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Jan 12, 2006

Your Room as Browser

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is an emerging ICT paradigm defined by the combination of three features: ubiquity, awareness, and intelligence. Ubiquity refers to a situation in which we are surrounded by a multitude of interconnected embedded systems. Awareness refers to the ability of the system to locate and recognize objects and people, and their actions. Intelligence refers to the fact that the digital surrounding is able to analyze the context, adapt itself to the people and objects that live in it, and learn from their behavior. According to the AmI scenario, intelligent artifacts will be integrated with our everyday living spaces. As a pioneer in the AmI vision, Philips has developed Physical Markup Language (PML), a xml-based vocabulary that allows to describe experiences within an Ambient Intelligence environment.
From the website:
An Ambient Intelligence system can interpret a description in PML in such a way that the devices in its network can jointly use their individual capabilities to render that experience at a given location.

In effect, your whole room becomes a 'browser' that brings the experience to life. For example, PML-enabled lights add to the experience by getting brighter or dimmer, or changing colour. A PML-enabled hi-fi provides an appropriate soundscape. Almost any device can be PML-enabled: the possibilities are only limited by the imaginations of their manufacturers. Suppose a room is rendering an experience described as 'warm and sunny': the lights, the TV, the central heating, the electronically controlled blinds and (a little further into the future) even the ceiling, walls and floor coverings could all contribute to creating it.

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