Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

FIRE and FIA … Future Internet Athletics anyone?


'Hands on FIRE’ demonstrations at the Future Internet Assembly, Dublin (8-10 May, 2013)

One of the great successes of the Future Internet Assembly (FIA) meetings has always been the ‘Hands on FIRE’ demonstrations, which present the most promising experimentally-driven research for the Future Internet. These demos tend to be interactive, often with eye-catching experiments running in front of the visitor. In FIA Dublin, 15 FIRE projects showcased their results and vied for the coveted FIA Awards!

The EU-funded Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) initiative answers the call by academic and industrial researchers for large-scale experimental facilities that go beyond individual testbeds and projects, ushering in innovative solutions to meet the emerging demands of the Future Internet.

The winner of the best demo award at FIA Dublin was True Self-Configuration for the Internet of Things (SPITFIRE). This captivating demo showed how devices connected to the internet can offer services described in machine-understandable ways so that user-facing systems can find and apply them.

The demo presented two rooms – a bedroom and a living room – where the visitor could alter basic environmental conditions, such as the lights, temperature, presence of people, etc. The user could plug in off-the-shelf, wireless sensors and actuators needing no explicit configuration or programming, and then observe how these plug-ins ‘sense’ or ‘act on’ their surroundings. The visitor could define rules to control conditions in the virtual rooms, such as the air-conditioning, by using measurements from the sensors and data from the cloud. The demo’s graphical user interface (GUI) could be accessed on location in Dublin or from anywhere in the world.

Other ‘Hands-on FIRE’ demos included BonFIRE, which is a multi-cloud facility open for testing over controlled networks using a simple experiment descriptor, and CONVERGENCE, a publish-subscribe service model over Information-Centric Networks which includes applications.

Meanwhile, the CREW demo used the example of a radio environment map for tracking a mobile robot to explain how ‘experimenters’ can benefit from open access to advanced wireless test facilities and cognitive components. And EXPERIMEDIA showcased an augmented reality display which could be used to access information in a ski resort, for example, or even to organise the first virtual weightlifting demonstration in the history of FIA. Pundits joked that this could be a new direction for FIA … as the “Future Internet Athletics”!

Delegates were also drawn to the EAR-IT demo, which showed how to use acoustics to detect and monitor subtle events  in buildings, such as hospitals (e.g. if a patient falls off the bed), or for innovative applications in traffic monitoring (e.g. a car crash creates a noise that can be detected by sensors and trigger an alarm). The nearby HOBNET demo proved that developing a ‘green building’ monitoring application is as easy as developing any web application. The SmartSantander team also caught visitors’ attention with their city-scale Internet of Things experiments. Their stylish demo showed how the deployment of up to 23,000 sensors in the city of Santander serves the different needs of the Spanish city, from public transport, harbour and waste management, public places and buildings, to work places and residential areas, thus creating the basis for development of a truly Smart City!

More info

Website – Future Internet Research and Experimentation