Use cases

Safe @ Home system

Safe@Home is a smart-home system for helping elderly people to stay home as long as possible. The system will in addition to control equipment that are normally present in smart homes to make life comfortable (automatic light control, door locks, and heater control, etc.), have an additional focus on the situation for elderly people. One of the main fears for elderly people is the fear for falling and not get helped. This fear causes elderly to isolate and become less active, which in turn make them more exposed to illness. 

Business and technological domain of the case study

An increasing part of the population are getting to old age. This puts a big strain on elderly care services delivered from society and expenses are raising rapidly to provide the expected quality of services. To handle this situation it is necessary to equip homes with sensors and actuators to automate tasks and provide a sufficient level of supervision so that elderly residents can feel safe at home. It is expected that the fraction of the population that has a tele-care alarm will double in the years to come. In Norway 1.5% of the population have tele-care alarms today, but by 2020 about 2.5% of the population is expected to have tele-care alarms and associated e-health services.

The emerging Internet of Things paradigm means sensors and actuators are connected to Internet. Equipment ranges from small battery powered devices to powerful computers that are interconnected to provide end-user services. The Safe@Home system exploits HEADS system architecture and technologies in terms of deployment, scalability and operation.

Use case scenario insights

The Safe@Home use-case implementation demonstrates how a home can be equipped with smart-home devices that are automatically provisioned with software and controlled remotely with use of HEADS tools. Further, the use-case demonstrates dynamic evolvement of the service by adding new service functionality while running the system. The system logic is specified using HEADS design language that specifically targets concurrent and reactive behavior and automatic code generation provides executables on applied platforms like Arduino and Intel Edison.

Safe@Home demonstrates fall detection by differential air pressure measurements and at the same time indicating the indoor location of the falling person by use of BLE technology. It is also demonstrated how Z-Wave devices are connected to the system to control equipment like lamps and stoves.

Why the scenario cannot be realized with the current state-of-the-art

The scenario leans on HEADS IDE to realise all aspects of the Safe@Home system spanning from the design language used to code generation and deployment on different kind of resource constrained devices and cloud resources. The HEADS IDE is also used for runtime operation of the system. Developers have been able to work effectively with target platforms integrated in HEADS IDE with little prior knowledge on the specific implementation details on the platform. No other tool has shown to be able to provide this kind of “coverage” throughout the whole internet continuum for the different tasks needed in order to accomplish the Safe@Home use-case.

A media system

News as an Asset (NewsAsset) is an end-to-end multimedia cross-channel solution for evolving news agencies, broadcasters and publishers. It is an innovative suite of media asset management solutions and it is available in three editions: Publishing, Agency and Broadcast; each one of them providing specialized modules/functionalities targeted to the different media sectors. NewsAsset is a commercial product being marketed by ATC with success both inside and outside Greece with the major clients being the national news agencies of Greece, Portugal, Poland and Russia.

With respect to HEADS objectives and considering several business and technological aspects of the platform, the Agency Edition will be utilized during project’s lifetime. NewsAsset Agency Edition is a modular, configurable, all-in-one multimedia solution for news agencies. It has been built to meet the needs of an evolving news agency to help plan, create, manage and distribute breaking news quickly and efficiently to a wide array of customers through multiple delivery channels. It delivers the core functionality required for event management & editorial planning, content creation, ingestion & aggregation, production monitoring, archiving, and distribution/ publishing through multiple channels.

NewsAsset Agency Edition supports the whole life-cycle of news item from planning, through creating, gathering and selecting, editing, to producing, distributing and archiving. An all-in-one system covers all internal, user-generated, Web-accrued or wired multimedia assets, all types of workflow and all news asset management activities, via a friendly, industry-standard compliant interface. Workflow is flexible and configurable. Channel independent content and support for a wide range of formats make NewsAsset ideal for cross channel publishing. Assets can be combined as multimedia stories for enhanced multimedia production. NewsAsset co-operates with widely used tools, (Microsoft Word, Open Office, Photoshop) and is based on industry standards (IPTC, ANPA, NewsML, EventsML), making it a very powerful and flexible solution.

