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Universal access to ambient intelligence environments: Opportunities and challenges for people with disabilities

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2 Author(s)
P. L. Emiliani ; Italian National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara” (IFAC), Via Panciatichi 64, 50127 Firenze, Italy ; C. Stephanidis

In the years ahead, as a result of the increasing demand for ubiquitous and continuous access to information and services, information technologies are expected to evolve toward a new computing paradigm known as ambient intelligence. Ambient intelligence will be characterized by invisible (i.e., embedded) computational power in everyday appliances and other common physical objects, including intelligent mobile and wearable devices. Ambient intelligence will have profound consequences on the type, content, and functionality of emerging products and services, as well as on the way people will interact with them, bringing about multiple new requirements for the development of information technologies. In addressing this challenge, the concept of universal access is critical. This paper discusses the anticipated opportunities and challenges that ambient intelligence will bring about for elderly people and people with disabilities, envisages new scenarios in the use of ambient-intelligence technologies by users with diverse needs and requirements, and identifies some of the critical issues that will have to be addressed.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 3 )