Ambient intelligence (AmI) is a relatively new and distinct interpretation of the mobile computing paradigm. However, its recognition that embedded intelligence, either in actuality or perception, is an essential prerequisite if mobile computing is to realize its potential distinguishes it from other mobile usage paradigms. Though stressing the need for intelligence, and implicitly the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, AmI does not formally ratify any particular approach and is thus technique agnostic. In this article, we examine the constituent technologies of AmI and provide a brief overview of some exemplary AmI projects. In particular, the question of intelligence is considered and some strategies for incorporating intelligence into AmI applications and services are proposed. It is the authors hope that a mature understanding of the issues involved will aid software professionals in the design and implementation of AmI applications.
Constituent Technologies For Ambient Intelligence
Ambient intelligence (AmI) (Aarts & Marzano, 2003; Vasilakos & Pedrycz, 2006) has evolved conceptually and practically, resulting in a common agreement on its core constituent technologies. Three technologies have been identified as being essential to AmI: ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous communications and intelligent user interfaces.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Intelligent User Interface: Intelligent User Interfaces harness various techniques from Artificial Intelligence to adapt and configure the interface to an application such that the end-user’s experience is more satisfactory.
Human Computer Interaction (HCI): The study of how people and computers interact, combining aspects of computer science, psychology, sociology, aesthetics and ergonomics, as well as many others.
Context-Awareness: The property of a system that allows it to adjust its behaviour based on environmental cues, such as location or user presence or absence.
Ubiquitous Computing: Also known as pervasive computing, this is the study of how computing can be integrated into the environment in a way that makes it easily accessible to users.
Ambient Intelligence: Intelligence embedded in everyday objects and the surrounding environment such that the use of these smart objects is intuitive to the inhabitants of the environment.
Ambient Assisted Living: This concerns the use of ambient intelligent techniques to enable elderly people live independently for as long as possible.
Intelligent Agents: In this article, the word agent refers to software entities which are capable of displaying autonomous, cooperative and flexible behaviour directed toward achieving a set of internal goals or objectives.