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Amigo Ambient Intelligence for the networked home environment

Project description

Open development platforms for software and services
Smart living in AMIGO’s intelligent home

Soon home will be wherever you are, thanks to AMIGO. The project has created a system that can support the activities of all the family, whether in your home, out and about or abroad.

The system can keep track of family members, or alert the appropriate person if someone suddenly falls ill. It can also plan a family meal and order the ingredients from the local grocer. It is so sophisticated that it can even tell you if you have forgotten your wallet before you leave the house.

AMIGO grouped over 15 leading information technology and communications companies and research institutes – like Philips, Telefonica, France Telecom and Fraunhofer – in a concerted effort to create the intelligent home.

The pre-dawn of the intelligent home

Traditionally, home automation, consumer electronics, mobile communications and personal computing were strictly separate businesses with their own standards, devices, and priorities.

But in this pre-dawn of the information age, that model is no longer valid. All devices should at least be able to communicate with each other. And they should remain aware of context, so that devices can co-operate to achieve an overall goal.

AMIGO focused on three thematic areas dealing with the intelligent home: care and safety, information and entertainment, and extended support for linking family members and friends as they go about their daily routines.

Hints about the future

For example, John walks to the front door to leave for work. The system knows the context – why he is going to the door: John typically goes to work at that time. It also knows that his wallet is still on his bedside table. The system tells John he has forgotten his wallet.

Later in the day, if John goes to the door to pick up the mail, the system would identify the behaviour but not alert him about his wallet

Or suppose Alice suddenly slumps in her chair while a pot is boiling on the stove. The AMIGO system would try to wake her up but if it fails it will turn off the stove. It will then try to alert John, and if that fails, the system tries to contact a neighbour, or whoever else is listed as the next contact.

These are just examples that hint at the system’s power. AMIGO’s intelligent home system could also arrange games between extended family members, such as uncles, cousins or grandparents. The potential is limited only by the imagination of the designers.

Busting the technology bottlenecks

Until now, such types of services have either proved difficult or impossible. Previously, companies developed their own devices for the home, which typically did not work with those produced by others. These technological bottlenecks made it difficult to design an intelligent home system.

But AMIGO’s researchers went right back to the drawing board. They developed an open source software system, a set of specifications, and an intelligent home architecture. In doing so, they provided all the tools designers require to develop new home services. The open source nature of the software means it can be used and adapted by anybody.

Moreover, the project partners are putting their marketing and product development might behind the AMIGO system.

The specifications will ensure that, from now on, devices like washing machines, PDAs, computers or TVs can be designed to work within an AMIGO home. It all means that adoption of the system could be very swift indeed.

The networked home environment leads to many new opportunities, the most important one is Ambient Intelligence. However, general end-user acceptance of home networking is not yet in place. To get this and fast market introduction two elements need to be resolved:(i) Installation and use of the networked home system must be simple and user-friendly, that is the usability of the system must be high(ii) Attractive services must be present which clearly offer an advantage over what is offered by today is non-networked systems. Many of these new services will use context and user information in a way that is not possible in present non-networked systems. They are called intelligent user services as they make the system `intelligent' from the end-user view.The Amigo project will focus on the usability of a networked home system by developing open, standardized, interoperable middleware. The developed middleware will guarantee automatic dynamic configuration of the devices and services within this home system by addressing autonomy and composability aspects. The second focus of the Amigo project will be on improving the end-user attractiveness of a networked home system by developing interoperable intelligent user services and application prototypes. The Amigo project will further support interoperability between equipment and services within the networked home environment by using standard technology when possible and by making the basic middleware (components and infrastructure) and intelligent user services available as open source software together with architectural rules for everyone to use. The Amigo project is a huge step towards general introduction of the networked home and towards Ambient Intelligence by solving the main technological issues that endanger the usability of a networked home system, as well as creating clear end-user benefits by introducing intelligent user services and attractive prototype applications.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 1 939 548,00
5656 AG Eindhoven

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Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
No data

Participants (21)