Marketplace of the Future: Demonstrations of pervasive Computing

Thursday, 16. October 2003 | 10:45 Uhr




One of the research aims of CSEM in Alpnach is the development of a personal, autonomous robot assistant which, for example, can fetch the coffee or operate the photocopier. An important part of achieving this objective is the ability to recognize three-dimensionality and know how to cope with it. An example of this is Pelé: The mobile Pentium platform with the adaptive image sensor ADVISE. The robot can recognize and grasp a moving object – in this example a rolling football. The mobile robot was developed in collaboration with the higher technical college (HTA) in Horw.

Connectedness and communication on and with the body are research themes at the IFE Institute of Electronics of the Swiss Federal College of Technology (ETH) Zürich. The projects are guided by the vision of a mobile computer which is inconspicuously built into the clothing so that it accompanies us wherever we go, enables us to communicate easily with it, is permanently linked to the internet, and keeps us up to date with all the information we need. For example the WearARM: A full computer, wearable on the upper part of the body, fitted with a StrongArm processor, a head-mounted display and hand-held keyboard. Or the QBIC Belt Integrated Computer: Hidden in a belt and fitted with various interfaces, this computer organizes communication on the body and with the environment.

With the aid of miniaturized radio systems and embedded interaction software, scientists from the Department of Computer Science, Johannes Kepler University, Linz/Austria, have now created a “digital aura”. This enables an automatic comparison of auras to take place when there is a chance meeting of humans and objects. If the auras are found to match – i.e. if “the chemistry is right” – then there is nothing to stand in the way of intensifying the interaction.

End devices and services are getting closer to the mobile user. Entertainment, information and communication will substantially increase in value if they can be adapted as well as possible to information concerning the presence of a person such as location, activity, physical condition, intentions, etc. The exhibited objects from Swisscom Innovations show how this is becoming increasingly possible today with mobile end devices and how this will become more so in the future with “wearables” – as we describe end devices worn on the body or in clothing.

The Smart Medicine Cabinet from the Institute for Pervasive Computing of the ETH Zürich can automatically identify packs of medicines fitted with RFID chips and is thus connected with the internet in order to obtain and display additional information on the medicine. The user, for example, is shown the electronic pack insert on the medicines taken and the instructions of his doctor, and he may also (possibly by SMS or voice message) be reminded of medicine he has forgotten to take. Warnings about medicines which a patient cannot tolerate or which have been recalled may also be displayed.

Download: Our everyday life caught in a network of smart objects – Summary of the TA-SWISS study

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