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Since 2009, the Graduate School of Information Science at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) has been running a research project on ambient intelligence. This project seeks to create a basic platform for ambient intelligence, which allows our environment to function as a single intelligent unit through a network of cameras and sensors, installed and integrated into and throughout the community. It is based on the concept of the ubiquitous network society, where information processing is networked throughout every aspect of the social community. The project also aims to promote the realization of a safe, secure and comfortable life space for all members of society through the application of ambient intelligence.

Purpose and Objectives

In anticipation of the post-ubiquitous network society, we propose to construct an intelligent environment (ambient intelligent) containing ubiquitous computing entities able to provide systemized environmental information collated and processed from information derived from cameras and sensors embedded within actual social and living space. In order to achieve this, we will focus on empirical research on bio-autonomous-type environmental networking and integrated media comprising visual, aural, linguistic and behavioral media. This research will be applied to the proposal of safe, secure and comfortable life space solutions, and the improvement of QOL.

Research Areas

In order to achieve the objectives outlined above, the Graduate School will carry out research in the following three areas:

1. Sensor Network Group: ambient intelligence sensor networking
Ambient intelligence is intelligence which has been integrated into the environment, and comprises the environmental interface and the user interface, the latter of which provides services to users. The Sensor Network Group will focus on the interface with the environment, and look at the composition, construction, management and operation of the sensors used to recognize environmental conditions and the events which occur with them.

2. Knowledge Structuring Group: ambient intelligence systems
The Knowledge Structuring Group is concerned with ambient intelligence systems, which is a topic at the very core of basic infrastructural technology for ambient intelligence. It will consider such issues as environmental recognition and understanding, as well as user conditions recognition and understanding, and intelligent interaction.

3. Interaction Group: ambient intelligence dialogue
The Interaction Group will examine the interface with the user, and include studies on such topics as interactive methods of user interface, interface device technology, and media interface technology.

Research Policy

Each research group will incorporate processes designed to examine the functions and performance required from the perspective of QOL improvement. Where a decision cannot be reached by a single research group, the groups will work together to consider the issue, and to maintain coherent system design. The Graduate School will also be setting up scenarios in discrete public areas, train stations, shopping centers and places of historical interest, with a view to the practical realization of relevant technology. These will function as the basis for the construction of prototype systems which can operate in actual social and community environments.