Posts Tagged ‘ambient intelligence’

OpenLight Presents “Light Through Culture” in Beijing

October 5th, 2011 Comments off

Original article from, by Rombout Frieling, creative director OPENLIGHT and project initiator, Light Through Culture.


The Final Day to Finalize

The Final Day to Finalize

During the past two weeks, 14 young designers from the Netherlands and China worked together intensively in a masterclass led by the OPENLIGHT creative light laboratory.

For two days, the team lived with Beijing’s cleaners, bus drivers, parents and school kids.

They turned their insights from Beijing Culture into three lighting concepts, which we show here in three cylinders. The purpose is a dialogue about how smart lighting can contribute to a healthy city.

The presented installations are realised by technologies such as intelligent systems and LEDs, which reveal new design opportunities.

At OPENLIGHT, the creative lab of the Intelligent Lighting Institute (ILI, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), we explore for instance how light can help us focus, reflect, regulate our biorhythms, improve safety or escape from hectic everyday life.

OPENLIGHT initiated ‘Light through Culture’ to respond to cultural challenges in various cities, such as here in Beijing with Tsinghua University. We present the results for you in three cylinders:

Read more…

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Doormat is not just a doormat

January 10th, 2011 Comments off



Don Willems designed a doormat. The doormat is not just for wiping your feet, but also for lowering the electricity consumption. How does it do it? The doormat is at the same time a LED display that allows people to easily turn off devices when leaving the house as well as improving their energy consumption behavior by leaning from tailored coaching when coming in. Read the full report for more information [PDF, 3M]

From his report, “The Doormate is for wiping your feet and supporting lowering of electricity consumption. It does the latter by communicating information through an integrated LED display. It allows people to easily turn of devices when leaving the house as well as improving their energy consumption behavior by learning from tailored coaching when coming in. One could say the Doormate is addressing both the ‘consumer’ – making sure no money is wasted when not at home and the ‘citizen’ – contributing by environmental friendly behaviour – in people. Read more…

Semantic Connections Demonstrator

January 29th, 2010 Comments off

Semantic Connections

For the EU project SOFIA (Smart Objects For Intelligent Applications), Bram van der Vlist and Gerrit Niezen created a demonstrator for one of the use cases: semantic connections. “The demonstrator consists of a set of devices; surround sound-set, mobile mp3 players, an ambient lighting system and interaction device(s). The interaction device is a tile-like interactive object that allows for both exploration of the Smart Space in terms of connections and manipulation of these connections and information/data streams. Coloured LED lighting and light dynamics visualize the connections and connection possibilities between the various devices. By means of putting devices close to one of the four sides of the tile, a user can check if there is a connection and if not if a connection is possible. By simply picking up the tile, and shaking it a user can make or break the connection between the devices present at the interaction tile.”

IPML: Structuring distributed multimedia presentations in Ambient Intelligent Environments

March 14th, 2009 Comments off

Jun Hu, Loe Feijs

This paper addresses issues of distributing multimedia presentations in an ambient intelligent environment, examines the existing technologies and proposes IPML, a markup language that extends SMIL for distributed settings. It uses a metaphor of play, with which the timing and mapping issues in distributed presentations are covered in a natural way. A generic architecture for playback systems is also presented, which covers the timing and mapping issues of presenting an IPML script in heterogeneous ambient intelligent environments. Keywords: Distributed Multimedia, Software Architecture, Ambient Intelligence, Play

J. Hu and L. Feijs, “IPML: Structuring Distributed Multimedia Presentations in Ambient Intelligent Environments,” International Journal of Cognitive Informatics \& Natural Intelligence (IJCiNi), vol. 3, pp. 37-60, 2009.

Design of a Distributed Architecture for Enriching Media Experience in Home Theaters

September 6th, 2006 Comments off

Jun Hu

The concept of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is introduced by Philips Research as a new paradigm in how people interact with technology. It envisions digital environments to be sensitive, adaptive, and responsive to the presence of people. This PhD project believes that AmI environments will change the way people use multimedia services. The environments, which include many devices, will play interactive multimedia to engage people in a more immersive experience than just watching television shows or listening to radio programs. People will interact not only with the environment itself, but also with the interactive multimedia through the environment.

For many years, the research and development of multimedia technologies have increasingly focused on models for distributed applications, but the focus was mainly on the distribution of the media sources. Within the context of AmI, not only are the media sources distributed, the presentation of and the interaction with the media will also be distributed across interface devices. This PhD project focuses on the design of the structure of multimedia content and the distributed interfaces, believing that the user experience of multimedia in a distributed environment can be enriched by structuring both the media content at the production side and the playback system architecture at the user side in a proper way. The structure should enable both the media presentation and the user interaction to be distributed and synchronized over the networked devices in the environment. The presentation and interaction should be adaptive to the profiles and preferences of the users, and the dynamic configurations of the environment.

The design process went through three design iterations, following a spiral model. The first iteration was needed to get some first-hand experience and the preliminary requirements. It was concluded with the structure of StoryML and a demonstrator TOONS, which put the requirements for the second iteration on a stable foundation. More user requirements and technical challenges emerged in the second iteration during the development of the demonstrator DeepSea. DeepSea was used for the user evaluation of the concept of interactive multimedia in distributed environments. The design and development were brought forward based on the technical requirements and the experience gained from the second iteration. The design was completed with a full implementation of the proposed architecture, based on open standards and technologies. Three more demonstrators (TOONS in IPML, TheInterview, Mov’in) were built to validate the design. TheInterview was used to test the effect of the user’s cultural background on their perception of presence in interacting with these multimedia presentations in a distributed setting. During the project, the proposed architecture was used in implementing applications for various projects, ranging from a big EU project together with professional developers, to a small educational project by a team of four second year university students. Each resulted in a working demonstrator or prototype.

During the design process, several formal methods were used, including Object-Z, Broy’s component based framework, and the Petri net based OCPN and ASE. The formal approaches were helpful: They are abstract enough to make mechanisms explicit in a clear way and at the same time they are concrete enough to see the structure of the implementation. However it was not possible to formalize every aspect of the system. The system is far too complex for that. Several formalisms and several types of “syntactic sugar” were used to keep things manageable. Yet the most important design concepts were covered by formalizing them in a pragmatic way.

As a direct result of this design, a generic architecture has been implemented on top of existing network technologies and platform architectures, to enable playing IPML scripts in a networked environment with user preference and dynamic configurations taken into account. Aside from the architecture, this project also contributed to the body of scientific and engineering results. Examples are the method of rapid robotic prototyping, the extension of Petri nets as action synchronization engine, and new architectural patterns such as Timed Action, Synchronizable Object, Real-time Channel and Streaming Channel.

The results of user evaluations offer preliminary insight into how distribution, level of control and number of users influence user’s fun and presence experience in interacting with an AmI movie. Notably the level of control, and the number of the users, have a positive influence on the user experience. The influence of distribution on the user experiences is also observed and there can be an effect depending on the type of the distributed content and how the distribution is arranged. An effect of cultural background upon the perception of presence in a distributed setting is also observed. As far as known, it is the first time that the long-standing conjecture on this effect is confirmed experimentally.

J. Hu, “Design of a Distributed Architecture for Enriching Media Experience in Home Theaters,” PhD Thesis, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, 2006.