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AmI is an emerging discipline that brings intelligence to our
every day environments and make those environments sensitive
Ambient intelligence is a vision on the future of consumer
electronics, telecommunications and computing that was
originally developed by ‘Philips’ in the late 1990s for the time
A key factor in AmI is the presence of Intelligence.
AmI refers to an exciting new paradigm in IT in which people
are empowered through a digital environment that is aware of
their presence and context and is sensitive, adaptive and
responsive to their needs, habits, gestures and emotions.
It is a network of hidden intelligent interfaces that recognize
our presence and mould our environment to our immediate
The ambient intelligence paradigm builds
upon pervasive computing(ubiquitous
computing), profiling, context awareness, and human-
centric computer interaction design and is characterized by
systems and technologies that are:
embedded: many networked devices are integrated into the
context aware: these devices can recognize you and your
personalized: they can be tailored to your needs.
adaptive: they can change in response to you.
anticipatory: they can anticipate your desires without
Ambient Intelligence builds on three recent key technologies:
Ubiquitous Computing means integration of microprocessors
into everyday objects like furniture, clothing, white goods, toys,
Ubiquitous Communication enables these objects to
communicate with each other and the user by means of ad-hoc and
An Intelligent User Interface enables the inhabitants of the
AmI environment to control and interact with the environment in a
natural (voice, gestures) and personalized way (preferences,
A variety of technologies can be used to enable Ambient
intelligence environments such as:
Bluetooth Low Energy
Relation Between AmI and
other computer science areas:
Networks, Sensors, Human
Computer Interfaces (HCI),
Pervasive Ubiquitous Computing
and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are
all relevant and interrelated but
none of them conceptually covers
the full scope of AmI. Ambient
Intelligence puts together all these
resources to provide flexible and
intelligent services to users acting
in their environments.
5 Ws and 3 Ps of AmI
Of Importance for AmI are the“5Ws”(Who, Where, What, When and Why) principle of
Who: the identification of a user of the system and the role that user plays within the system
in relation to other users. This can be extended to identifying important elements like pets,
robots and objects of interest within the environment.
Where: the tracking of the location where a user or an object is geographically located at
each moment during the system operation. This can demand a mix of technologies, for
example technology that may work well indoors may be useless outdoors and vice-versa.
When: the association of activities with time is required to build a realistic picture of a
system’s dynamic. For example, users, pets and robots living in a house will change location
often change location and knowing when those changes happened and for how long they
lasted are fundamental to the understanding of how an environment is evolving.
What: the recognition of activities and tasks users are performing is fundamental in
order to provide appropriate help if required. The multiplicity of possible scenarios
that can follow an action makes this very difficult.
Why: the capability to infer and understand intentions and goals behind activities is
one of the hardest challenges in the area but a fundamental one which allows the
system to anticipate needs and serve users in a sensible way
There seems to be a growing consensus that achieving sustainability requires a good
balance between three factors, sometimes referred to as the three P’s: people, planet,
People: Humans exploit everything around them to improve their lives and
expand their powers. They want to acquire everything with minimum effort
and maximum comfort. Many devices have already made the transition from
big static objects to small objects that people can carry around on their
bodies. Ambient intelligence intends to improve the quality of people’s lives.
Not everything that’s possible with technology is actually desirable.
Therefore, it’s crucial that people make the right choices with ambient
intelligence. This is only possible if people agree on what quality of life and
what sort of world they would like to see develop.
Planet: AmI has a great contribution to the planet. AmI provides better care
for the environment. Numerous novel ecological developments are possible
by integrating smart electronics into the environment. They aid in checking
pollution and checking uncontrolled dumping of waste products. There are
also techniques for determining energy wastage and reduce needless
Profit: Ambient Intelligence describes a new economy called “experience
economy”. It is positioned as the fourth major wave following the classic
economies of commodity, goods, and service. People are willing to spend
money for getting better experience. Recollection of a personal event
might just bring back that good old feeling.
Ambient Intelligence is allowing the home itself to
possess intelligence and make decisions regarding its
state and interactions with its residents.
Health – Related Applications:
Hospitals can increase the efficiency of their services
by monitoring patients’ health and progress by
performing automatic analysis of activities in their
Public Transportation sector:
Public transport can benefit from extra technology
including satellite services, GPS-based spatial
location, vehicle identification, image processing and
other technologies to make transport more fluent and
hence more efficient and safe.
Education-related institutions may use technology
to create smart classrooms where the modes of
learning are enhanced.
Safety-related services like fire brigades can improve
the reaction to a hazard by locating the place more
efficiently and also by preparing the way to reach the
place in connection with street services.
Companies can use RFID sensors to tag different
products and track them along the production and
commercialization processes. This allows identifying
the product path from production to consumer and
helps improving the process by providing valuable
information for the company on how to react to
favorable demand and unusual events like products
that become unsuitable for sale.
Reduced Human Efforts and machine interactions.
Increased Information, Connectivity and Leisure
Future Ready Ambience.
Many AmI applications relying upon wireless sensors
are at the mercy of the battery life for the sensors.
Challenge is to model multiple residents in an
Challenge for AmI researches is to design self-testing
and self-repairing AmI software.
Issues related to security and privacy for AmI systems.
Ambient Intelligence is establishing fast as an area where
a confluence of topics can coverage to help society
through technology. There are still many challenges
ahead and improvements are needed at all levels:
infrastructure, algorithms and human-computer
interaction for AmI systems to be widely accepted and
more important of all, be useful to society.