The concept of Ambient Intelligence was firstly introduced by the Information Society Technologies Advisory Groups of the European Commission in 2001 1. It refers to a digitalized environment that is sensitive and responsive and that proactively delivers support and services to the humans and machines living or working in it. Ambient intelligence relies on sensors embedded in the environment that can recognize people, objects and the situational context. From these observations, the ambient intelligent environment will produce a personalized response to the needs of the human that can even anticipate his/her desires. Current Ambient Intelligence applications already cover different environments: smart homes, health monitoring and assistance, hospitals, transportations, emergency services, education, work spaces, art, etc. 2.
On the other hand, Tactile Internet (or Tactile IoT) is defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as an internet with ultra-low latency, extremely availability, reliability and security 3. It is designed for human-to-machine interactions and must provide humans a sense of touch, in particular the perception and manipulation of objects.
These two technologies, which are highly interrelated, are being enhanced in the IoT-NGIN project and validated in the IoT-NGIN living labs.
The Smart City Living Lab will make use of the Ambient Intelligence to create a context awareness of the traffic situation of an area of the city of Helsinki. It will identify the traffic status in different cross-junctions of the city and the available parking spaces in different locations. With this information, it will deliver recommendations to the road user about less-trafficked roads and available parking options.
In the Smart Agriculture Living Lab, a smart farmer will be able to interact with different field sensors, drones and Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) using the Tactile Internet. He/she will manipulate these devices through an augmented reality interface and an access control mechanism. Additionally, the farmer will get back some information such as sensor readings, plant disease prediction or AGvs historical information.
Different use cases in Industry 4.0 Living Lab will also benefit from the Ambient Intelligence and the Tactile IoT. In the Bosch factory, an Ambient Intelligent environment will be created in one of the working areas. This intelligent environment will predict and avoid collisions between AGVs and the workers of the factory. Additionally, in the ABB plant, the assembly workers will use the Tactile IoT to interact with an AR interface that will support them with visual assembly instructions.
The Smart Energy Living Lab will validate a use case in which an electric vehicle (EV) user will be able to interact with an EV charging station through an AR reality interface and an access control mechanism. The user will gain access to the charging station and will be able to operate it and get back information of powering status.
Stay tuned and follow up the news and outcomes of the Living Labs during this 2022 (and 2023. These seven innovative use cases testing the Ambient Intelligence and Tactile IoT technologies are already programmed and some others will join the project in the future via the Open Calls.
Ducatel, K., Union européenne. Technologies de la société de l’information, Union européenne. Institut d’études de prospectives technologiques, & Union européenne. Société de l’information conviviale, Scenarios for ambient intelligence in 2010., Office for official publications of the European Communities Luxembourg, 2001.
2 D. J. Cook, J. C. Augusto and V. R. Jakkula, “Ambient intelligence: Technologies, applications, and opportunities,” Pervasive and Mobile Computing, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 277-298, 2009.
3 G. Fettweis, H. Boche, T. Wiegand, E. Zielinski, H. Schotten, P. Merz, S. Hirche, A. Festag, W. Häffner and M. Meyer, “The tactile internet-itu-t technology watch report,” Int. Telecom. Union (ITU), Geneva, 2014.