Context-awareness for users with special needs: Two new upcoming EU project in eInclusion

Currently I am travelling to Brussels for the negotiations of two successful EU proposals in the area of eInclusion – with a 100% success rate Call 4 of FP7 was a very efficient call 🙂 Both proposals provide the opportunity to explore new paths in my second main stream of research: context-awareness. While I have started in the domain of technology-enhanced learning, the ambient-assisted living project SOPRANO has shown that the results (particularly the blackboard-based approach to context management, which allows for a combination of ontology-based techniques with statistical approaches and provides native support for uncertainty and the temporal dimension) can be easily transferred to ambient technologies. Also adaptive user interfaces are in need of a flexible context management system, as our first attempt in AGENT-DYSL has shown, which was aiming at adaptive reading support for children with dyslexia.

  • In the upcoming AAL project universAAL (an Integrating Project – IP) we aim to develop our SOPRANO Ambient middleware (soon to be release as openAAL – an open source middleware for ambient assisted living) to become part of a reference architecture and open source implementation of a universal AAL infrastructure, together with a promising consortium of 18 partners.
  • Within myUI (a STREP), we aim at “synergistic user modeling”, i.e., device-independent capturing of the user’s context so that we can more easily engineer adaptive user interfaces for various devices, particularly for users with special needs, like the elderly, but also others.

I am already looking forward to those projects, which will probably start in the first quarter 2010, although this will again mean an increased number of travels (which I could successfully reduce in 2009).