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Ambient intelligence

What is ambient intelligence?

Ambient intelligence (AmI) is a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to make our everyday environments intelligent and sensitive to us. It draws on the advances in pervasive computing, artificial intelligence, sensors, and sensor networks, promising to transform our lives by making our surroundings flexible and adaptive.

Artificial intelligence and ambient intelligence are very closely related to each other. Some people even say that ambient intelligence is essentially artificial intelligence in the environment.  

Ambient intelligence is all about environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. 

Here is how ambient intelligence is defined:

“Ambient Intelligence is a multi-disciplinary approach which aims to enhance the way environments and people interact with each other. The ultimate goal of the area is to make the places we live and work in more beneficial to us. Smart Homes is one example of such systems, but the idea can also be used about hospitals, public transport, factories, and other environments.”

  • Juan Carlos Augusto and McCullagh

It is tied very closely to ubiquitous computing and pervasive computing, along with human-centric computer interaction design and context awareness. Here are the characteristics of such ambient intelligence systems:

  • Embedded: There are many networked devices that have been embedded within the environment.
  • Context-awareness: The systems recognize users as well as the user’s situational context.
  • Personalized: These systems can be customized to the user’s requirements.
  • Adaptive: The systems can adapt their performance according to the user’s mental or physical state.
  • Anticipatory: AmI systems are capable of anticipating a user’s desires without needing any conscious mediation.
  • Non-invasive: They act on their own, without requiring users to take any sort of action.
  • Unobtrusive: The systems are discrete and do not provide any information about the user to other devices and humans other than that which is necessary.


What is ubiquitous computing?

Ubiquitous computing refers to a situation where computers become far more numerous and fade into the background. It involves adding intelligence in everyday objects which would deliver information to human users.

It is an ultra-interdisciplinary field and has the potential to greatly impact all spheres of human life. 

What are the applications of ambient intelligence?

Here are some of the applications of ambient intelligence:

1. Smart homes

Smart homes refer to houses that can bring advanced services to their users. Many items in homes can have sensors embedded in them, gathering information about their use and sometimes even allowing the items to act independently without human intervention.

2. Public transportation

The public transportation sector can make use of ambient intelligence in technologies like GPS-based spatial location, vehicle identification, image processing, etc.


3. Emergency services

They can help identify the location where an incident took place, directing the emergency response team (eg. a fire brigade) with greater accuracy. They could also show them the fastest way to reach that location.

There are many other applications of ambient intelligence, ranging from the healthcare industry to production-oriented environments.

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Ambient intelligence

October 14, 2020

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

What is ambient intelligence?

Ambient intelligence (AmI) is a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to make our everyday environments intelligent and sensitive to us. It draws on the advances in pervasive computing, artificial intelligence, sensors, and sensor networks, promising to transform our lives by making our surroundings flexible and adaptive.

Artificial intelligence and ambient intelligence are very closely related to each other. Some people even say that ambient intelligence is essentially artificial intelligence in the environment.  

Ambient intelligence is all about environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. 

Here is how ambient intelligence is defined:

“Ambient Intelligence is a multi-disciplinary approach which aims to enhance the way environments and people interact with each other. The ultimate goal of the area is to make the places we live and work in more beneficial to us. Smart Homes is one example of such systems, but the idea can also be used about hospitals, public transport, factories, and other environments.”

  • Juan Carlos Augusto and McCullagh

It is tied very closely to ubiquitous computing and pervasive computing, along with human-centric computer interaction design and context awareness. Here are the characteristics of such ambient intelligence systems:

  • Embedded: There are many networked devices that have been embedded within the environment.
  • Context-awareness: The systems recognize users as well as the user’s situational context.
  • Personalized: These systems can be customized to the user’s requirements.
  • Adaptive: The systems can adapt their performance according to the user’s mental or physical state.
  • Anticipatory: AmI systems are capable of anticipating a user’s desires without needing any conscious mediation.
  • Non-invasive: They act on their own, without requiring users to take any sort of action.
  • Unobtrusive: The systems are discrete and do not provide any information about the user to other devices and humans other than that which is necessary.


What is ubiquitous computing?

Ubiquitous computing refers to a situation where computers become far more numerous and fade into the background. It involves adding intelligence in everyday objects which would deliver information to human users.

It is an ultra-interdisciplinary field and has the potential to greatly impact all spheres of human life. 

What are the applications of ambient intelligence?

Here are some of the applications of ambient intelligence:

1. Smart homes

Smart homes refer to houses that can bring advanced services to their users. Many items in homes can have sensors embedded in them, gathering information about their use and sometimes even allowing the items to act independently without human intervention.

2. Public transportation

The public transportation sector can make use of ambient intelligence in technologies like GPS-based spatial location, vehicle identification, image processing, etc.


3. Emergency services

They can help identify the location where an incident took place, directing the emergency response team (eg. a fire brigade) with greater accuracy. They could also show them the fastest way to reach that location.

There are many other applications of ambient intelligence, ranging from the healthcare industry to production-oriented environments.

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