moisture, sunlight level, soil conductivity, quality and level of chemical ions in irrigation water, etc. The sensors communicate through IoT gateways to the greenhouse’s data centre for storage and post-processing. The system comes with pre-installed agricultural scenarios, a set of activity flows based on environmental conditions that are ideal for each plant species and are monitored in the greenhouse as explained above. The scenarios currently contain parameters to predict common diseases of the plants, as well as unexpected changes in the greenhouse’s microclimate. For example, the irrigation process is built as an agricultural scenario using data from current plant status and past data in order to establish the optimal amount of water to irrigate. The parameters of this scenario are based on specific plant breed and environmental variables. The intelligence behind the scenarios is based on critical limits and thresholds to create cultivation rules. On top of this rule based process, event-driven activation of various automations in the greenhouse is provided, for example, automatic humidity/temperature control, soil fertilisation (hydro fusion) and precise irrigation. Various sets of raw data are produced and ingested into the system, as the life cycle of each one of the plants evolves, in order to be used as the main input for the system’s actuations based on the agricultural treatment scenarios.
The proliferation of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) devices and services and their integration in smart environments creates the need for a simple yet effective way of controlling and communicating with them. Towards that direction, the application of the Trigger -- Action model has attracted a lot of research with many systems and applications having been developed following that approach. This work introduces ParlAmI, a multimodal conversational interface aiming to give its users the ability to determine the behavior of AmI environments, by creating rules using natural language as well as a GUI. The paper describes ParlAmI, its requirements and functionality, and presents the findings of a user-based evaluation which was conducted.
Public interaction displays contribute to upgrading the quality of public spaces since they attract many users and stimulate social interaction. In this paper, BubbleFeed is presented, a system for visualizing RSS news from multiple sources in public spaces. RSS news headlines are displayed inside virtual interactive bubbles ascending from the bottom of a vertical screen to the top, resembling the bubbles formed in a glass of soft drink. Besides touching the bubbles to expand and read the respective news stories, playful user interaction is supported to promote better engagement and motivate multiple users to participate. To support custom news feeds and Facebook posts in addition to RSS feeds, we have built a tool and a library that produce RSS files from the respective sources. BubbleFeed also supports displaying weather information, hosting media galleries and providing useful information such as Wi-Fi hotspot maps.
Although activities of daily living are often difficult for individuals with cognitive impairments, their autonomy and independence can be fostered through interactive technologies. The use of traditional computer interfaces has however proved to be difficult for these users, bringing to the surface the need for novel interaction methods. This paper proposes Let’s Cook, an innovative Augmented Reality game, designed to teach children with cognitive impairments how to prepare simple meals, following a playful approach. Let’s Cook supports multimodal interaction techniques utilizing tangible objects on a table-top surface, as well as multimedia output. Additionally, it can be personalized to accommodate the diverse needs of children with cognitive impairments by employing individual user profiling. The system is currently installed in the kitchen of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Disabilities in Heraklion, Crete where it was evaluated by the students.
This paper describes an educational game that aims to familiarize cognitive impaired children with household objects, the overall home environment and the daily activities that take place in it. In addition to touch-based interaction, the game supports physical manipulation through printed cards on a tabletop setup, using a webcam to detect and track the cards placed on the game board.
This paper presents a user experience study of interaction with printed maps for providing digitally augmented tourism information. The Interactive Maps system has been implemented based on an interactive printed matter framework which provides all the necessary components for developing smart applications that offer printed matter interaction, and has been deployed and evaluated in the context of the publicly available Tourism InfoPoint of the Municipality of Heraklion. The results of the evaluation highlight that interacting with digitally augmented paper is quite easy and natural, while the overall user experience is positive.
Play is a voluntary activity in which individuals involve for pleasure. It is very important for children because through playing they learn to explore, develop and master physical and social skills. Play development is part of the child’s growth and maturation process since birth. As such, it is widely used in the context of Occupational Therapy (OT). Occupational therapists use activity analysis to shape play activities for therapeutic use and promote an environment where the child can approach various activities while playing. This paper builds on knowledge stemming from the processes and theories used in OT and activity analysis to present the design, implementation and deployment of a new version of the popular farm game as deployed within an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) simulation space. Within this space, an augmented interactive table and a three-dimensional avatar are employed to extend the purpose and objectives of the game, thus also expanding its applicability to the age group of preschool children from 3 to 6 years old. More importantly, through the environment, the game monitors and follows the progress of each young player, adapts accordingly and provides important information regarding the abilities and skills of the child and their development over time. The developed game was evaluated through a small scale study with children of the aforementioned age groups, their parents, and child care professionals. The outcomes of the evaluation were positive for all target groups and provided significant evidence regarding its potential to offer novel play experience to children, but also act as a valuable tool to child care professionals.
This paper discusses technology acceptance in the context of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) environments. Determining what would make a technology acceptable by users was widely recognized as a significant field of research since the seventies. Ever since several models have been developed, while recent advances in technology have led to increased research interest in assessing technology acceptance in a variety of domains. This has resulted in a plethora of studies and an extensive number of parameters that can be considered important towards predicting the acceptance of a given technology by its target audience. An important concern is how to practically employ these models for the assessment of AmI environments, given their high complexity and the wide range of potential contexts and target users. To this end, this paper carries out a review of the most important models and their evolution over time, as well as a review of studies extending these models in a variety of domains beyond the workplace. Furthermore, a classification of the parameters studied across these models is carried out, identifying a common feature across existing technology acceptance studies, namely that all assessments are based on self-reported metrics. This highlights the need for a synergistic evaluation approach, where assessment will move beyond self-reported or observed metrics and will be supported and assisted by the AmI environment itself.
Advanced Driver Assistant systems (ADAS) are receiving increased research focus as they promote a safer and more comfortable driving experience. In this context, personalization can play a key role as the different driver/rider needs, the environmental context and driver’s/rider’s state can be taken into account towards delivering custom tailored interaction and performing intelligent decision making. This paper presents an ontology-based approach for personalizing Human Machine Interaction (HMI) elements in ADAS systems. The main features of the presented research work include: (a) semantic modelling of relevant data in the form of an ontology meta-model that includes the driver/ rider information, the vehicle and its HMI elements, as well as the external environment, (b) rule-based reasoning on top of the meta-model to derive appropriate personalization decisions, and (c) adaptation of the vehicle’s HMI elements and interaction paradigms to best fit the particular driver or rider, as well as the overall driving context.