The population of elderly people and disabled has exponentially increased thanks to advances of medicine which allow people to live longer and healthier than the previous generations. In this context, Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications which promotes independent living is more necessary than ever. Also, the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates as the dominant technological paradigm for the open deployment of networked smart objects in the environment, including physical things, smart devices and entire applications. In our work, a primary objective was the delivery of an AAL framework on the top of smart objects which uses the full range of IoT technologies. Very early, it became evident that the demand of personalized applications in the context of AAL is very intense. This is mainly due to the highly individualized and fluid nature of the required applications. Along these lines, we focus in providing an end-user programming environment to empower carers, possibly the elderly and family themselves, with the necessary tools to easily and quickly craft, test, modify and deploy smart object applications they would like to have in their everyday life. In this paper, we support personalized automations using smart objects for outdoor daily activities, outside the elderly's protected home environment. We initially outline possible useful mobility scenarios. Then, we elaborate on the visual tools we are developing, followed by a brief case study using them.
Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) promotes independent living, while the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates as the dominant technology for the deployment of pervasive smart objects. In this work, we focus on the delivery of an AAL framework utilizing IoT technologies, while addressing the demand for very customized automations due to the diverse and fluid (can change over time) user requirements. The latter turns the idea of a general-purpose application suite to fit all users mostly unrealistic and suboptimal. Driven by the popularity of visual programming tools, especially for children, we focused in directly enabling end-users, including carers, family or friends, even the elderly/disabled themselves, to easily craft and modify custom automations. In this paper we firstly discuss scenarios of highly personalized AAL automations through smart objects, and then elaborate on the capabilities of the visual tools we are currently developing on a basis of a brief case study.
The case of mixed-reality projector-camera systems is considered and, in particular, those which employ hand-held boards as interactive displays. This work focuses upon the accurate, robust, and timely detection and pose estimation of such boards, to achieve high-quality augmentation and interaction. The proposed approach operates a camera in the near infrared spectrum to filter out the optical projection from the sensory input. However, the monochromaticity of input restricts the use of color for the detection of boards. In this context, two methods are proposed. The first regards the pose estimation of boards which, being computationally demanding and frequently used by the system, is highly parallelized. The second uses this pose estimation method to detect and track boards, being efficient in the use of computational resources so that accurate results are provided in real-time. Accurate pose estimation facilitates touch detection upon designated areas on the boards and high-quality projection of visual content upon boards. An implementation of the proposed approach is extensively and quantitatively evaluated, as to its accuracy and efficiency. This evaluation, along with usability and pilot application investigations, indicate the suitability of the proposed approach for use in interactive, mixed-reality applications.
This paper presents the conversion of an electric cargo vehicle into a portable platform for interacting with information applications. The cargo vehicle hosts 2 seats for the driver and 1 extra passenger, and 3 interactive systems installed at the cargo’s right, left and back exterior side. The vehicle is intended to follow predefined routes from central ports to the nearest city center, making long term stops. During stops, embedded interactive systems entertain and provide visitors and other passersby with information of local interest. This papers focuses on the vehicle’s conversion process, from the installation of the necessary hardware components needed by the interactive systems to the development of a portable control panel designed to address the driver’s needs.
Augmented reality fitting rooms enrich customers’ experience and expedite the shopping procedure. This paper presents an Augmented Reality (AR) mirror which provides motion-based interaction to the users and suggests various outfits. The proposed system can be easily installed inside or at the window of a retail shop, enabling the users to stand in front of it and see themselves wearing clothes that the system suggests while they are able to naturally interact with the system remotely, using gestures, in order to like or dislike the recommended outfit. The users can also choose to post photos wearing the proposed clothes on their social media accounts, as well as to buy the clothes either directly from the store or on-line.
Two dimensional paintings were exhibited in museums and art galleries in the same manner since at least three centuries. However, the emergence of novel interactive technologies provides the opportunity to change this status quo. By 2006, according to the Institute for Museum and Library Services, 43 % of museum visits in the U.S. were remote. According to the Institute for the Future, “Emerging technologies are transforming everything that constitutes our notion of “reality” – our ability to sense our surroundings, our capacity to reason, our perception of the world”. In the present age, that technology is becoming mixed to the fabric of reality to offer novel experiences in Cultural Heritage Institutions. This work presents the design and implementation of a technological framework based on ambient intelligence to enhance visitor experiences within Heritage Institutions by augmenting two dimensional paintings. Among the major contributions of this chapter is the support of personalized multi user access to exhibits, facilitating also adaptation mechanisms for altering the interaction style and content based on the requirements of each Heritage Institution’s visitor. A standards compliant knowledge representation and the appropriate authoring tools guarantee the effective integration of this approach in any relevant context. The developed applications have been deployed within a simulation space of the FORTH-ICS AmI facility and evaluated by users in the context of a pilot study.
Robots are an increasingly discussed solution for assistance of seniors. Importance of testing natural interaction therefore becomes crucial. This paper presents first results of a study with an autonomous mobile social service robot prototype that was deployed in 18 private households of senior adults aged 75 years and older for a total of 371 days. Findings show that utility met the users' expectations. However, the robot was rather seen as a toy instead of being supportive for independent living. Furthermore, despite of an emergency function of the robot, perceived safety did not increase. Reasons for this might be the good health conditions of our users, a lack of technological robustness and slow performance of the prototype. However, users believed that a market ready version of the robot would be vital for supporting people who are more fragile and more socially isolated.
This work regards fingertip contact detection and localization upon planar surfaces, for the purpose of providing interactivity in augmented, interactive displays that are implemented upon these surfaces. The proposed approach differs from the widely employed approach where user hands are observed from above, in that user hands are imaged laterally. An algorithmic approach for the treatment of the corresponding visual input is proposed. The proposed approach is extensively evaluated and compared to the top view approach. Advantages of the proposed approach include increased sensitivity, localization accuracy, scalability, as well as, practicality and cost efficiency of installation.