Ubiquitous computing can best be described as the omnipresence of computers: they are integrated into all kinds of everyday objects, such as household appliances and clothing, instead of a single, relatively large device like they are today. These multiple computers are all connected to a network and perform tasks according to the user’s actions, with or without the user being aware of them. Mark Weiser, the "father" of ubiquitous computing, phrased it this way: "The technology required for ubiquitous computing comes in three parts: cheap, low-power computers that include equally convenient displays, a network that ties them all together, and software systems implementing ubiquitous applications". MediaTeam has contributed particularly to the latter two parts: the network and the software systems.
MediaTeam's Program Manager
In terms of software systems, MediaTeam’s contribution has included creating middleware – the software layer between the operating system and its applications – for ubiquitous devices, or, as we call it, “middleware for smart spaces”. Much of this work took place in the CAPNET (Context-Aware Pervasive NETworking) research program. The program comprised of four related projects: Spearhead, Technology Enablers, Challenger and Experiments. Two projects were always in progress simultaneously. The first project pair, CAPNET Spearhead and CAPNET Technology Enablers, was impressive on a national scale – together, the pair formed one of the four national spearhead projects in the NETS (Networks of the Future) program of the National Technology Agency, one of the largest programs in the Agency’s history. “CAPNET was a huge, multidisciplinary program that brought together skilled people from several different faculties, universities and countries. There were more than a dozen researchers from MediaTeam alone.” says Marika Leskelä, the CAPNET program manager.
Jari Forstadius was a
project manager in
the CAPNET program.
“The research goals were quite broad and wide-ranging.” adds Jari Forstadius, one of the program’s project managers. “We studied things like context-based rules – if you are in a meeting room outside working hours, you probably do not need access to the projector, but this changes if you’re in a meeting – and software that would automatically pick services relevant to your situation from a long list.” Later, the various research themes of the first project pair were focused even further in the second pair, which, though somewhat smaller, created prototypes and demos that contributed a lot to the research of ubiquitous technology. “We created actual prototype environments which allowed the system to track a person with different kinds of context information and list available services in a specific location – offer a connection to a room’s printer, for example.” Forstadius explains. The impact of the CAPNET program on MediaTeam’s future was considerable, as well: “The CAPNET program gave our postgraduates a glimpse of a ubiquitous world and provided MediaTeam with access to better scientific forums, paving the way for more advanced research on the subject.” Leskelä says. The CAPNET program was also a fine example of international cooperation – it included research visits to the IBM laboratory in Zürich, the Nokia Research Center in Cambridge (USA), the University of Maryland (USA) and the Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, as well as other cooperation with these two universities.
The research of ubiquitous technology at MediaTeam has, to date, yielded dozens of scientific papers and Master’s Theses on related subjects – service and resource discovery, resource management, middleware architecture, multimedia adaptation and various others. The large amount of quality research, coupled with the fact that many businesses are interested in it, promises an interesting future for this research field.
MediaTeam's research on ubiquitous computing continues in the UBI program which started in fall 2007.
Related MediaTeam Projects
CAPNET Challenger & Experiments – "CAPNET 2"1/2005-2/2007
In this second CAPNET project, researchers continued working on some of the same things as in the first CAPNET program, but also concentrated on several new research themes. The Challenger project emphasized basic research focuses on familiar themes, such as the utilization of context, service discovery mechanisms and user experience. Context information – time and place – and its use was the most essential idea of the second CAPNET program, but not at the expense of methodological issues and the development of basic technology.
Financiers and Business Partners
- TeliaSonera Finland
CAPNET Spearhead & CAPNET Technology Enablers – "CAPNET 1"1/2002-12/2004
The purpose of the CAPNET (Context-aware Pervasive Networking) research program was to create a foundation for new information and communications technologies and businesses in the field. The focus was on context-aware mobile technologies for ubiquitous computing. This kind of information and communications technology and mobile services together formed one of the most promising business fields at that time.
The CAPNET program consisted of four major segments, which were the basis for the development of new services: the processing of context information and the profiling of services, required software technologies and structures, use of content in this new technical environment and new adaptive interface techniques, which allowed the adapting of services according to terminal and environment.
Financiers and Business Partners
- TeliaSonera Finland
Riekki J, Salminen T & Alakärppä I (2006) Requesting pervasive services by touching RFID tags. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5(1-2):40-46. Details
Salminen T, Hosio S & Riekki J (2006) Enhancing Bluetooth connectivity with RFID. Proc. 4th Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications, Pisa, Italy, 36-41. Details
Sun J & Sauvola J (2005) From mobility management to connectivity management. Proc. 10th IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications, Cartagena, Spain, 307-312. Details
Sun J, Riekki J, Jurmu M & Sauvola J (2005) On evaluation of a novel method for adaptive management of heterogeneous wireless networks in mobile client-server communication. Proc. 16th IEEE International Symposium on Personal Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, Berlin, Germany, 4:2312-2316. Details
Forstadius J, Lassila O & Seppänen T (2005) RDF-based model for context-aware reasoning in rich service environment. Proc. Third IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops, Hawaii, 15-19. Details
Khungar S & Riekki J (2005) A context based storage system for mobile computing applications. ACM Journal of Mobile Computing and Communications Review 9(1):64-68. Details
Salminen T & Riekki J (2005) Lightweight middleware architecture for mobile phones. Proc. 2005 International Conference on Pervasive Systems and Computing, Las Vegas, NE, 147-153. Details
Khungar S & Riekki J (2004) A context based data management system for pervasive computing collaborative applications. Proc. ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chicago, IL. Details
Sun J, Riekki J, Jurmu M & Sauvola J (2004) Design and implementation of Java-based HTTP input channel for integrated WLAN and GPRS networks. Proc. 12th IEEE International Conference on Networks, Singapore, 258-262. Details
Sun J & Sauvola J (2003) Mobility management reconsideration: hierarchical model and flow control methodology. Proc. 14th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, Beijing, China, 3:2809 - 2813. Details
Sun J, Tenhunen J & Sauvola J (2003) CME: a middleware architecture for network-aware adaptive applications. Proc. 14th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, Beijing, China, 1:839 - 843. Details
Doermann D, Karunanidhi A, Parekh N & Rautio V (2003) A platform independent image and video engine. Proc. 2nd International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, Norrköping, Sweden, 35-42.
Mäntyjärvi J & Seppänen T (2003) Adapting applications in mobile terminals using fuzzy context information. Interacting with Computers 15:512-538. Details
Ojala T & Ollila M (editors) (2002) Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, Oulu, Finland, ISBN 951-42-6909-8, 112 p.
Mäntyjärvi J & Seppänen T (2002) Adapting applications in mobile terminals using fuzzy context information. Proc. Fourth International Symposium on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices, Pisa, Italy, 95-107.
Related Master's Theses
Juan Vicente Llácer Olmos (2007) Service and Resource Discovery in Smart Spaces M.Sc.thesis, Escola Tècnica Superior de Enginyers de Telecomunicació, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain. Details
Jurmu M (2007) Resource management in smart spaces using context-based leases. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Oulu, Finland. Details
Salminen T (2005) Lightweight middleware architecture for mobile phones. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Oulu, Finland. Details
Davidyuk O (2004) Component architexture for context-aware applications. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Information Technology, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland. Details
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