In the RECOCAPE (Reinforcing cooperation capacity of Egypt in embedded ubiquitous computing) project, three European ICT centres of excellence – TECNALIA (Spain), UNIBO (Italy) and VTT (Finland) – initiated collaboration with the Egyptian Software Engineering Competence Centre (SECC) in an integrated, EU-funded consortium. SECC, which was established in 2001 to transform the software and ICT industries in Egypt, is one of the key players in the sector. The consortium developed and delivered training modules to build skills in cutting-edge areas. Topics covered included key building blocks of embedded ubiquitous computing: service-oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise services, semantic web ideas for automating many web functions, model-driven development and ubiquitous computing. Together, project partners conducted two pilot projects to demonstrate the use of these technologies in real-world applications. The first joint activity undertaken was called 'Energy-aware smart home'. The project deployed an extendible and reconfigurable smart-home system. This system could apply energy-harvesting policies and account for user preferences on installed devices. This pilot project was implemented to control light intensity, room temperature, multimedia playback and refrigerator temperature. This can be done either automatically based on user identification or manually via the web interface. Failures in the air-conditioning and refrigerator compressor, open refrigerator and fire alarms are monitored and sent to the user instantly through a mobile application. The second pilot project undertaken was called 'Semantic advertising platform for Egypt'. This platform allows developers to build different advertising campaigns based on semantic targeting – a technique enabling the delivery of targeted advertisements. The platform can also be extended to allow multi-channel marketing, interacting with customers through the web or mobile devices. Through SOA, a large number of devices can use the system without the need to support proprietary, large-footprint middleware. In addition, the use of SOA will foster building a wide spectrum of services on top of the semantic platform. Project outcomes include augmented capacities at SECC to achieve its aims and to participate in EU Framework Programmes. Vital technology gaps were bridged and regional ICT enterprises boosted, thereby improving their competitiveness.
Egypt, embedded ubiquitous computing, service-oriented architecture, semantic web, smart home