VTT recently coordinated the pan-European initiative SMARCOS, which
focused on developing technology based on internet sharing between devices. The
technology allows the interfaces of various smart devices to follow consumers’
actions and react instantly to their needs. In the kitchen, for example, a smart
stove, saucepans, spice rack, ingredient containers and a smart recipe service
are able to follow and predict the consumer’s actions and needs and help him or
her to choose the right ingredients and cooking processes.
The European SMARCOS (Smart Composite Human Computer Interfaces) project
developed technology based on internet sharing between devices, which allows the
interfaces and features of various digital devices to operate seamlessly
together in smart ecosystems.
The physical interface remains unchanged, but there is improvement in the
intelligence and functionality of the user interface level. The functions of an
interface respond more accurately to users’ needs when devices, services and
applications are able to follow and predict the users’ actions. This can be
used, for example, to help elderly people lead more independent lives and cope
with daily household chores in their own homes.
Interfaces can be distributed among devices and surfaces and therefore help
users to run their households more efficiently. An example of a system already
up and running is a smart recipe service for the kitchen. The service is linked
to kitchen appliances, tableware and containers of ingredients equipped with
simple interactive technology. A minimalist interface prototype for controlling
household energy consumption was developed with Offcode Oy.
Another example is the healthy living service operating on all the user's
digital devices (mobile devices, TVs, car, computers, activity monitors). A
real-time behaviour monitoring service controls when and through which device
the user can be given information, reminders and encouragement. The service
interacts with systems that encourage consumers to exercise, remind them to take
their medication and help them to educate themselves.
In addition to VTT, other Finnish SMARCOS partners included Valve, IXONOS,
Offcode, Nemein and Nokia. Foreign partners included Barco (BE), SIRRIS (BE),
Human Interface Group (BE), Philips (NL), TP-Vision (NL), University of Twente
(NL), EVALAN (NL), Phi-I (NL), Indra Sistemas (ES), ESI (ES), Honeywell (CZ),
Fjord (UK), Intecs (IT) and CNR (IT). The project budget was approximately EUR
14.2 million, financed by the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking and local public sector
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