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Wireless sensor networks are expected to be one of the key enabling technologies in the near future. Ubiquitous intelligent sensing environments have a promising potential to enhance the everyday life of citizens, bringing important social benefits for each person and for society as a whole. Substantial research has contributed to progress in this field. However, there are still gaps to be filled. This article presents an overview of the creating ubiquitous intelligent sensing environments (CRUISE) project and identifies challenges in the research on WSNs. It focuses on outlining the consortium's vision and strategy for the evolution of research. Key issues for target sensor network applications and current research orientations in CRUISE are described. Future work within the project focus areas is identified.