Urban-IOT soon (and program ready) – join us in Tokyo!

We have been working hard to finalize the program of the Urban-IOT workshop that will take place very soon in Tokyo. In addition to a classic workshop with paper presentations and demos, we have prepared a second part, that will change your perception of what an academic workshop would look like. As we didn’t receive any industrial funding, we are sorry to say that we couldn’t afford to invite the people we had planned for a keynote (yeah, seems like industries aren’t interested in this topic… yet…). But no worries, we’ll use this time to hack and work!


From 3 pm onwards, we will all move to Tokyo Hackerspace, where we will first do a series of hands-on workshop, where different groups will take part in various activities (thanks a lot Akiba for organizing this). This second part will be a LIFT@home session where we will bring the most creative hackers, developers, researchers from Tokyo (and world), to discuss, design and prototype what the future of programmable cities will look like. After that, some (japanese) drinks and (japanese) food will be served until… well… until we’ll be politely asked to leave and make less noise. REGISTER HERE and join us.

The current program of the formal workshop is as follows (some things might change, but these are the final papers accepted at our workshop):

Welcome message (9:30 – 9:40)

Session 1 (9:40 – 11:00)

Abstract: Traffic control is an old and ever growing problem in cities throughout the world. Within many cities, intersections represent bottlenecks in the flow of traffic. Evaluating intersections control is complex and difficult. Given this, intersection management is both costly and time consuming. This paper considers the potential benefits of enhancing the traffic intersection with the use of intelligent objects in vehicles. We present, compare and demonstrate a novel Vehicle Back-Off Protocol against a classical Timed Traffic Control system. Our protocol uses ad-hoc messaging, collision avoidance and shared journey plans as a means by which to reduce delay, adapt a journey and maximize the efficient usage of a traffic intersection. We use simulation to model and evaluate intersection control.


Abstract: Embedded sensors are massively deployed around the world, especially in urban areas. The increasing urbanism implies advanced challenges for the citizens.
Real-time sensory data is expected to assist in addressing some of the challenges. The rise of multi-sensory mobile phones with Internet connectivity and the promising practice of Web-enabling physical devices create the need for a bridging between the Mobile Web and the Web of Things in urban environments. We believe that location would be the key element that will enable this bridging. Location will facilitate the filtering of large amounts of real-time sensory data, being generated to represent environmental conditions. In this paper, we developed a location-based, mobile application that interacts with Web-enabled sensors that are deployed in the vicinity of the user, by means of online, global sensor directories. We consider our project as a small contribution towards the vision of a real-time digital city. Our early evaluation efforts indicate the feasibility of our approach.


Abstract: Using the preliminary alignment of the concepts of the web and the urban as a starting point, this article explores the potential role of the notion of associativity as a theoretical term in discourses about the Web of Things. The urban and the web are regarded as different instantiations of a hypothetical entity common to both, the WURB. As an abstract concept, WURBs can be easily reflected by formal models such as networks or agent-based systems. We argue that this requires a substantial refinement of the concept of information. It is shown, how the concept of the WURB can be used to derive new approaches to old questions and new design tasks, which are both provoked by the notion of the Web of Things.


Break and Demos (10:40 – 12:00)

Abstract: TenderVoice/TenderNoise (TVTN) creates a platform to capture and communicate the complex dynamics of urban systems using acoustic data. It explores dualities in data sources, sensors, filters, audience and display, contrasting qualitative and personal attributes of the human voice with quantitative neighborhood decibel levels. TVTN also addresses the complementary relationship that exists between historical and real-time data. This project asserts that the interpretation of the immense data field that is our urban environment should incorporate such dualities. Future phases of this project entail expansion of the real-time data component, incorporation of Web 2.0 features, and a physical installation.


Abstract: The Web of Things (WoT) is a vision of a World Wide Web that reaches into the physical world by providing a seamless integration of digitally augmented everyday objects. In this paper, we present the AutoWoT project, a toolkit that facilitates the rapid integration of smart devices into the Web. It thereby lowers the entry barrier for users to expose data and services provided by their smart things. AutoWoT offers a generic way of modeling Web resources and automatically builds web server components which expose the functionality of such digitally augmented devices. By abstracting the specific implementation of Web protocols, the toolkit enables prototype developers to focus on their use-case. In this paper we show how AutoWoT can be used to considerably facilitate the process of populating the Web of Things and illustrate the benefits with a concrete prototype application, a presence awareness tool that combines multiple Web-enabled real-world devices and services within a physical mashup.


