The Smart Composite Human-Computer Interfaces (Smarcos) project is developing a system that will allow the rising number of internet-connected devices to observe and predict consumers' actions in real time, so they can intelligently coordinate their efforts and bring up relevant information whenever needed, with the least amount of human intervention.
The rapid evolution of the electronics industry means that sophisticated microchips are becoming much cheaper and we can afford to embed them into more and more devices around us. By the end of the decade, as world population will near the 8 billion mark, estimates by Ericsson say that there may as many as 50 billion internet-connected devices all around the globe.
And so as our cars, smartphones and washing machines keep getting "smarter" and more sophisticated, we need to make sure that they do exactly what we want them to do at any given time, spending very little time managing them, while still reaping the full benefits that can come from living around a network of smartly integrated, internet-connected devices.
The Smarcos project aims to do exactly that. Without changing the look and feel of the user interface, the system that's been developed can track users' actions over time to understand and predict their habits. Under the hood, data is seamlessly exchanged over the internet, so that each device can react appropriately and offer the most useful and relevant functionality in any given moment.
To demonstrate the platform, Smarcos has produced a "healthy living" service that works across all of a user's personal devices (smartphone, TV, car, computer, etc). In it, a real-time monitoring service controls when, and through which device, the user can be given health-related information, reminders and encouragement – for instance encouraging users to exercise, reminding them to take their medication and dispensing useful health-related tips.
A second trial service allows users to monitor energy consumption in a household and to buy and sell energy across all devices via a minimalist user interface.
Smarcos says these interfaces will be made available to consumers by the end of the year.
The video below illustrates how the system will work.