peripherals in the
room around you
work in harmony with
the game to deliver
a new sensory
and other effects.
convergence of developments in telecommunications
(e.g., sensor networks), industrial electronics (e.g., the
miniaturization process of computational devices), pervasive
computing, intelligent user interfaces, and artificial
intelligence (e.g., knowledge representation and context,
and situation awareness). AmI is not only the superimposition of these disciplines, but it is a major effort to integrate
and make them really practical for the everyday user.
AmI is a cognitive version of the three pre-existing
paradigms: ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing,
and domotics (the application of computer and/or robotic
technology to household appliances). Ubiquitous computing,
pervasive computing, and domotics are mainly focused
on the need to provide access to computational and
information devices, but lack a well-defined focus on the
kind of intelligence that this infrastructure should exhibit.
Key requirements of an AmI system are:
2) Where refers to people tracking within the environment.
3) When refers to when an event occurs.
4) What refers to spatial and temporal features within the
5) Why refers to the cognitive abilities of a system which
are aimed at understanding why a given event occurs.
● Flexibility: The system must behave differently according
to the particular context in which it operates.
A classic example of AmI is the Smart Home — a home
environment that is endowed with a network to provide its
inhabitants with many services. Smart Homes have been
the main focus of development during the early years
of AmI research. A good introduction to state-of-the-art
systems in AmI can be found in How Smart Are Our
Environments?2. Smart Home projects include Amigo3,
● Adaptability: The system must adapt services to
specific user needs.
● Proactivity: The system must be able to
understand the current situation, and to account
for possible future events on the basis of its
reasoning capabilities and experience.
● Sensible Interfaces: These interfaces include
physical interfaces, such as computer and touch
screens, as well as generic means to achieve a
correct and non-intrusive interaction with users.
These peculiar characteristics make AmI different
from ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing,
and domotics alone, in that it allows a sensible
user interaction mediated by context intelligence
and knowledge representation.
Sensible interaction recognizes user needs, activities,
and preferences by taking the “five Ws” into account:
1) Who refers to all the aspects related to user
FIGURE 1. A typical Smart Home scenario.
SERVO 12.2008 45