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presenting Digital Taste Interface

International Joint Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2011)

Date: 16-11-2011 to 18-11-2011

Venue: Hotel Casa400 in Amsterdam

The international joint conference on Ambient Intelligence 2011 (AmI2011) was held in Hotel Casa400 in Amsterdam from 16th Nov 2011 to 18th Nov 2011. The focus of AmI2011 was “The Road Ahead, Shaping the Next 10 years”. There were around 120 participants mainly from academia in the fields of Ambient Intelligence and HCI for the conference.

The conference began with a workshop day and doctoral colloquium, followed by two days of the main conference. I have attended the main conference with Roshan, Ken, and Jeffrey. This year conference had eight paper sessions with one poster session, two landscape sessions, and two Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Sessions. The demos and posters were presenting throughout the conference.

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Some numbers from this year AmI

After the opening speech by Dr. Emile Aarts from Philips Research, the conference starts with the keynote speech by Dr. Margie Morris, senior researcher from Intel Labs on “Left to our own devices”. He started from what ambient intelligence is and was. Then he highlighted the importance on involving users in research - “Don’t ask the customer instead observe what he is doing”. Furthermore, he proposed one of the most crucial factors in ambient intelligence is 'lighting' and showed several good lighting examples from a hospital and an airport.

Then Dr. Margie Morris specialized in Clinical Psychology and psychosocial needs associated with health. She is working on few research works such as new feedback tools for older lonely adults, Facebook applications for behavior change, and mobile applications which bring psychotherapy into everyday life. During her talk she highlighted one attractive point: Showing people what they lose is a stronger motivator than the prospective of gain. Furthermore, she mentioned 7 points from what she called psychology 2.0 which I found it as intriguing.

Few works of her,

We have attended several sessions and presented our work on few sessions. The organizers along with participants developed an interest of our work and asked many questions and approached us to discuss more. I too presented the approach and initial results on Digital Taste Interface during the three minute poster session. All the participants were presented during my talk and the poster session. After the poster presentation, many of the participants approach my poster and discussed and asked questions. In particular, two students from Technical University of Eindhoven (TUE) approached and discussed for a long time on our approach, results, and the future of this work. They have shown strong passion for smell and taste research works and integrating these senses for ambient intelligence systems at present.
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with the poster

In addition, there were several interesting works presented during the conference which I highlighted later in this report. Finally, AmI2011 conference ended with the closing keynote by Dr. Albrecht Schmidt from University of Stuttgart. He delivered his speech on “Beyond Ubicomp – Computing is Changing the Way we Live” during he emphasized future of ubiquitous computing and a look of upcoming integrations of other modalities and new user interface concepts. He highlighted that ethics and values are the central design material for this century. Furthermore, he presented three different focuses of his future vision.

1. The paradigm shift in communication (ex: private to public -> email to facebook)

2. Increase in media capture (facebook, twitter, YouTube)

3. Transformation of experienced perception (extension of peoples’ perception due to 1 and 2.)

Next section presents several interesting papers, posters, and demos presented during the conference.

Interesting paper presentations

1) Discrimination of Multiple Objects and Expanding Positioning Area for Indoor Positioning Systems Using Ultrasonic Sensors: This paper proposed a new positioning system for indoor use over a wide area using ultrasound technology. The system is used to detect even moving objects or people inside a hall. They have presented several key advantages of using ultrasound such as no multipath effect, not restricted from radio regulations, thus the system does not require synchronization between the transmitting and receiving units.

2) FORE-Watch – The Clock That Tells You When to Use: Persuading Users to Align Their Energy Consumption with Green Power Availability: (Forecast Of Renewable Energy - Watch) Authors presented a clock which can be used to determine the current energy source thus to improve the green power consumption in the household. The system presents information on current-power supply and grid capacity thus enabling users to plan their energy consumptions to be greener. Authors have identified several requirements through a user interface workshop such as placement of ambient energy display, simple presentation of required information, the information should be visible the whole day, and attractiveness.

3) On Developing a Platform for Mobile Outdoor Gaming for Children (related to Petimo and Coucou): The paper presents an early prototype of a platform for Head Up Games to improve the physical activity and encourage social interaction of children while they are playing. It has games that combine play-elements of ‘traditional games’ (e.g., tag, hide-and-seek) with technologies of pervasive games, to create new, fun, children’s games.

A good reference from the paper: Bekker, T., Hopma, E., Sturm, J.: Creating opportunities for play: the influence of multimodal feedback on open-ended play. International Journal of Arts and Technology 3(4), 325–340 (2010):

4) Fusion of Radio and Video Localization for People Tracking: This paper presents a system which combined UWB-RFID and computer vision techniques for people tracking. As the authors mentioned in the paper “The main motivation of such an integration is due to two elements: (1) the high level of precision given by the UWB-RFID system, also the possibility to save ancillary information as the highness of the TAG and tracking people with TAG reliably; (2) the possibility to exploit advanced computer vision and pattern recognition tools for tracking people and also extracting important information as biometrics (faces) and other ancillary information.”

More info: Ubisense Research Package,

Interesting workshop papers

1) The Role of Ambient Intelligence in Future Lighting Systems -

2) Aesthetic Intelligence: Designing Smart and Beautiful Architectural Spaces -

**Conference proceedings available at: