Themes and Issues
The themes and issues addressed by the Smart Future Initiative are resulting from the Mission statement. In the following, we provide selected prominent examples.
Human in the Loop
The design of Smart Environments is often determined by a technology-driven approach resulting in an overwhelming automation. This is to be contrasted by an approach of "keeping the human in the loop" which results from a perspective of providing People-Oriented, Empowering Smartness where the empowering function is in the foreground and which can be summarized as "smart spaces make people smarter". More details can be found here.
Ambient Computing and Communication Environments
This theme is addressed by the Working Group "Ambient Computing and Communication Environments" (chaired by Norbert Streitz) which is part of the EU-funded Coordinated Action "InterLink" (International Cooperation Activities in Future and Emerging ICTs). In this context, Norbert Streitz coordinates a team of international experts preparing a "white paper" that identifies current deficits and new challenges that provide the basis for a research agenda of future work in this area. More details can be found here.
An important theme to address is the issue of privacy in sensor-based environments. It is relevant already now but will increasingly become of prime importance in the future when Smart Environments are becoming a regular part of our life. We summarize this set of issues and potential solutions under the term Smart Privacy. More details can be found here
The goal of the Smart Future Initiative corresponds very much with the goal and rationale of the EU-funded proactive initiative "The Disappearing Computer (DC)", a cluster of 17 projects that were conducted by interdisciplinary groups of researchers. The Steering Group of the DC-Network was chaired by Norbert Streitz. More details can be found here.
Roomware® was defined and realized by Streitz and his Ambiente-Team at IPSI as the integration of information and communication technology in room elements, such as doors, walls, and furniture. They are part of their approach that the ‘world around us’ is the interface to information and for the cooperation of people. More details can be found here.
Smart Cities as Hybrid CitiesThe notions of Smart Cities or Ubiquitous Cities (u-cities) are defining a new area for the application of concepts and developments in Ambient Intelligence and Ubiquitous Computing. In a way, it is a natural consequence of extending the scope of work on smart rooms and smart and cooperative buildings to the next level addressing, e.g., public spaces but, in the end, covering comprehensively all activities related to living and working in an urban environment.
In the context of the work on the "white paper" formulating future research agendas, urban life management was introduced as an umbrella scenario and the concept of a Hybrid City proposed. More details can be found here.