February 2007, Issue 81
to our bi-weekly
of Amsterdam Journal.
"Ambient Intelligence allows Information Society services to be available
to anyone, anywhere, using a variety of devices. The vision is an Information
Society which is much more user-friendly, more efficient, empowers users
and supports human interactions. People will be surrounded by easy-to-use
interfaces embedded into all kinds of objects and by an everyday environment
that is capable of recognising and responding to individuals in a seamless,
unobtrusive and invisible way." - EU Information Society Technologies
Join our discussion about
of Ambient Intelligence on February 22
Felix Bopp, editor-in-chief
lives for the better
Intelligence by Philips Research - Technologies
This year (2003), Philips vision of
ambient intelligence reached its fourth birthday. it is the vision
of a world in which technology, in the form of small but powerful
silicon chips, will be integrated into almost everything around
us, from where it will create an environment that is sensitive to
the presence of people and responsive to their needs. an ambient
intelligence environment will be capable of greeting us when we
get home, of judging our mood and adjusting our environment to reflect
it or soothe it. such an environment is still a vision, but it is
one that has already struck a chord in the minds of researchers
around the world and become the subject of several major industry
initiatives. one such initiative that has already paid valuable
dividends is Philips homelab a test bed for ambient
intelligence that is more like a real home than a laboratory.
The vision of Ambient Intelligence first proposed by Philips Research
back in 1999 is now, in some shape or form, a significant part of
scientific research around the world. It has been an important theme
in Philips Researchs collaboration with the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), in particular in MITs Oxygen
project, which is developing technology for the computer of the
21st century. Another alliance with INRIA and Thomson Multimedia
has resulted in the initiation of a special project called Ambient
Intelligence Research and Development, which is developing software
platforms for Ambient Intelligence applications in the home.
In addition to these
initiatives, Ambient Intelligence has also won significant financial
backing from the European Union. During a series of workshops organized
by the Information Society and Technology Advisory Group (ISTAG),
which serves as an influential advisory board to the European Union,
Philips vision of Ambient Intelligence was adopted in 2001
as the leading theme for the Sixth Framework on IST Research in
Europe. This will result in a European research programme, with
a budget of 3.7 billion Euros over the coming four years and dedicated
to the topic.
Philips own commitment
to Ambient Intelligence is typified by its investment in
a home that is also a laboratory, not a laboratory that is
also a home. HomeLab has real living spaces in which the technology
is as well hidden from view as it will be when Ambient Intelligence
comes to us all, and several Philips Research establishments throughout
the world currently contribute to the programmes that run there.
Many of the identifiable
characteristics of Ambient Intelligence and the technological solutions
that have been developed in HomeLab and other parts of Philips Research
to implement them you will find discussed elsewhere in this issue
of Password. Ultimately however, Ambient Intelligence is not about
technology but about people, because it is not Ambient Intelligence
that will shape the future of ordinary people, it is ordinary people
who will shape the future of Ambient Intelligence by making
decisions on how they want their lives to be changed. Some of the
most vital research in HomeLab is therefore aimed at gaining important
psychological clues as to what those decisions might be.
Privacy and trust
In the same way that HomeLab is as close as possible to a real home,
the human guinea pigs that are selected to live in it are as close
as possible to ordinary people. They are selected from members of
the general public by an independent selection agency, the only criteria
being that they fit certain profile parameters such as age and interests.
Not surprisingly, when
these people first enter HomeLab they are highly inquisitive about
the environment. Although they are aware that it is a technologically
advanced home, technology in the form they have been used to is
nowhere to be seen. Instead of conventional TV sets, for example,
there are merely screens with none of the usual controls.
A typical first response
is to seek out the technology, up-ending chairs and other items
of furniture in the belief that they will find technology in everything.
While some of this inquisitiveness is probably due to natural curiosity,
it is also based in a deep-rooted mistrust of a technology that
they know must continuously monitor their activities in order to
do its job properly. Thoughts of George Orwells 1984
are probably not too far from their minds.
In practice, this issue
of trust (or mistrust) is one of the main areas of concern for scientists
at Philips Research and it is why HomeLab project teams typically
include one or more experimental psychologists as well as engineers
and scientists. With its firm commitment to improving the quality
of peoples lives, Philips is only too aware that no matter
how advanced its technology and how exciting the scenarios in which
it is used, people will not accept it if they do not trust it. The
results of its research so far have shown that simply giving consumers
access to and control over the data that the system collects about
them is often sufficient to allay there fears, even if they do not
choose to exercise that ability.
This question of trust
is closely linked to another social issue that is addressed in HomeLab
namely the issue of privacy. For a long time, video telephony
has been hailed as one of the next killer applications for the connected
home, but nearly always in the context of the way existing voice
calls are made the phone rings and you choose whether or
not to answer it. In an Ambient Intelligence environment, however,
one of the main applications for such links is seen as creating
a continuous feeling of togetherness so that you can share specific
experiences or everyday living with friends and relations who are
physically separated from you.
Experiments in HomeLab
have shown that full-motion video links that show every
movement and facial expression of each group member can actually
be quite disturbing, because participants have the uneasy feeling
of being watched. A better feeling of togetherness was created when
the visual information available from remote sites was limited to
a sketch-like outline of each person. This is a typical example
of how experiments within HomeLab have proven that intuitive solutions
are not always the correct ones.
Researchers in HomeLab
have also investigated ways in which this feeling of togetherness
can be engendered as a continuous background task rather than being
confined to specific activities such as watching a football match
together. When you live with people in the same house, you pick
up a lot of contextual clues about who is at home and what they
are doing for example, the shoes that you see in the hallway
when you arrive home, the sound of running water in the bathroom
or the smell of cooking from the kitchen.
Philips Research is
therefore looking at ways in which some of this contextual information
can be communicated between homes in a way that does not intrude
on individual privacy. One idea is that the level of activity on
utility feeds such as gas, water and electricity could be monitored
and transmitted to the homes of friends or family members in order
to provide such clues.
A key advantage of
HomeLab is that it is a fully working home as well as a laboratory,
which means that participants can easily live in it continuously
for several days. This has two important advantages. Firstly, it
gives them time to forget that they are being observed, not only
by the sensors that are built into the Ambient Intelligence systems
but also by Philips researchers from behind one-way mirrors.
Secondly, it allows them to become familiar with the environment
and to settle down into daily routines that closely resemble those
that apply in their own homes.
This second phase,
when participants have overcome the wow-factor and become oblivious
to the cameras, is the one that yields the results Philips Research
is looking for. During this time, the activities, postures, facial
expressions and the social and user-system interactions of participants
are all recorded so that they can be analysed to identify system
improvements and new applications.
After more than a year
in which several projects have run in HomeLab, several important
facts have already come to light. Once people realize the benefits
of new technology, they begin to trust it. Once they trust it, they
become comfortable with it. And once they become comfortable with
it, it changes their lives.
A culture of cooperation
For those fortunate enough to have been human guinea pigs in Philips
HomeLab, Ambient Intelligence will have already changed their lives,
if only for a few short hours or days. Given a glimpse of what the
future might look like, it is highly probable that in some small way
it will have altered their perspective on technology forever. However,
it is not only the lives of HomeLabs guinea pigs that Ambient
Intelligence has already affected. It has also changed the lives of
a large number of people within Philips.
For practical reasons
of human communication and cooperation, large companies such as
Philips, are actually made up of many small companies, each with
its own business plan, product development roadmap and marketing
strategy. Truly successful companies are the ones that can unite
these component companies into a common goal.
