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Mobile in-Exhibition PRovision of Electronic Support Services

Objective

mExpress main objective is to introduce advanced B2C and B2E oriented electronic services through intelligent mobile devices, enabling personalization, location-sensitivity, contextual-awareness and management of interaction, in information-rich and information-dense environments, and more specifically in exhibition shows, with an extend to any such environment. To this end, it will develop the necessary infrastructure within the exhibition premises, utilize currently available mobile networks and terminal devices, and provide a supportive mediation platform that will act as the hub between visitors, exhibitors and exhibition organizers/administrators before, during and after the exhibition.

Objectives:
mEXPRESS aims to exploit the technological opportunities arising from evolution in the areas of wireless networks and positioning mechanisms in order to support and facilitate the professional exhibition industry in a context-aware manner. It will contribute to the economic development of the Community by providing means for efficient operation and interaction in information-rich environments such as exhibitions, and significantly enhancing promotional activities and business communications. The mEXPRESS project will provide an integrated mediation platform (mEXPRESS Service Provider) oriented to exhibition shows and events that will satisfy three types of objectives:· Enhance and facilitate visitors experience in terms of interaction and functionality in an information-rich environment such as an exhibition show.· Improve business communications and promotions within the exhibition and extend promotional effectiveness during and after the exhibition· Assist and support exhibition management and operations by offering real-time location information of persons within the exhibition. The main objective of the mEXPRESS project is to introduce advanced B2C and B2E oriented electronic services through intelligent mobile devices, enabling personalization, location-sensitivity, contextual-awareness and management of interaction, in information-rich and information-dense environments, and more specifically in exhibition shows, with a clear future extend to any such environment. To this end, it will develop the necessary infrastructure within the exhibition premises, utilize currently available mobile networks and terminal devices, and provide a supportive mediation platform that will acts as the hub between visitors, exhibitors and exhibition organizers/administrators before, during and after the exhibition.

Work description:
The rationale of the proposed work structure follows to a certain extent the incremental development process engineering methodology. This assumes that the problem definition is not covered to its full extend in the beginning of the project and that the understanding of the problem grows as prototype(s) built within the development process, generate and extract feedback from the users of the system. The end-user involvement in the early stages of the development reduces overall project risk by giving the user a chance to evaluate the new system and impacting the development process as it unfolds by providing valuable input for the development of the final system. To this end our methodology, involves the requirements elicitation and gathering both from the end-users, domain experts, and surveys on particular aspects of the retail domain. Then, follows the specification of an overall system architecture (although formally not a natural outcome of the incremental development process methodology) and the initial design of its relevant components. The end of the initial designs will be accompanied with the delivery of a mock up demo, that will presented to the users in order to validate the specification choices, and demonstrate the user functions. The user assessment about this demo will provide early feedback for the implementation and design process of the mEXPRESS prototypes.

The whole process will lead, to the implementation of an initial prototype and its evaluation through the end-user involvement. This is important since the end-users will have the opportunity to put their figures on a prototype that is very close to the real system and provide on the spot valuable feedback on all aspects of the proposed system. Finally a new iteration of re-design and implementation activities will take place taking into account the evaluation results of the initial prototype and the same time the demands of the market stemming from the marketing activities scheduled in the project, leading to the final implementation of the mEXPRESS system and the definition of the plan for its commercialisation. First steps for the deployment of the results, such as demonstrations and information dissemination are already planned to take place during the project lifetime, but the consortium is conscious that the exploitation of a research project must cope with a number of constraints such as finance, legislation, marketing and distribution to be able to become a successful commercial product.

Milestones:
Milestone 1 [month 9]: Specification and design of the required infrastructure, mEXPRESS mock-up demo & baseline report;
Milestone 2 [month 14]: Delivery of initial mEXPRESS prototype & mid term report;
Milestone 3 [month 20]: Delivery of the final mEXPRESS prototype;
Milestone 4 [month 24]: mEXPRESS dissemination and use plan.
The mEXPRESS project aims to exploit the technological opportunities arising from evolution in the areas of wireless networks and positioning mechanisms in order to support and facilitate the professional exhibition industry in a context-aware manner. It provides an integrated mediation platform (mEXPRESS Service Provider) oriented to exhibition shows and events that will satisfy three types of objectives: a) Enhance and facilitate visitors experience in terms of interaction and functionality in an information-rich environment such as an exhibition show. b) Improve business communications and promotions within the exhibition and extend promotional effectiveness during and after the exhibition c) Assist and support exhibition management and operations by offering real-time location information of persons within the exhibition. The final technical results of the project include the infrastructure and tools to support location-awareness, and content delivery in mobile devices. The mEXPRESS integrated system is a suite of components (application server, positioning and networking infrastructure and mobile terminals), which can provide value-added services in exhibition industry.

More specifically:
1) Software (mediation) platform: an application server that provides a range of context-aware services like user navigation assistance, bookmarking, targeted messages, management of exhibition, exhibitor and visitor data, analysis of visitor behavior;
2) Positioning infrastructure: enhancements on the iGPS and Bluetooth systems that can be used to determine the visitor position and deliver this information to be processed by the mEXPRESS system;
3) Software Components: due to the object-oriented, open architecture and low coupling between the several s/w parts of mEXPRESS, certain components of the system can be marketed as standalone tools or incorporated in different partners' products.

Such components are:
i) Visitor Behaviour Manager and Positioning Component which is used to track visitors during an exhibition. It provides an intermediate layer between the actual positioning infrastructure and the applications requiring the user tracking information;
ii) Navigation & Routing which provides routing advices and continuously navigation assistance to the visitors. It can be utilized as general-purpose navigation and Routing application;
iii) Analysis and Reporting Tool which is responsible for analysing information related to the spatiotemporal behaviour of the visitor correlated with "anonymous" user profiles. It can be used in all application areas where the need for such analysis exists;
iv) Context Map component which manages exhibition context maps and provides the basic functionality for other components to access and work with the maps;
v) Forms-Parameters Manager which is a tool for dynamically building web forms. Finally, through mEXPRESS the partners will acquire technical and business expertise on location-based services and content delivery over wireless networks.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

INTRACOM S.A. HELLENIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY
Address
Odos Markopoulou 19,5Km Ktirio B5 Mark X
19002 Peania - Attiki
Greece

Participants (8)

ELISA OYJ
Finland
Address
Kutomotie18
00380 Helsinki
HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Finland
Address
Otakaari 1
02015 Espoo
L.M. ERICSSON A/S
Denmark
Address
Sluseholmen 8
1790 Copenhagen
POULIADIS ASSOCIATES CORP
Greece
Address
Sigrou Avenue 142
17671 Athens
RESEARCH CENTER OF THE ATHENS UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
Greece
Address
46, Kefallinias Street
11251 Athens
ROTA LTD
Greece
Address
304 Kifissias Avenue
15232 Athens
SPACE SYSTEMS FINLAND OY
Finland
Address
Kappelitie 6
02200 Espoo
SUOMEN MESSUT OSUUSKUNTA
Finland
Address
Messuaukio 1
00520 Helsinki