Conference : First International Joint Conference on Ambient Intelligence ( )

3rd International Workshop on Semantic Ambient Media Experience (NAMU Series) (SAME 2010)
( )

Venue : Malaga, Spain

Dates : 10-12 Nov, 2010

AmbiKraf was invited to present a workshop paper at the 3rd International Workshop on Semantic Ambient Media Experience (NAMU Series) (SAME 2010) at the First International Joint Conferenceon Ambient Intelligence (AmI) held in Malaga, Spain. This was a result of a follow up from the Nokia UbiMedia MindTrek Competition held in Finland last month (October) where AmbiKraf received an honorary mention. One of the Competition Chairs I met at the MindTrek Conference, Artur Lugmyer, extended an invitation to this AmI conference where he is one of the main organizers of the SAME2010 workshop. The SAME2010 workshop

The workshop was held over a course of 8 hours on the 10th of November 2010. It was attended by approximately 15 participants ranging from Finland, Slovenia, Germany, Sweden, etc. The workshop featured 8 papers where AmbiKraf was the only invited paper.

The introduction exercise at the beginning of the workshop took an interesting form where Artur directed us to write our name, affiliation, research interests/background, and our favourite food!!! Following this, he collected the papers and redistributed it randomly so we could introduce a complete stranger as own! This helped bring up a sense of bonding among the participants and triggered a lot of interesting conversations! And interestingly enough most of the participants listed their favourite food as Sushi/Sashimi J

The workshop was conducted in a more interactive fashion than usual. Each presenter was allocated 10 minutes to present their work. At the end the audience could interact with the presented and comment and rate on the work under the following four tracks.

  • Interaction and experience aspect
  • Concepts/Models aspect
  • Content and media aspect
  • Business aspect

At the end of the presentations the workshop was divided into 3 groups and each group was given the chance to select three works that was presented and then come up with ideas, short comings, advantages, etc as on a common platform for the selected projects. In addition, based on projects that we selected, we could come up with applications or concepts that would represent “ambient media” in 2030.

Workshop Presentations

The workshop included the following papers.

  • - Use of Human Speech for Inclusive Games Design - Moyen Mustaquim (Uppsala University, Sweden)
  • - Language Evolution On The Go – Gideon Zenz, Nina Tahmasebi, Thomas Risse (L3S Research Center, Hannover, Germany)
  • - Understanding Challenges in Designing Interactions for the Age of Ambient Media - Radu-Daniel Vatavu (University Stefan cel Mare of Suceava, Romania)
  • - Assisted Living Solutions for the Elderly through Interactive TV – Emilija Stojmenova (Iskratel d.o.o., Kranj, Slovenia), Matjaž Debevc (University of Maribor, Slovenia), Luka Zebec (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Bojan Imperl (Iskratel d.o.o., Kranj, Slovenia)
  • - P2P – TV: Evaluating Content Delivery and User Experience – Virpi Oksman (VTT, Finland), Timo Kinnunen (VTT, Finland), Peng Chengyuan (VTT, Finland), Tuomo Kivinen (VTT, Finland), Antti Tammela (VTT, Finland)
  • - [invited paper] AmbiKraf: An ambient textile display - Roshan Lalintha Peiris (Keio-NUS CUTE Center, NGS, Singapore), Mili John Tharakan (Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Singapore), Owen Noel Newton Fernando (Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Singapore), Hideaki Nii (Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Singapore) Adrian David Cheok (Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Singapore)
  • - Innovations in Media – How Ambient Media will Innovate the Media Landscape – Artur Lugmayr (EMMi Lab., Tampere Univ. of Technology (TUT), Finland), n/n
  • - Generalized approach for prolonging autonomous living of elderly with semantic ambient media (Bogdan Pogorelc, Spica & Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia), Matjaž Gams (Spica & Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)

Most of the works presented featured the analysis of business aspects, user evaluations, etc of ambient media. In addition, most of the work focused on the aspects of Ambient Assisted Living for the elderly. For example some works were on identifying the elderly falling down, use interactive TV for reminders for medicine, etc. Amongst these works, my presentation took a different spin where I presented AmbiKraf as a new form of Ambient Display Technology itself. However, it was well received with many of the participants identifying its business potential. Some of the comments on the presentation included..

