This paper explores the general concept of the classroom of the future from a technological perspective, and proposes a set of indicative key facilities that such an environment should incorporate. Over the years, there has been an abundance of related research work aiming to build a “smarter” classroom, initially incorporating distance learning, educational games, and intelligent tutoring systems. More recently, many approaches have revolved around the advancements in the domains of Ambient Intelligence and Internet of Things, resulting in the enhancement of the traditional classroom equipment and furniture with processing power and interaction capabilities (e.g. intelligent desk, smart whiteboard) and the integration of emerging solutions in teaching and learning methods (e.g. AR, VR). The proposed intelligent classroom though is a holistic approach towards a student-centric educational ecosystem, which will incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to support (among others) alternative pedagogies, learning through immersive hands-on experiences and collaboration via flexible class layouts. To that end, this paper reports the various ambient facilities of the classroom and the accompanying software, while a prototype of this environment is currently under development in the AmI Facility of FORTH-ICS.
This work concerns the automatic registration of spectral images of paintings upon planar, or approximately planar, surfaces. An approach that capitalizes upon this planarity is proposed, which estimates homography transforms that register the spectral images into an aligned spectral cube. Homography estimation methods are comparatively evaluated for this purpose. A non-linear, robust estimation method that is based on keypoint features is adopted, as the most accurate. A marker-based, quantitative evaluation method is proposed for the measurement of multispectral image registration accuracy and, in turn, utilized for the comparison of the proposed registration method to the state of the art. For the same purpose, characteristic for this application domain, benchmark datasets that are annotated with correctly corresponding points have been compiled and are publicly availed.
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 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.
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.
This paper describes the implementation of an Internet of Things (IoT) and Open Data infrastructure by the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology—Hellas (FORTH-ICS) for the city of Heraklion, focusing on the application of mature research and development outcomes in a Smart City context. These outcomes mainly fall under the domains of Telecommunication and Networks, Information Systems, Signal Processing and Human Computer Interaction. The infrastructure is currently being released and becoming available to the municipality and the public through the Heraklion Smart City web portal. It is expected that in the future such infrastructure will act as one of the pillars for sustainable growth and prosperity in the city, supporting enhanced overview of the municipality over the city that will foster better planning, enhanced social services and improved decision-making, ultimately leading to improved quality of life for all citizens and visitors.
The emergence of Intelligent Classrooms, and in particular classrooms equipped with facilities for identifying the students’ attention levels, has raised the need for appropriate student-friendly tools that not only facilitate application hosting, but also acts as the means to re-engage inattentive students in the educational process. This work presents CognitOS, a web-based working environment that hosts several types of applications (i.e., exercises, multimedia viewer, digital book) that are utilized as channels to present interventions dictated by the intelligent decision-making mechanisms of the attention-aware classroom. This paper presents the functionality of CognitOS and the design process followed for its development.
The emergence of Intelligent Classrooms and in particular classrooms that are equipped with appropriate infrastructure for identifying the students’ attention levels, has raised the need for appropriate educator-friendly tools that facilitate monitoring and management of these educational environments. This paper presents two such systems: LECTORviewer and NotifEye. LECTORviewer is deployed on the educator’s personal workstation and offers an overview of the students’ attention levels. Additionally, through its intuitive user interface, educators can provide their input regarding ambiguous behaviors or scheduled interventions that aim to reengage distracted, tired or unmotivated students to the educational process. NotifEye is a smart watch application for educators that aims to communicate, in a mobile fashion, important events occurring during a lesson (e.g., 60% of students are tired). This work presents the functionality of these tools and the usability findings of a heuristic evaluation experiment conducted with UX experts for LECTORviewer.
The Internet of Things is based on ecosystems of networked devices, referred to as smart objects, effectively enabling the blending of physical things with digital artifacts in an unprecedented way. In principle, endless automations may be introduced in the context of daily life exploring the numerous opportunities offered by the deployment and utilization of such smart objects. However, in practice the demands for such automations are highly personalized and fluid effectively minimizing the chances for building commercially successful general‐purpose applications. In this context our vision is to empower end‐users with the appropriate tools enabling to easily and quickly craft, test and modify the automations they need. In this chapter we initially discuss a few possible future scenarios for automations relying on smart objects. Then, we elaborate on the visual tools we currently develop, followed by a brief case study using the tools. Finally, the potential of publishing such automations in typical digital markets is considered.