The GROCER project aims to build two technical prototypes: embedded location-based artefacts in real-world objects such as cereal boxes in grocery stores and a wireless architecture and application server system integrating these artefacts with handheld devices and distributed software agents. This system will be built using WAP, RFID, Bluetooth, P3P and XML protocols and technologies; it will help create new dynamically conceived functionalities, (some of which cannot yet be predicted) that the project will then explore and exploit. The architectures and functionalities created can be leveraged across multiple markets and physical spaces. The GROCER project aims to build two technical prototypes: embedded location-based artefacts in real-world objects such as cereal boxes in grocery stores and a wireless architecture and application server system integrating these artefacts with handheld devices and distributed software agents. This system will be built using WAP, RFID, Bluetooth, P3P and XML protocols and technologies; it will help create new dynamically conceived functionalities, (some of which cannot yet be predicted) that the project will then explore and exploit. The architectures and functionalities created can be leveraged across multiple markets and physical spaces.
- The specific technical goals of GROCER are the following:
- Develop RDIF technology to support a wireless architecture and application server system;
- Develop Bluetooth technology to support the system;
- Create Software Agents to manage communication within the system;
- Develop WAP capabilities and m-commerce in the system;
- Use privacy protocols (XML, P3P) to manage information within the system;
- Integrate technical developments to interact and produce new functionalities within the architecture and the GROCER application server. While technical objectives are the focal point of the GROCER project, legal and business goals will also receive some consideration.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The GROCER pilot work is carried out along two main lines based on its technical focus: hardware and artefact development, and software development. Additional work will be done on studying current m-commerce business models and related legal specifications. The work is carried out in seven work packages, described below:
- Within WP 0, Inter-project collaboration, GROCER becomes part of a network of other projects belonging to the FET disappearing computer initiative. Throughout the development and implementation of these projects, all participants seek to share knowledge and gain experience, technical expertise and infrastructure, contacts, and market positions;
- In WP 1, Positioning, partners study the state-of-the art in the project's technologies, in the business models in which they are used, and in the laws that govern them. Partners will design and position the pilot based on these studies;
- In WP 2, Pilot Specifications, technical and legal specifications for the pilot are set;
- In WP 3, Pilot Development, is the centrepiece of GROCER. Hardware, artefacts, and software for the pilot are built at this stage, including RFID-and Bluetooth- enabled artefacts and handheld devices and software agents which are integrated in a wireless architecture and application server system through WAP technology and using XML and P3P protocols;
- In WP 4, Pilot Launch, the pilot is implemented and tested;
- In WP 5, Evaluation and Assessment, the success of the pilot and suggestions for improvement and future exploitation are determined based on assessment of testing;
- In WP 6, Dissemination, partners will design individual dissemination plans and carry out dissemination activities;
- Finally, WP 7 is about Project Management activities.
As a result of the three year research project, GROCER has designed, tested and evaluated on site a fully operational Ubiquitous Computing (UC) platform including the following components: -Location Engine: WiFi based Real Time Location System, for locating customers' mobile device within a delimited area - Identification Engine: RFID based module to identify products and store elements (shelves) - Agent Platform: agent based processing services (customer profiles, shopping behaviour and store management.) - Mobile Device Manager (and Interface layer): processes outputs and inputs according to mobile device (notepads, laptops, phones, PDA, etc.) - Wireless Communication Gateway: managers the communications interface with multi-channel communications (wired and wireless, telephone, WiFi, bluetooth potential) - Business Object Model: rule and workflow engine for processing the location and identification data, combined with the business rules and policies. -Middleware (to client back-office): module for interfacing the GROCER systems (above modules) and the store's central databases and other applications (billing, stocks, etc.).
The project has developed a robust and consistent framework for new ways of customer interaction that can be tested and piloted easily in a real store environment. GROCER has also achieved significant advance in knowledge of - Business and economic aspects of UC environments, including UC market models and process and service models, m-commerce, and identification and location based services. - Legal and trust issues within UC environments: including privacy and consumer protection risks and requirements, software agent-based transactions and legal engineering: building compliance into ICT architectures.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts