Constructing the IPACS world: our research

Short summary

Related to fast growing societal impacts of Cyber-Physical (Social) Systems, the project aims at developing and demonstrating the foundations of intelligent privacy- aware cloud-based services (IPACS). IPACS will comprehensively and securely integrate sensor-, cloud- and avatar-based solutions in home-bound and portable devices by focusing scenarios dealing with assisted living and interactive assistance in urban spaces. This will be realized through a rigorously user-driven, socio-technical development perspective while being open for wider application areas. To further illustrate our work, let us outline an example of what life might look like in an IPACS-enabled scenario.

Example: living in an IPACS world

Petra, a 75-years-old widowed retiree still lives independently in her apartment. She regularly starts her day with screening her vital signs, being supported by a number of unobtrusive sensors (e.g. cameras for detecting irregular behavior, smartphone sensors for measuring heart rate) in her condominium. Petra's bio information is stored in a cloud-based system for fast access, e.g. in emergency situations and for detecting possible medicine allergies when ordering online or at the pharmacy. Easing the management of data and services, Petra is assisted by an avatar, which acts as her personal assistant and serves as easy-to-use inter- face to the whole cloud-based system. E.g. by using the avatar, Petra granted access to her bio data only for her children, as well as to her doctor. Today, Petra is reminded by the system's avatar that some drugs for treating her hypertension will be needed within the next days. So, she heads off for the pharmacy to buy the required medicine as well as visiting the shopping district in her city. After having been at the pharmacy and while strolling around in the city, Petra uses her augmented-reality glasses to communicate with her avatar and to get detailed information displayed about special offers of some of the shops around her. Overall, she feels very comfortable with being able to seamlessly take the avatar with her on her mobile devices for using IPACS' various cloud-based services.

Research: scenarios and aims

The aim of IPACS is to conduct central research in enabling such a scenario. The user appreciates the neatly integration of home-, car-bound and portable devices in her daily life in ways which are similarly useful and rewarding to familiar human terms. Including lots of invisible and unobtrusive sensors, these devices engage in social interaction and further support and foster deeper personalization to the user. Cloud solutions simplify storage and processing of collected data, usage of same data within several services, as well as combining data of several users and supporting user mobility without information fragmentation over several databases. While necessary sensors and cloud solutions already exist today, user- focused acceptance of such a comprehensive solution remains a critical factor. In all above- mentioned actions, an intuitive user interface - the avatar - eases the use of complex soft- ware. User-driven software development is a key requirement to achieve such integration of all functionality within the avatar. Additionally, a user's privacy could be subject to threats because of the system's wide application area. So, such a system needs to ensure users data control - optionally being able to rate health higher than privacy in emergency cases (or comfort, in other situations). This is only possible by anchoring privacy aspects within the system itself, again oriented at users' demands. Therefore, IPACS will lay out foundations to enable a scenario as depicted above by considering a user-driven approach for privacy-en- abled service provisioning in a cloud-based system. To structure the work progress, two sub-scenarios of user-support are considered: at home (scenario 1) and supporting the user in public places (scenario 2).