  • Security and content : who decides what content to be displayed once this technology is wearable? How can I control what is being displayed on my t-shirt
  • If the textile becomes interactive (via touch) it would be quite unique OR weird if people were touching me on my t-shirt to interact with it
  • Good for women (as business point of view)
  • Cool Technology J
  • As at every conference I have presented this at, there were questions on how the body heat will affect the colour change. I explained as to how our controller will be able to compensate for the changes in the ambient colour changes.
  • Good for self expression – mediation for human to human communication. There were comments about how it could be used as a medium for self expression such as turn ‘red’ when angry (this was the exact motivation which led to the beginning of this project)
  • Display various images
  • Explained how it was too ambient and people didn’t know it was a display

Out of the other works that was presented at the workshop, my favourite paper was Understanding Challenges in Designing Interactions for the Age of Ambient Media by Radu-Daniel Vatavu. As the topic mentions, Daniel presented challenges that should be considered when designing interactions. However, as this was a more of a position paper, it did not present a model or an ‘answer’ as to how interaction design for ambient media should be addressed but it presented 3 important questions that should be considered in the process.

  • How do u know if a ambient display is interactive? (So many displays, how to know which is Interactive and which is not)
  • How do you know how to interact with it?
  • How comfortable will the user be using the interaction in public? (would you perform motion gestures in public, according to previous study willingness to perform depends on location and audience)

The first question that Daniel presented was interesting as this was the exact question that we faced when AmbiKraf was presented at the Ars Electronica. This presentation helped me understand some of the basic questions I have about AmbiKraf (especially the Byobu project) and consider important aspects when presenting AmbiKraf as a ambient technology. At the group event, I was paired with Mattias Svahn and Virpi Oksman. Here as our future proposals we presented concepts that encapsulate each of our projects! Other works

The conference consisted of two keynotes! The first was delivered at the beginning of the conference by Prof Alois Fercha on Implicit Interaction. Some pointers from his talk:

In his address he mentioned that each person is continually interacting with hundreds of nearby interconnected computers without explicitly attending to them, or i.e. implicit interactions.

He also presented some projects that addresses this notion of Implicit Interaction such as “Spectacles” a pair of spectacles that embeds few sensors for “keyboard-less” browsing.

The evolution of “pervasive computing” was catergorized as follows

  • Generation 1 – miniaturization of devices and components that caused growth and evolution of systems such as mobile phones
  • Generation 2 – Focus more on contextual systems that characterize situations and entitie
  • Generation 3 – More complex socio technical systems that build upon connectedness and awareness but give meaning to situations and actions

Amongst many other interesting points he mentioned in his talk, one key statement I remember is “in the current world even if you switch off your phone or laptop it does not mean you are disconnect. Somewhere someone will know that you switched off your device”! Amongst the other work that presented were few works that focused on the sensing in Ambient Environments. One talk was focused on using Ultrasonic sensors for localizations by a research from Japan. This system reminded me of the Cricket system by MIT. It is definitely worth to look at the paper as it seemed to be quite a simple approach to resolve the localizations issues.

Next, a student from Osaka University presented a paper on “Subjective Difficulty Estimation for Interactive Learning by Sensing Vibration Sound on Desk Panel”. This was quite interesting in a way that they present that the difficulty of a problem being addressed by a student at an exam cannot be characterized only by the marks they achieve. They argued that it is also related to his other behaviour characteristics especially writing. So they used a simple system where they attached a microphone to a desk of a student to test how much time the student spends thinking and writing (by noise and sound levels). By this they characterized the subjective difficulty estimation. However, as much as the project was interesting, I was quite sceptic about the claim of the characterization of the behaviour as they did not cite any studies on the matter. Also this project reminded me of Chris Harrison’s (CMU) project named “Scratch input interface” which uses scratching by the finger on a desk as input for a system. Hope one day these acoustic signatures too can be used for authentication so that visually copying a signature will not be enough for forging J

Also a student of Prof Alois presented some work on gaze studies. He presented gaze being used as an input for an interactive digital signboard. Here based on what the user is gazing at, various related contents would be displayed on the sign board. In addition, he mentioned that it is multi user friendly in such a way that if many users are gazing at the same sign board the related contents that most persons would be gazing would be displayed on the sign board!

On the last day, Prof Cheok presented his keynote. While focusing on some of the works done in our lab, he focused on how we can think radically in the Ambient Intelligence field. This talk took a different form compared to most of the talks at the conference but was well received. There were few questions about spin off companies from the lab and how we receive funding for such “wacky” projects etc.