When you look at the
current structure of Philips, which has now been in place for the
best part of two decades, it is clear that its separate divisions
all operate with the common goal of improving the quality of peoples
lives. Its Consumer Electronics division is committed to improving
the quality of our leisure experiences, its Medical Systems division
to improving our state of health, and its Lighting and Domestic
Appliances & Personal Care divisions to extending the hours
available to us for enjoyment. Stemming from the very top ranks
of Philips, an initiative called TOP (Transforming into One Philips)
has already been put in place to leverage synergies between these
divisions to create new product concepts and user experiences.
In the world of Ambient
Intelligence few things operate stand-alone. Lighting, sound, vision,
domestic-appliance and personal-healthcare products all play a part
in creating a total environment that is sensitive and responsive
to the presence of people. Ambient Intelligence therefore fits extremely
well into the TOP programme, helping to spread a culture of communication
and cooperation throughout the entire company. Such cooperation
was the source of
New Everyday", a 350-page
comprehensive book on all aspects of Ambient Intelligence, published
jointly by Philips Research and Philips Design.
on Old and New ENERGY
on Old and New ENERGY
An immersed experience of a Do-Tank
& 18, 2007
Max. 20 Delegates
till end February, 2007
"old and new energy" lab will, by sharing high-qualified
knowledge and experience, innovate the way we think, act and feel
regarding energy. We have to change above all our way of experiencing
energy. We need change agents to deconstruct concepts and construct
Director, Club of Amsterdam, Innovation
With the Thought Leaders
Horbach, Centre for Energy, Petroleum
and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, UK
van Agt, International Energy
Nanotechnology & Energy, France
about the future of Ambient Intelligence
The plan is to issue an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag
to every passenger at check-in so human traffic can be monitored throughout
the airport via transponders and video cameras.
Paul Brennan, an electrical engineer at University College London,
heads the project, which features an RFID technology called Optag.
Funded by the European Union, the technology is being developed by
a consortium of European companies and the university.
Brennan said Optag has been designed to improve airport security by
virtue of its ability to track the movement of suspicious passengers,
which would enable security personnel to bar them from entering restricted
- a new way of experiencing home entertainment
is shorthand for ambient experiences. Driving the next
generation of home entertainment, its a scripting language,
a software engine and architecture.
With amBX, multiple devices in your room work in harmony to deliver
new entertainment experiences: surround lighting, sound, vibration,
air movement and other effects. It takes whats pretty much a
virtual activity - games, DVDs, music - and turns it into
a far more tangible, immersive experience.
The applications of amBX are only limited by the imagination and creativity
of content creators and, ultimately, end users. Just imagine ambient
room lighting and other changes tied-in to your favourite music, to
web content, interactive toys and games, books, or even to reflect
the time of day and your changing moods? "
of Amsterdam blog
of Amsterdam blog
Future of Consciousness
the Art of Value-Webbing
about the Future
Museum of Modern Betas
Saurier Duval, the man
behind the Museum of Modern Betas (MOMB): "Currently I update
entries if a site goes from private to public beta, out of beta, shuts
down and so on, and there is a dedicated section for sites which went
out of beta. There was a section for sites which no longer exist a
while ago, but I removed it cause it felt a bit like enjoying
someone elses failure and I didnt like that."
The MoMB is a site dedicated to listing webbased applications on
a beta trip.
clear view with transparent coatings
will soon be a thing of the past: A new lacquer will ensure better
visibility in tomorrows cars. The electrically conductive
coating uses nanotechnology to heat the windshield across its entire
surface with no wires to obstruct the view.
On cold winter mornings,
a drivers vision is often blurred by moisture precipitating
on the inside of the windshield. This happens when warm, humid air
comes into contact with a cold surface. At a particular temperature,
known as the dew point, the moisture in the air condenses and forms
a layer on the colder surface; irrespective of whether this is a
glass containing a cold drink, the bathroom mirror after a shower,
or the windshield of a cold car. Cold air is not able to contain
as much moisture as warm air and this fact is much more noticeable
in small spaces, in a car for example. Condensation can be prevented
by increasing the volume of air (opening the windows), by heating
the whole of the vehicles interior, or by heating at least
the windshield to a temperature above the dew point.
Ivica Kolaric of the
Fraunhofer Technology Development Group TEG in Stuttgart favors
the third option. His new process warms up the windscreen
though not with costly copper heating elements, but instead with
a transparent coat of carbon lacquer, or more exactly carbon nano
tubes (CNT). Kolaric and his team are currently working on a bonding
system which, in a year or two from now, could keep not only windshields
but also bathroom mirrors free from condensation.
on MEDIA and Human Experience
on MEDIA and Human Experience
An immersed experience of a Do-Tank
29 & 30, 2007
Max. 20 Delegates
Bird Registration till March 16, 2007
underlying question is:
What is the meaning of media innovation on the quality of
the human experience? If we talk about human experience we
mean the inner- and outer experience. So cognitive technology knowledge,
related fields of neuroscience and anthropology are essential in
We start from the knowledge
we have about brain and computer games, television and our psychological
state, Internet and communications, identity and images. We use
the experience we have with the relation between media and mobility,
learning, politics, power etc.
Given the ubiquity
of media, the change to read and write media, the nano-technology
revolution and the open source movement: we have to determine the
burning questions. With different brainstorm tools we will innovate
al these concepts so we can integrate these new hybrids and innovations
in strong human oriented meanings and human values.
by Humberto Schwab,
Director, Club of Amsterdam, Innovation
With the Thought Leaders
urban communicator, beatmap.com
Paul F.M.J. Verschure,
ICREA research professor, Technology Department, University Pompeu
Director, Yahoo! Research
Rudy de Waele,
Overview - Ambient Intelligence
A research by Frost & Sullivan
Focused Research Efforts
Necessary to Take Ambient Intelligence toward Commercialization
combines ubiquitous computing, interfaces and communications to
take interaction between users and devices to a much more sophisticated
level. The goal is to develop a network of intelligent devices that
is pervasive and unobtrusive to cooperatively gather, process, and
transport information across various environments. Current research
efforts in this field focus on key areas such as security, generic
platforms for executing heterogenous applications, development of
autonomous devices, agent-based computing, intelligent interfaces,
and distributed architecture among others.
Since it is still in
the conceptual stage, the success of ambient intelligent is dependent
on a combination of factors. For example, the development of unobtrusive
hardware that merges with the environment has become a vital requirement.
"With the current trend of miniaturization in the electronics
industry, and the advancements in nanoelectronics and nanodevices
unobtrusive hardware is a definite possibility," says the analyst
of this research service. "Research is also underway to create
miniature hardware that exhibits low heat dissipation, consumes
less power, operates at higher speeds, and has a longer life."
Since an ambient intelligence environment would consist of a network
of innumerable devices that are portable in nature there is also
a need for dynamic and distributed device networks. The network
should therefore support plug-and-play features to instantaneously
connect devices after the initial authentication process, and identity
establishment. Researchers must also work toward ensuring greater
dependability and security for ambient intelligence to reach commercialization.
and Standardization Key to Successful Implementation of Ambient
As researchers strive
towards taking ambient intelligence into the commercial market,
interoperability and standardization will play a critical role.
"Since ambient intelligence is built on the principle of integrating
multiple devices through various communications medium and technologies,
implementation becomes highly challenging," explains the analyst.
"The key is to enable users to interface with any device in
a simple manner through a generic platform that connects all the
devices without any technological issues." Standardization
right from the interface level to the implementation and hardware
deployment is also proving to be important for integrating a pool
of heterogeneous devices.
