MagiPlay: An Augmented Reality Serious Game Allowing Children to Program Intelligent Environments

Stefanidi, E., Arampatzis, D., Leonidis, A., Korozi, M., Antona, M. & Papagiannakis, G. (2020) MagiPlay: An Augmented Reality Serious Game Allowing Children to Program Intelligent Environments MagiPlay: An Augmented Reality Serious Game Allowing Children to Program Intelligent Environments. In Transactions on Computational Science. Springer, 2020.

Abstract

A basic understanding of problem-solving and computational thinking is undoubtedly a benefit for all ages. At the same time, the proliferation of Intelligent Environments has raised the need for configuring their behaviors to address their users’ needs. This configuration can take the form of programming, and coupled with advances in Augmented Reality and Conversational Agents, can enable users to take control of their intelligent surroundings in an efficient and natural manner. Focusing on children, who can greatly benefit by being immersed in programming from an early age, this paper presents an authoring framework in the form of an Augmented Reality serious game, named MagiPlay, allowing children to manipulate and program their Intelligent Environment. This is achieved through a handheld device, which children can use to capture smart objects via its camera and subsequently create rules dictating their behavior. An intuitive user interface permits players to combine LEGO-like 3D bricks as a part of the rule-based creation process, aiming to make the experience more natural. Additionally, children can communicate with the system via natural language through a Conversational Agent, in order to configure the rules by talking with a human-like agent, while the agent also serves as a guide/helper for the player, providing context-sensitive tips for every part of the rule creation process. Finally, MagiPlay enables networked collaboration, to allow parental and teacher guidance and support. The main objective of this research work is to provide young learners with a fun and engaging way to program their intelligent surroundings. This paper describes the game logic of MagiPlay, its implementation details, and discusses the results of a statistically significant evaluation conducted with end-users, i.e. a group of children of seven to twelve years old.

BricklAyeR: A Platform for Building Rules for AmI Environments in AR

Stefanidi, E., Arampatzis, D., Leonidis, A. & Papagiannakis, G. (2019) BricklAyeR: A Platform for Building Rules for AmI Environments in AR BricklAyeR: A Platform for Building Rules for AmI Environments in AR. In Computer Graphics International Conference, Calgary, AB, Canada, 17-20 June (pp. 417-423). Springer, Cham, 2019.

Abstract

With the proliferation of Intelligent Environments, the need for configuring their behaviors to address their users’ needs emerges. In combination with the current advances in Augmented and Virtual Reality and Conversational Agents, new opportunities arise for systems which allow people to program their environment. Whereas today this requires programming skills, soon, when most spaces will include smart objects, tools which allow their collaborative management by non-technical users will become a necessity. To that end, we present BricklAyeR, a novel collaborative platform for non-programmers, that allows to define the behavior of Intelligent Environments, through an intuitive, 3D building-block User Interface, following the Trigger-Action programming principle, in Augmented Reality, with the help of a Conversational Agent.

CaLmi: Stress Management in Intelligent Homes

Eirini Sykianaki, Asterios Leonidis, Margherita Antona and Constantine Stephanidis (2019) CaLmi: Stress Management in Intelligent Homes In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and the 2019 International Symposium on Wearable Computers Proceedings (UbiComp/ISWC'19). ACM, London, UK, 4 pages.

Abstract

In today's fast-paced and demanding society, more and more people are suffering from stress-related problems; however, intelligent environments can be equipped with facilities that assist in keeping it under control. This paper presents CaLmi, a system for Intelligent Homes that aims to reduce the stress of its residents by: (a) monitoring its level through a combination of biometric measurements from a wearable device along with information about user's everyday life and (b) enabling the ubiquitous presentation of relaxation programs, which deliver multi-sensory, context-aware, personalized interventions.

ParlAmI: A Multimodal Approach for Programming Intelligent Environments

Stefanidi E.; Foukarakis M.; Arampatzis D.; Korozi M.; Leonidis A.; Antona M. (2019) ParlAmI: A Multimodal Approach for Programming Intelligent Environments The PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA). A special issue of Technologies (ISSN 2227-7080). Technologies 2019

Abstract

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and services and their integration in intelligent environments creates the need for a simple yet effective way of controlling and communicating with them. Towards such a direction, this work presents ParlAmI, a conversational framework featuring a multimodal chatbot that permits users to create simple “if-then” rules to define the behavior of an intelligent environment. ParlAmI delivers a disembodied conversational agent in the form of a messaging application named MAI, and an embodied conversational agent named nAoMI employing the programmable humanoid robot NAO. This paper describes the requirements and architecture of ParlAmI, the infrastructure of the “Intelligent Home” in which ParlAmI is deployed, the characteristics and functionality of both MAI and nAoMI, and finally presents the findings of a user experience evaluation that was conducted with the participation of sixteen users.

AmITV: Enhancing the Role of TV in Ambient Intelligence Environments.

Anyfantis, Nikolaos, Evangelos Kalligiannakis, Achilleas Tsiolkas, Asterios Leonidis, Maria Korozi, Prodromos Lilitsis, Margherita Antona and Constantine Stephanidis. (2018) AmITV: Enhancing the Role of TV in Ambient Intelligence Environments. PETRA (2018).