Abstract: The design of digital memory technologies is arguably one of the grand challenges of Human-Computer Interaction research. Objects and places often mediate access to personal and collective memories and allow recollections of past experiences. Tales of Things is a tagging service that uses two-dimensional barcodes (QR Codes) and RFID tags to enable people to attach stories and memories to any object. The scanning of readable and writable tags allows stories to be replayed and added. Through these interactions provenance information about things is created which provides novel ways for engaging with past experiences. In our research we are exploring the implications of these digital object memories in different contexts.


Session 2 (12:00 – 14:30)

Abstract: Public spaces connect people in their everyday life and foster the growth of communities by providing a common space for people to bond and interact. However, while different communities or social groups may share the same public space, they may not interact between each other due to perceived differences or prejudices. At the other end of the spectrum, members of the same community or social group could be scattered across physically separated public spaces. We argue that networked public displays can represent an important tool for bridging social and physical distance, in order to connect people across social, temporal, and spatial barriers. The following article summarizes relevant current research in urban design, community informatics, and public displays, and presents four scenarios that illustrate the potential of networked public displays in such settings. We then outline a research agenda for realizing this vision.


Abstract: The Internet is evolving from a network of computers to a network of devices, e.g., phones, smart meters, traffic cameras, and air quality sensors. In this Internet of Things, large amounts of data generated by everyday objects can often be organized into data streams, where each data stream is a time series of sensor values sampled together. Visualization is an easy-to-use, efficient, and effective method to present this heterogeneous data to large and diverse audiences, and enable its analysis by users without programming background. Although general data-storage and sharing systems for the Internet of Things, like Pachube and Sensor.Network, offer some basic visualizations, they do little to help users understand relations and patterns hidden in the data, nor do they support live updates to the underlying data streams. Other systems, like Biketastic and the Copenhagen Wheel, feature more complex visualizations but are tailored for a specific application domain and do not address heterogeneous data streams. In this paper, we present SNViz, a Web browser-based AJAX application built using Protovis for visual analysis of large, heterogeneous, and live data streams in the Internet of Things. Besides offering panning and zooming for a detailed look at smaller data subsets, SNViz offers brush-and-linking across multiple visualizations. The latter is invaluable in helping users understand and analyze relationships and patterns hidden in the data. Although SNViz currently works by accessing JSON representations of data streams from Sensor.Network over HTTP, it can be extended to work with other data sources (e.g., wireless sensor network devices or smartphones) and even customized for specific applications.


Mario Chiesa, Cristina Barbero and Simona Ricaldone. From use cases to users perspectives
Abstract: The paper presents some early results of a new design investigation and research that is nowadays in progress, into the specific domain of the design and implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) services in urban areas. The generation of new added values during the usage of and the active involvement into urban services, perceived by the users themselves, both in terms of personal satisfaction or community goals, can be powerful drivers for more extensive usage and further enhancement of existing services, or for the implementation of new ones. For this reason, we investigated possible evolutions of some classic design tools, that could be able to better focus the attention on the motivational aspects of future IoT services’ success and popularity, and in the context of our research gave meaningful insights about the possible impact of their usage in the future everyday life of citizens.


Abstract: In this paper, we reflect on two observations. The first one is that sharing artifacts such as photographs is a powerful and emotionally-rich form of social interaction. The second one is that we all associate emotions to the places that we visit. For these reasons, we are interested to explore new tools for capturing the ambience of neighborhoods and cities. We are also interested to develop ways for people to share these ambiences both online and in augmented physical places. We introduce our ideas in this domain and illustrate them with two ongoing projects: AmbiGrabber and Boxes and Lenses. With these systems, our goal is to create a basic set of technologies that will allow us to build and experiment with social applications in urban environments.

Wrap-up (13:20)

End of the talk part (13:30)

At the end of the talks, we all will go to Tokyo Hackerspace for the second part of this workshop (the hands on part). All the participants are welcome to setup a demo of their ongoing projects in a very informal context. The goal is to get a chance to get feedback and engage in discussions about one’s work.

LIFT at Home – Hack Your City – (15:00 – 17:00) @ Hackerspace Tokyo

Hands-on open session on programmable cities. We will divide into various groups and focus on different activities. Amon others, we will present the LIVE Singapore! MIT SENSEable City Lab will present an early version of the LIVE singapore platform, and participants will be brainstorming about the possible futures enabled by simplified access to Real-time data in a city. What does the merging of data reveal? What applications can be imagined on top of this? Other group activities will take place and will be revealed over time. Feel free to forward this call and invite your colleagues to join us. -> Register here for the after party <-

After party (17:00 – …)

Entrance fee is 1000 Yen (to pay for food/soft drinks). Alcoholic drinks for sale, interactive installations and various happenings will take place to wonderfully finish this great day.

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