This work is partially funded in the 7th framework of the European scientific targeted research project Societies, which is co-financed by the European Commission, through theme ICT-2009.1.2 ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling under contract no. 257493
The vision of SOCIETIES is to develop a complete integrated solution for Community Interaction Spaces (CIS). CIS can represent communities of people who share some common characteristics or a desire for common information, taking into account their current location. For example, a CIS could be created for all people from the same company who are attending a big conference in Spain and interact with similar sets of telecom and retail customers. By taking into account information on their current location, customer interaction details, and more, the CIS can provide them with a platform to share tips and information, find meeting locations during and after conference hours, and offer instructions to get there. The CIS can also help them schedule a future meeting and handle their group travel reservation. The new platform being developed for CIS has the potential to extend pervasive systems beyond simply providing services to the individual – by building dynamic communities of users that can help, and interact with, each other.
CIS represents an active pervasive community. Participants can be added to a community statically or dynamically based on membership criteria. These criteria can take into account dynamic settings such as location or information gathered from sensors. A CIS can also control various services or resources used by the members, according to privacy settings. It enables groups of participants sharing one or more common goals or interests for a non-trivial period of time, to join together in pervasive communities.
The goal of SOCIETIES is to radically improve the utility of future Internet services by merging social computing and pervasive computing through the design, implementation, and evaluation of an open, scalable service architecture and platform for self-orchestrating Community Interaction Spaces (CIS).
The Societies project has four key objectives:
- Facilitate the creation, organization, management, and communication of communities via Community Interaction Spaces, where pervasive computing is integrated with social computing communities.
- Provide an enhanced user experience—both for individuals and entire user communities—based on proactive smart space behavior and dynamic sharing of community resources across geographic boundaries.
- Design and prototype a robust, open, and scalable system for self-orchestrating Community Interaction Spaces.
- Evaluate, through strong involvement of end users, the usefulness and acceptance of the developed software via three user trials: students, disaster management, and enterprise.
The SOCIETIES platform/environment is actually a prelude to the Future Internet. It aims to include IT, telecom, and media features and services in the very near future, at a personal and a community level, accelerating the transition to the envisioned converged platforms/environments.
Community Interaction Spaces can embrace each user's personal sphere, while also taking community activities to a higher level.
The SOCIETIES project will verify the system's "attractiveness" for users through three prototypes/demonstrators, each of which addresses a different domain and user group: enterprise, students, and disaster management.