Keynote Title: Smart Hybrid Cities as an Umbrella for Ambient Intelligence Research

Keynote Lecturer: Dr. Norbert Streitz

Keynote Chair: Dr. Bernhard Rinner

Presented on: 05-03-2011

Abstract: The notion of Smart Hybrid Cities is introduced and discussed as the focus and cross-section of several important developments we are facing. One point of departure is the observation that - already by the end of 2008 - half the of the world population lived in urban areas. Thus, we have entered what has been called the Urban Age, for which it is predicted that the economic prosperity and quality of life will largely depend on the abilities of cities to reach their full potential. One dimension of it is the deployment of smart infrastructures providing ambient intelligence-based support. At the same time, we will be confronted with a situation characterized by Streitz & Nixon in 2005 in the following statement: "It seems like a paradox but it will soon become reality: The rate at which computers disappear will be matched by the rate at which information technology will increasingly permeate our environment and our lives". This illustrates important new challenges for the design of human-computer and/or human-artefact interaction, when dealing with pervasive and embedded computing and communication systems. While physical and mental disappearances play important roles, the distinction between "system-oriented, importunate smartness", implying more or less automatic behavior of smart environments, and "people-oriented, empowering smartness" is equally important. The empowering function should be in the foreground, so that "smart spaces make people smarter" by keeping "the human in the loop". In parallel, privacy issues in sensor-based smart environments have to be discussed ranging from being a legal and moral right to becoming a commodity and privilege. While most of the developments and discussions have been applied at the level of smart rooms and intelligent buildings, the future of our living and working environments has to be addressed increasingly at the level of urban environments. Digitalization of content and virtualization of social communication behavior is spreading from the realm of virtual worlds back into real environments enabling additional layers. Combining hybrid information and experience spaces with ubiquitous and pervasive computing in urban contexts constitutes what is being called 'smart hybrid cities'. These developments require to reflect more intensively on the implications for the ambient intelligence research agenda including also a shift towards smart ecosystems in the context of what we call the "Ambicosm". At the same time, our Urban Age requires a vision reconciling humans and technology. This keynote argues that ambient intelligence applied in a human-centered approach will be a key player for designing and creating the City of the Future which will be smart and hybrid but not technology-driven and always humane.

Presented at the following Conference: PECCS, International Conference on Pervasive and Embedded Computing and Communication Systems

March , 2011
Vilamoura, Portugal

Conference Website:

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