Business and technological domain of the case study

NewsAsset suite constitutes an innovative management solution for handling large volumes of information in the following forms: text, picture, graphics, audio, video, stories, etc., offering a complete and secure electronic environment for storage, management and delivery of sensitive information in the news production environment. The functional and efficient means of management for the distribution of content that the suite offers streamlines the internal operations and organization of news enterprises with absolute security and reliability.

The suite is capable of handling material already published or to be published, that have either been created within the agency, or originating from external associates (correspondents, photographers, agencies, press offices, etc.). Such material may be of various types, such as text, image, graphic, audio, and video and in several supported electronic formats. Moreover, it offers the ability of creating multimedia news Items, the contents of which may be a combination of all the aforesaid types and formats.

The initial engine of the suite was developed in a Greek State R&D project (in 1996), whereas new collaborations enabling versions with strong search capabilities are currently being researched in EU Projects. The developed solution was able to aggregate the requirements and expressed needs of the most demanding enterprises in the areas of digital news content production, management and delivery. Since then, the suite was updated by following the present technological achievements. Times change fast, and news agencies are already feeling the impact of the web and the on-line world in their operations. At the same time there is a rapid increase of demand for cross-media news publishing tools and ways to make management of any type of files an easy and risk free process.

In this environment NewsAsset production team realized that news agencies are looking for additional ways to create and distribute their content, whether it is text, images, graphics, video or other digital data. Furthermore, the future computing continuum, composed of a wide set of heterogeneous platforms, promises to be an environment that will definitely affect the media industry in terms of creating, managing and exploiting trustworthy media items. Nowadays, interesting media info is out there in the digital world and can be possessed and exploited by utilizing a variation of nodes and software engineering practices like network nodes, gateways, smart-phones, cloud computing and service-oriented methods, etc. The challenge for NewsAsset is to catch up with this evolution and provide services that can handle the developing new situation in the media industry. HEADS innovations are envisioned to offer this opportunity to NewsAsset if they will be efficiently adopted during project’s lifecycle.

Use case scenario insights

The future computing continuum, composed of a wide set of heterogeneous platforms, promises to be an environment that will definitely affect the media industry in terms of creating, managing and exploiting trustworthy media items. Nowadays, interesting media info is out there in the digital world and can be possessed and exploited by utilizing a variation of nodes and software engineering practices like network nodes, gateways, smart-phones, cloud computing and service-oriented methods, etc. The challenge for NewsAsset platform as a complete media system is to catch up with this evolution and provide services that can handle the developing new situations in the media industry. HEADS innovations are envisioned to offer this opportunity to NewsAsset.

A conceptual architecture mapping HEADS framework and NewsAsset vision regarding the creation of a HEADS news item can be seen in the following figure.

As it can be seen from the previous figure, the creation of a HEADS news item will be the outcome of the analysis of data that are coming from different and heterogeneous resources. The nodes could be social networks, mobile devices, existing news wires and sensor networks. A Complex Event Processing (CEP) hosted in a cloud infrastructure could be used to perform the analysis of the raw data aggregated.

Alongside NewsAsset, the open source Social Sensor Platform [1] will be used. Social Sensor is an EU-funded project that collects, processes, and aggregates big streams of social media data and multimedia to discover trends, events, influencers, and interesting media content. Social Sensor will be tailored to utilise HEADS technology. It will therefore be adapted to a heterogeneous and distributed application that will be able to discover interesting media content from a variety of sources and forward it to NewsAsset.

Why the scenario cannot be realised with the current state-of-the-art

NewsAsset scenarios refer to the adaptation and management of media items that leverage from heterogeneous wires and sources which have been brought into surface the last recent years. Social networks, mobile devices and sensor networks are some indicative examples of nodes which are being used by more and more users and services the last few years making them extremely important in the media industry. Even though the existing NewsAsset software framework manages info coming from several other wires mentioned in the previous section, there is still the need for an open source environment that will be able to incorporate heterogeneous platforms and networks and exploit the information each one provides in an integrated way.


[1] Social Sensor is accessible here: http://socialsensor.atc.gr/socialsensor/site/

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