Another key accelerator
for ambient intelligence is the rapid advancements in wireless communication
technologies in terms of higher bandwidth and data transfer rates
and low power requirements. As ambient intelligence overcomes the
initial challenges and heads into commercialization, healthcare
and home automation are expected to be the fastest and biggest adopters
of this revolutionary technology.
future of Ambient
February 22, 2007
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Where: Info.nl, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next
for € 30, € 20 [discount] or € 10 [students]
Ben Schouten, Lector Ambient Intelligence
and Design, Fontys & CWI
Rob van Kranenburg, Innovation and Media
The promise of an Ambient Society
Boris de Ruyter, Principal Scientist,
Media Interaction Department, Philips Research Europe
Promise of AI for the home (ideal home)
Erik Geelhoed, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories,
Promise of AI in mobility and mobile gaming
Berry Eggen, Professor, Vice Dean, Department
of Industrial Design, TU Eindhoven
Promise of AI for design
Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Mediamatic
Promise of AI for media
New Everyday View on Ambient Intelligence
by Stefano Marzano; Emile Aarts
What is Ambient Intelligence? Is it embedding technology into objects?
How does it incorporate or cater for universal desires, complex social
relationships, different value systems? What about individuals' likes
and dislikes, or the sustainability of economic and natural ecosystems?
This book explores the increasingly relevant phenomenon of Ambient
Intelligence in the form of essays by experts with illustrations.
was created by a group of European funding agencies in order to
establish a comprehensive long-term planning for the development
of European astronomy. The objective of this effort is to consolidate
and reinforce the world-leading position that European astronomy
has attained at the beginning of this 21st century.
The goal is to establish a global European Science Vision for Astronomy
for the next 15-20 years, based on the existing national and regional
strategic plans, complemented from analysis of key scientific themes
by ad-hoc panels set up by the ASTRONET Board.
To establish a global European astronomical Science Vision for the
next 15-20 years will be the task of the Science Vision Working
Group (SVWG). The field has been divided in four broad science questions:
- Do we understand
the extremes of the universe?
- How do galaxies
form and evolve?
- How do stars
and planets form?
- How do we
future of Danish Astronomy"
Astronomy is unique among the natural sciences. Astronomy asks some
of the deepest questions facing the human mind: How did the Universe
begin, and how will it end? How did it evolve to contain galaxies,
stars, planets, and humans? Do we live in a special part of the
Universe? Does life exist elsewhere? Such questions have a strong
and immediate appeal to the general public; astronomy programs on
TV are very popular, and so are planetarium shows and public lectures.
Astronomy is also exciting for school children, especially in high
school (gymnasium) where about 500 students each year take special
astronomy classes, and where astronomy is a popular topic also in
physics and science classes. Thus, astronomy is an effective way
to ignite the spark of interest of young people in the sciences,
a matter of concern for governments and society throughout the world.
In searching for answers
to these fundamental questions, modern astro-physics is becoming
a strongly interdisciplinary activity, involving all branches of
physics, many ingredients from chemistry and geology, and elements
from biology. Progress is intimately linked to technical advancements
over a wide front, from development of new telescopes and detectors
for all wavebands to supercomputers simulating the complex dynamics
of astrophysical systems. In particular, new and innovative spacecraft
now allow astronomers to explore the Earth's environment and the
Solar system, and to study the Universe at wavelengths (gamma- and
X-rays, infrared and optical), which are disturbed or blocked by
the Earth's atmosphere.
The potential for scientific
breakthroughs in the coming decade is tremendous. In the Universe
we routinely observe processes under physical conditions far beyond
any which can be reproduced in laboratories on Earth; thus, breakthroughs
in astrophysics are bound to have profound implications for physics
in general. Astrophysics is thus a key player on the scientific
forefront of physics, not just an incentive for recruitment to science.
The full report describes the most prominent frontiers in more detail.
Danish astronomy has the potential to play a prominent role in these
exciting developments. Through the Danish memberships in ESO (European
Southern Observatory) and ESA (European Space Agency) we have access
to most of the leading observational facilities in the world. The
development of a coherent international archiving system will place
the best observational data worldwide at our fingertips. Denmark
is well prepared for this exciting future as an active participant
in ESO and ESA, and by developing the corresponding theoretical,
modeling and technical capabilities. Now the time is ripe to benefit
from these substantial investments.
