Smart hoMes for All (SM4All)

Published on: 06/02/2010

The SM4ALL project is investigating an innovative middleware platform for inter-working of smart embedded services in immersive and person-centric environments, through the use of composability and semantic techniques for dynamic service reconfiguration. By leveraging on distributed technologies, the platform is inherently scalable and able to resist to devices’ churn and failures, while preserving the privacy of its human users as well as the security of the whole environment. This is applied to the challenging scenario of private houses and home-care assistance in presence of users with different abilities and needs (e.g., young able bodied, aged and disabled).

In order to introduce the novel idea of collaborating services underlying SM4All, let's consider the following scenario: a person is at home and decides to take a bath. He/she would like to simply express this goal to the house (e.g., through a touch screen, but also BCIs -- Brain Computer Interfaces -- for disabled persons are considered) and have the services of the house collaborate in order to move the house itself to a new state which is the desired one. The temperature in the bathroom is raised through the heating service, the guardrobe in the sleeping room is opened in order to offer the bathrobe, the bath is filled in with 37oC water, etc. If we suppose the person is a disabled one, some services cannot be directly automated, e.g., the one of helping the person to move into the bath. In this case, a service still exists, but it is offered by a human, e.g., the nursery, which is doing her job in another room, and that
at the right moment is notified – through her PDA or any other device – to go into the bath and help the patient. Maybe this service is offered also by the
son of the patient (or any other person), living in a nearby house, which is notified at the right moment, and if the nursery is not present at home, to help
the patient. The scenario shows the idea of a society of services, some offered in a completely automated way through sensors/appliances/actuators, other realized through the collaboration of other persons, which moves continuously from a desired state to a new one, in order to satisfy user goals. Clearly, as in all societies, there are trade-offs to be considered (the goal of the person willing a relaxing bath is in contrast with the availability of the nursery/son offering the "help" service), which in our case are handled by suitably composing the most appropriate services, and possibly adapting their involvement during the runtime.

In particular Brain-Computer Interaction (BCI) is a specific set of techniques, based on the interplay of hardware and software, that allows people to interact with a screen “through their mind”. The project envisions the possibility of selecting a desired goal, which a user in the house would like to reach, among possible ones in the given state of the house. Such goals are proactively offered by the SM4All system on the basis of the available services and the current user context, which are perceived through the sensors and a profiling of previous actions and goals. Therefore, BCI interfaces are considered in the project as a suitable solution for disabled persons in order to drive the house.

The project is expected to release a living showcase in June 2011, in a domotic house equipped at the site of the Fondazione Santa Lucia (on of the partners of the project).

Project partners are SAPIENZA Università di Roma (coordinator) -- ITALY, University of Groningen -- the NETHERLANDS, Technical University of Wien - AUSTRIA, Royal Institute of Technology -- SWEDEN, Swedish Defence Agency --SWEDEN, Telefonica -- SPAIN, Elsag Datamat -- ITALY, Thuiszorg Het Fries Land  -- the NETHERLANDS, Fondazione Santa Lucia -- ITALY, GTec -- AUSTRIA.

Policy Context

The project is operated as a FP7 STREP project, code FP7-224332

Coordinator: prof. Roberto Baldoni

Technical manager: dr. Massimo Mecella

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Refer to papers on

Technology solution

Refer to papers on

Technology choice: Standards-based technology, Mainly (or only) open standards

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

After the living showcase in June 2011, we expect several lessons learnt. So far, they consists mainly in technological considerations on the appropriateness of embedded service oriented architectures. Refer to papers on

Scope: Pan-European