The Challenge of Widespread Ubiquitous Computing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Computer Science

Abstract

Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) concerns the embedding and distribution of computing into the world around us. The Mixed Reality Laboratory (MRL) at the University of Nottingham has been at the forefront of international ubicomp research for the past six years, creating new ubiquitous devices, establishing the distributed software platforms that are required to knit many such devices together, working with external partners to demonstrate innovative and creative applications of ubicomp, and studying these and then generalising the lessons learned into new design concepts and frameworks. Much of this research has been carried out within EPSRC's Equator project, a six-year, ten million pound Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration that involved eight UK universities and that was led by the MRL. Through Equator and other projects we have successfully laid the foundations for a new interdisciplinary approach to ubicomp research that involves taking emerging technologies out of the laboratory and studying them 'in the wild'. In so doing we have placed the UK in a world-leading position in this field.Following the end of Equator, the MRL is seeking platform funding to sustain its research capacity by retaining and further developing key interdisciplinary researchers and by undertaking speculative new projects to chart out the major new challenges that will arise as ubicomp moves from its current state of isolated installations that are maintained by researchers to being widespread and managed by end-users. At the heart of this emerging agenda are the three research challenges of exploring the temporal, spatial and material expansion of ubicomp. These will be charted through a program of speculative pilot projects, sensitising studies and research challenge sandpits. This will be complemented by a focus on developing collaborations where we will work with external partners to explore two key application domains, the creative industries and everyday living. Finally, we will use platform funding to strengthen our core research capacity, developing our research staff and enhancing our supporting methods and software tools. This programme of activities will enable the MRL to continue to shape the agenda for ubiquitous computing over the next five years and the UK to remain at the forefront of research in this rapidly growing field.

Publications

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Benford S (2011) Creating the spectacle Designing interactional trajectories through spectator interfaces in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

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Benford S (2013) Performance-Led Research in the Wild in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

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Egglestone S (2010) Recommending Rides Psychometric Profiling in the Theme Park in Computers in Entertainment

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Evans, E (2014) We're All a Bunch of Nutters!: The Production Dynamics of Alternate Reality Games in International Journal of Communication

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Marshall J (2010) Sensory Threads in Leonardo

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Evans E (2014) The Malthusian Paradox: performance in an alternate reality game in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

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Green J (2013) Exploring attractions and exhibits with interactive flashlights in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

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Schnädelbach H (2016) The immersive effect of adaptive architecture in Pervasive and Mobile Computing

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Holger Schnädelbach (Author) (2012) Hybrid Spacial Topologies in The Journal of Space Syntax

 
Description This platform funding provided underpinning support for the Mixed Reality Lab, being used to retain key staff and develop new ideas as the basis for future funding proposals. It supported over 15 sensitising studies, pilot projects, and infrastructure developments, with the direct impacts on industry, most notably through the artists residency scheme described in the section on secondments. A wider impact of this platform funding has been to lay the foundations for establishing the Horizon Digital Economy Hub and Centre for Doctoral Training at Nottingham that has ultimately engaged with a network of over 200 industry partners.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description An Augmented Mirror for capturing and Displaying Personal Data
Amount £172,000 (GBP)
Organisation Unilever 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2014
 
Description Bridging the Rural Divide
Amount £230,515 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I001816/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2010 
End 06/2012
 
Description Building Global Engagements at the University of Nottingham
Amount £499,088 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K003941/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2013
 
Description Crowdsourcing Video Coverage of Marathons
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation YouTube 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 03/2012 
End 02/2013
 
Description Data wear
Amount £115 (GBP)
Organisation Unilever 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 02/2014
 
Description EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training
Amount £3,354,859 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 03/2023
 
Description Platform Grant
Amount £1,225,669 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 10/2019