With the emergence of the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) paradigm, Intelligent Environments became a reality and have already permeated various domains of everyday life such as work, health, entertainment and education. The Intelligent Classroom of ICS-FORTH, adheres to the human-oriented nature of AmI environments -whose primary goal is to satisfy the needs of the people living in them- and features a collection of interdependent technologically-enhanced artefacts (i.e., desk, teacher’s workstation, whiteboard) that are capable of exchanging information and communicating with each other, offering a unified interaction experience. The student’s desk is a key classroom artefact, where students spend most of their class time, so this work aspiring to enhance their daily educational activities introduces an Intelligent Desk, namely modDesk, featuring a modular design. Its construction allows customizable surfaces to be added or removed on demand, so as to support the specific and different needs of each course. Considering that related studies recommend to equip students with a display along with an appropriate input method as it would be beneficial for the educational process, the surfaces of modDesk feature built-in monitors and input devices, but also enable students to connect their handheld devices (e.g., Smartphones, Tablets). Via sophisticated mechanisms the desk identifies any external devices that are docked to its surface or that are in close proximity, and determines the capabilities they offer. Based on the identified capabilities, modDesk adapts to offer better support to the student. This new generation desk aims to further increase students’ engagement and motivation, providing hands-on experience and offering personal study spaces featuring specialized equipment.
This paper explores a new approach to a teacher’s workstation in the context of the intelligent classroom of the 21st century. Nowadays, the term “intelligent” is not only associated with efforts to incorporate smart/mobile devices into the learning experience (distance learning, educational games/apps, etc.), but also to equip the physical environment of the classroom with technologically enhanced objects. These technologically augmented artefacts (Student Desk, Interactive Classroom Board and Educator’s Workstation) are embedded discreetly in the classroom’s environment. One of the main concerns in designing and developing such artefacts is to facilitate seamless interaction between educators and students, as well as to enable unobtrusive monitoring and supervision of the students by the educators. This paper presents LECTOR Podium, a system that liberates teachers from the confinement of a desk and introduces a flexible and empowering workstation in the form of a smart arm-chair. This arm-chair assumes the role of a control center, enabling the educator to monitor and operate every feature and artefact of the intelligent classroom.
The selection of clothes and accessories is part of the daily routine of individuals ; however, it is not a straightforward process for people with large inventories or limited time, while it is a challenging task for user with disabilities. In the recent past, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Ambient Intelligence (AmI) have been enhancing the domestic environment with new connected devices, appliances, and smart furniture, aspiring to assist independent living . Building upon these developments, this work proposes Vesti-AmI; an intelligent wardrobe which, in cooperation with the existing technological infrastructure of the Intelligent Home, aims to assist people in getting ready for their various activities in a context-sensitive, user-friendly and intelligent manner. With respect to the target audience, the facilities of Vesti-AmI are foreseen to accommodate a wide variety of users, including adults, children, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Indicatively, Vesti-AmI permits end-users to: (i) browse clothing items manually or digitally, (ii) preview their choices on a Smart Mirror, (iii) retrieve and store clothing items (semi-)automatically, (iv) get outfit recommendations based on contextual information, and (v) keep their garments odor-, mold-, moisture-, and moth-free with the help of appropriate sensors and actuators that monitor the interior of the wardrobe. Vesti-AmI features a full-height hanging space appropriate for storing clothing like shirts or skirts, but also longer garments such as dresses. An electrically-powered closet rod automatically raises and lowers the clothes so as to bring them closer to the user, while a sophisticated mechanism permits the system to identify each hanging item and present it to the user upon request. The next two compartments contain shelves and drawers in order to provide organized storage solutions for folded clothes and accessories, and a custom-made in-closet steamer that permits users to freshen up their clothes. Sophisticated mechanisms permit the shelves and drawers to move in a vertical fashion (like a carousel), making the stored items easily accessible. Additionally, cameras hidden on the top of each drawer and shelf permit Vesti-AmI to be aware of their contents, while light and sound cues in combination with vibration feedback are employed to assist users (especially blind or visually challenged individuals) to locate the required items inside the wardrobe. In order to maximize time efficiency, an embedded "Smart Mirror" allows users to virtually try their clothes on in an immersive way. Vesti-AmI promotes multimodal interaction that includes touch interaction, air gestures and voice interaction, which can be used complementary to support all users (including those with disabilities). For example, voice interaction can be used by blind or visually challenged users to ask for certain items, while motion-based interaction and gestures can enable users to naturally select the outfit they wish to try on the “Smart Mirror”.
This paper discusses the opportunities and challenges of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technologies in the context of child development, and presents the methodology and preliminary results of the development of an augmented interactive table which offers to preschool children various AmI educative and entertaining applications. The overall objective of this work is to assess how AmI technologies can contribute to the enhancement of children’s skills and abilities through common play activities during the various stages of their growth and development.