KMi researchers Andriy Nikolov and Keerthi Thomas travelled to Amsterdam last week for this year’s Ambient Intelligent Conference (AmI-11), where they presented the latest version of the SmartProducts Architecture for Proactive Problem Solving (SPAPS). Ambient Intelligence is a vision of the future where devices are integrated seamlessly in the environment and are able to co-operate to support users in a variety of tasks. The demonstration was very successful, attracting much attention from the conference delegates, who commented very positively both on the degree of innovation of the proposed solution and also on the quality of the technical implementation.
The scenario used in the demo shows how end-users in a Smart-Kitchen ambience are able to interact with a number of embedded and co-operating “smart products” – these include a Cooking Assistant, a Meal Planner, a Smart Fridge, and a Shopping Assistant, to receive assistance in meal planning both to minimise waste and to promote healthy eating. In particular, the demo illustrates how the Meal Planner is able to produce a set of menus for a planned party, taking into account a set of user preferences and dietary requirements, domain knowledge about food items, as well as information provided by the Fridge about suitable items already available in the house. Once a particular menu is selected by the user, it is then automatically sent to a Shopping Assistant, which generates a list of items to buy on the basis of the required ingredients and the availability of ingredients in the house. Later, when the user moves from the Kitchen to a Supermarket ambience, the Shopping Assistant is able to liase with Supermarket Agents, e.g., to identify offers which are relevant to the current shopping list.
The SPAPS architecture, which was entirely developed in KMi, combines research in semantic technologies with ubiquitous computing and builds on earlier KMi research on Problem Solving Methods and Ontologies to ensure that devices are able to reason proactively about which tasks need to be carried out, and can also engage in collaborative problem solving with other devices.