Abstract

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and services and their integration in Ambient Intelligence (AmI) Environments revealed a new range of roles that TVs are expected to play so as to improve quality of life. This work introduces AmITV, an integrated multimodal system that permits end-users to use the TV not only as a traditional entertainment center, but also as (i) a control center for manipulating any intelligent device, (ii) an intervention host that presents appropriate content when they need help or support, (iii) an intelligent agent that communicates with the users in a natural manner and assists them throughout their daily activities, (iv) a notification medium that informs them about interesting or urgent events, and (v) a communication hub that permits them to exchange messages in real-time or asynchronously. This paper presents two motivational scenarios inspired from Home and Hotel Intelligent Environments and the infrastructure behind AmITV. Additionally, it describes how it realizes the newly emerged roles of TVs as a multimodal, intelligent and versatile interaction hub with the ambient facilities of the entire technologically-augmented environment.

Programming Intelligent Environments in Natural Language: An Extensible Interactive Approach

Stefanidi, E., Korozi, M., Leonidis, A., & Antona, M. (2018, June) (2018) Programming Intelligent Environments in Natural Language: An Extensible Interactive Approach In Proceedings of the 11th PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments Conference (pp. 50-57). ACM.

Abstract

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.

Immersing Users in Landscapes Using Large Scale Displays in Public Spaces

Drossis, G., Ntelidakis, A., Grammenos, D., Zabulis, X., & Stephanidis, C. (2015) Immersing Users in Landscapes Using Large Scale Displays in Public Spaces In N. Streitz & P. Markopoulos (Eds.), Distributed, Ambient, and Pervasive Interactions – Volume 21 of the combined Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International 2015), Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2-7 August, pp. 152-162. Berlin Heidelberg: Lecture Notes in Computer Science Series of Springer

Abstract

This paper reports on the design and implementation of BeThereNow, a public interactive information system where users are depicted immersed in various sceneries. The work is focused on the domain of info-tainment in public spaces using large displays and aims on short-time usage. The implemented system employs a mixed reality application through which users are informed about different sceneries and also create personalized digital postcards. This process is accomplished using computer vision algorithms in order to depict users and objects, while removing the background of the scene. Finally, the lessons learned from the long-term deployment of the system out-in-the-wild are presented, providing an insight on the users’ actions and reactions and feedback on future research directions.

A Museum Guide Application for Deployment on User-Owned Mobile Devices

Kapnas, G., Leonidis, A., Korozi, M., Ntoa, S., Margetis, G., & Stephanidis, C (2013) A Museum Guide Application for Deployment on User-Owned Mobile Devices In C. Stephanidis (Ed.), HCI International 2013 - Posters' Extended Abstracts, Part II - Volume 29 of the combined Proceedings of HCI International 2013 (15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 21-26 July, pp. 253-257. Berlin Heidelberg: Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS 374, ISBN: 978-3-642-39475-1).

Abstract

This poster describes the design and development of a comprehensive Museum Tour Guide mobile application that can be installed on user-owned devices. The purpose of the application is to provide museum visitors with a device that can improve their experience through optimised planning of their visit and an always-available stream of information regarding the museum and its exhibits. The main goals, the design, as well as the implementation of the application are described and the main functions of the application are presented. Finally, conclusions are drawn and further development ideas are discussed.

An Intelligent Hotel Room

Leonidis, A., Korozi, M., Margetis, G., Grammenos, D., & Stephanidis, C (2013) An Intelligent Hotel Room In J.C. Augusto, R. Wichert, R. Collier, D. Keyson, A.A. Salah, & A-H. Tan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Joint Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI-2013), Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 December (pp. 241-246). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer (LNCS 8309).

Abstract

This paper presents an innovative application of ambient technology in the domain of tourism and leisure that aims to improve the quality of services offered by the hospitality industry. The main objective is to formulate an ambient ecosystem that observes its surroundings using non-invasive technology and adapts its behavior, in real-time, to deliver “intelligent” and personalized services to the occupants of a guest room. Towards that direction, the proposed system aims to leverage the disadvantages of being away from home and offer a unique user experience.

MAGIC: Developing a Multimedia Gallery Supporting mid-Air Gesture-based Interaction and Control

Drossis, G., Grammenos, D., Birliraki, C., & Stephanidis, C (2013) MAGIC: Developing a Multimedia Gallery Supporting mid-Air Gesture-based Interaction and Control In C. Stephanidis (Ed.), HCI International 2013 - Posters' Extended Abstracts, Part I - Volume 28 of the combined Proceedings of HCI International 2013 (15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 21-26 July, pp. 303-307. Berlin Heidelberg: Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS 373, 3SBN: 978-3-642-39472-0).

Abstract

Touchless remote interaction empowers users to interact with systems at a distance without the burden of actually coming to physical contact with any tangible object. The research presented in this paper focuses on motion-based interaction in public spaces through hand detection using Microsoft’s Kinect, in order to allow natural interaction in mid-air. The paper presents the development of a system that allows browsing and exploring large collections of multimedia information (images and videos).

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