by Fabio Martinelli

As evidenced in our special theme, mobile devices play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, not only by enabling us to communicate but also by providing access to a large variety of pervasive services. The global mobile security market [1] is steadily increasing in value (about $1.6bn in 2012), as companies and organisations seek to secure their smart devices against the dangers of mobile malware. Our software products aim at targeting both this market and that interested in the integration of mobile devices into legacy applications.

by Andreas Kamilaris, George Taliadoros and Andreas Pitsillides

Although domestic smart metering has been introduced into our lives, it is still not easy for consumers to know how much electricity they are using. Consumers are unable to assess whether their consumption is low, average or high. “Social Electricity” is a Facebook application that aims to make individuals aware of their energy consumption by means of comparisons with the corresponding electrical consumption of their friends, as well as with the total consumption in the area where they live. Effective and realistic social comparisons could raise consumers’ awareness of their consumption behaviour, enabling them to take steps to reduce their electricity use and carbon footprint.

by Paulo Carreira and Alfredo Ferreira

Information technology tools for energy management have, to date, failed to take advantage of the recent advances in human-computer interaction. In fact, considerable expertise is still required to interpret and manage energy data. Other domains, in contrast, including architecture, engineering and construction, have embraced new interaction paradigms aiming at more natural ways to interact with and analyse data. We foresee that integrating natural user interfaces with virtual and augmented reality environments in an energy management system will provide a powerful tool, enabling unskilled users to perform complex energy management activities.

by Pavel Vácha and Michal Haindl

Each type of wood has its own specific physical, aesthetic and economic properties; thus correct identification of wood species is required in numerous practical applications, from construction industry, manufacturing, furniture design, and restoration to pricing evaluation of wooden items. Fast, reliable, and practical recognition of wood species is therefore important, having potential impacts in a range of areas, including: the intended application, construction safety, and detecting illegal logging of endangered species. A mobile Android application that can automatically recognize wood species from a phone photo has been developed at the Institute of Information Theory and Automation AS CR in Prague..

by Mariana Esposito, Andrea Fiaschetti, Francesco Flammini

New SHIELD (nSHIELD) is a European research project co-funded by the Artemis Joint Undertaking (Sub-programme SP6) focused on the research of innovative solutions for security, privacy, dependability (SPD) in the context of embedded systems (ES), including those employed in railway security applications.

by Michail Giannakos and Letizia Jaccheri

Our Toys project is investigating how teenage girls participate in the creative production of digital artifacts. Furthermore, the project introduces them to digital and computer literacy. We capture the students’ attention with character development using physical artifacts, and use computer programming to bring the character to life.

Next issue: January 2018
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Quantum Computing
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