As computers are increasingly embedded into our everyday environments, the objects therein become augmented with sensors, actuators, processors, memory, communication modules and novel interfaces. The capability for objects to perceive the environment, store and process data, pursue goals, reason about their intentions and coordinate actions in a holistic manner gives rise to the so-called Intelligent Environment (IE).
In such environments, real space becomes augmented with digital content, thus transcending the limits of nature and of human perception. The term “digital territory” (DT) was initially used, based on a real world metaphor: a territory is usually a continuum in space and has a measurable quantity of elements that are contained within its borders (only that the elements of a DT are active, as opposed to the usually passive objects found in real world territories). IEs constitute the incarnation of the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) vision within a DT. In the AmI paradigm, intelligent computation will be invisibly embedded into our everyday environments through a pervasive transparent infrastructure capable of recognizing, responding and adapting to individuals in a seamless and unobtrusive way.
IEs provide the necessary infrastructure and the services required by ubiquitous computing systems and applications, which are developed in order to support the realization of people's everyday tasks; in that sense, IEs host all technology mediated human activity. A “Virtual Residence” (the evolution of the physical home into the smart, digital home) was amongst the first IEs to be researched; the concept uses most of the notions that apply to “physical” residence, such as borders, markers, activities, etc and expands them to the digital space. The success of the IE conference series demonstrates the increasing popularity of IE research and systems, as the AmI vision continues to infuse all aspects of human life and activity, including architecture of private and public buildings, design of ecologies of smart objects and robots, health care, education, leisure and entertainment, even art and culture.
The 5th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE'09), held at the Politechnical University of Catalonia, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain, provides a collaborative forum for scientists, researchers and engineers from both industry and academia to present theoretical and practical results of Intelligent Environments research and their application. It is the next edition in a series of highly successful conferences that were organized in Colchester (UK), Athens (Greece), Ulm (Germany) and Seattle (USA) in the past four years. The conference programme includes full papers presented at special sessions and short papers from the doctoral colloquium and poster session. In addition, three thought provoking invited lectures are presented by Marcus Brunner, Carles Gomez Montenegro and Brian Johnson, on topics of current research, infused with the vision of Next Generation IEs. Collectively, this unique mix of interdisciplinary and visionary topics combines to provide another high quality IE conference.
However, none of these would have been possible without the team of distinguished colleagues and fellows who contributed their effort to making IE'09 possible. We cordially thank them all, starting from the local chairs, Dolors Royo, Angélica Reyes and Leandro Navarro and the publications chair, Michael Weber. Then there are the members of IE scientific committee, the session chairs and all the people serving in the Programme Committee, who worked hard publicizing the conference and collecting contributions. Finally, we extend our gratitude to our technical assistants, Kostas Togias, who managed the IE conferences web site, and Stefan Dietzel and Florian Schaub, who prepared the proceedings that you are now holding. But most of all, we'd like to thank you, the IE attendees, who have been supporting the IE conference during these years, contributing to making Intelligent Environments a reality that will, one day, embrace all activities of life.
Victor Callaghan and Achilles Kameas
IE'09 Programme chairs