Energy Technology Roadmap to 2020
Energy Technology Roadmap to 2020
The main characteristics of the present energy supply system in Europe
are the dominating share of fossil fuels as well as the high dependence
on energy imports. In the EU-25, fossil fuels contribute almost 80
% to the primary energy demand.
When faced with the fact that only a few EU Member States are currently
on track to meet their targets for 2010, it is of utmost importance
to ensure that these existing targets for Renewable Energies are being
achieved and that a framework for the future is set. This brochure
shows the ambitions of the European Renewable Energy industry, while
at the same time trying to make a concrete proposal for new targets.
Concerning this structure
it must be kept in mind that the resources of fossil and nuclear fuels
are limited in principle. This might not restrict the energy supply
in the short or mid term but the peak of production of, at least,
conventional oil is already expected to occur in the next two to three
decades, with some geologists seeing this peak occurring much sooner.
An even more important problem with fossil fuels arises due to the
fact that most of them need to be imported.
To make energy supply
more secure the EU Commission's Green Paper, amongst others, recommends
to tackle the EU's rising dependence on imported energy through
an "integrated approach - reducing demand, diversifying the
EU's energy mix with greater use of competitive, indigenous and
Renewable Energy, and diversifying sources and routes of supply
of imported energy".
And the Commission's
statements concerning Renewable Energies are very clear: "Action
on Renewables and Energy Efficiency, besides tackling climate change,
will contribute to security of energy supply and help limit the
EU's growing dependence on imported energy." And more importantly,
the Commission leaves no doubt that Europe must act urgently, because
it takes many years to bring innovation in the energy sector. This
is also true concerning Renewable Energies: At present the EU leads
the world in promoting Renewable forms of Energy, yet this position
must be reinforced.
Taking the results
of the recently published baseline ("business as usual")
scenario, written by Mantzos and Capros2, Renewable Energies will
not meet these expectations by 2020 without further political and
legal attention. They will not meet them even if they fulfilled
the targets fixed by the EU for 2010. It is true that from 2025
onwards Renewables will become the most important indigenous energy
source, but according to the baseline scenario by Mantzos and Capros
their contribution to the total primary energy demand will only
be roughly 8% in 2010, slightly more than 12% in 2020 and only 12%
in 2030 far away from any target set so far. And it is also much
farther away from the huge potential within Renewable Energy Sources,
as well as from the capabilities of the European Renewable Energy
industry, which is ready to commit to contributing a minimum 20%
target in 2020 and respective sectorial targets for electricity,
heating and cooling as well as biofuels for transport. To strengthen
the security of supply and to contribute to the restructuring of
the energy system by means of Renewable Energy, the European Union
must set more ambitious long term mandatory sector targets to guarantee
stability, and commitment for investment decisions.
Without a major shift
towards Renewable Energy Sources in combination with energy conservation
and efficiency we will lose the chance of securing our energy supply
system. If we take that chance now, the EU could become the most
energy import independent region in the world.
for Seasons Events:
Our Season Events for 2006/2007 are on Thursdays:
future of Ambient Intelligence
February 22, 2007,
18:30 - 21:15
the future of Global Workplace
March 29, 2007,
18:30 - 21:15
the future of Success
April 26, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15
the future of Tourism
May 31, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15
June 28, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15
2-days LABs in Girona,
Spain, moderated by Humberto
on Old and New ENERGY, April 17/18, 2007
on MEDIA and Human Experience, May 29/30, 2007
of Amsterdam Open Business Club
of Amsterdam Open Business Club
Are you interested in networking, sharing visions,
ideas about your future, the future of your industry, society, discussing
issues, which are relevant for yourself as well as for the 'global'
community? The future starts now - join our
- Creative Minds Worldwide
Club of Amsterdam Forum
comments, ideas, articles are welcome!
Please write to Felix Bopp, Editor-in-Chief:
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All rights reserved.