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Indoor location or indoor positioning. What really counts is inner beauty? When people spend between 80 and 90% of their time indoors, one can not deny the importance that the indoor location has. Its measurement becomes more relevant and natural than at the beginning it wants to appear.

Indoor vs outdoor positioning

The role of positioning systems has become increasingly clear in people’s lives, with integration in the technologies used in daily life and with the perceived advantages.

Nowadays almost all people have a device equipped with positioning features, be it a common smartphone, a tablet, a GPS or a smartwatch.

It was the GPS (Global Positioning System) that revolutionized outdoor positioning when it became available to the public in the late 1990s.

Given the impossibility of using GPS in the interior, however, other technological patterns have emerged, and the positioning technology has begun to turn more indoors, with new possibilities emerging in the internal use. Mobile computing has become a top priority for technology developers.

The indoor positioning raises more complexities than the outdoor positioning, through GPS, since a certain infrastructure needs to be placed in the interior. But this inner positioning also raises many possibilities.

gps-map-indoor-tracking-CCG

Uses of internal positioning systems

Nowadays, the positioning systems act in different stages, from the comfort of the house to the workplace, from the entertainment in the cinema room to the hospital, from the museum to the shopping mall – places where visitors are guided in territories still unknown.

In a gym, it is also possible to direct the training of the person and to show the results of the efforts made. In a big event, where several activities take place simultaneously in different spaces, the visitor can be guided to the activity that he most desires at that moment.

Some other examples of internal location applications are:

indoor location CCG

Advantages of using indoor location tracking

The applications can provide useful information, showing interesting results to the user.

Indoor location solutions are very much targeted for health care, in hospitals, and in nursing homes.

These devices can also be used to prevent theft. For companies, these technologies can be used to improve the use of resources (objects and people) in order to reduce costs.

Indoor location tracking technologies

Indoor location relies heavily on Wi-Fi Fingerprinting, the information received by Wi-Fi devices, as Wi-Fi networks are currently in many places.

The Bluetooth beacon is another example of easy-to-use technology in indoor spaces.

The CCG, which has won awards in international indoor location competitions, is working on providing real-time location information for people or resources with LSE – Location, and Sensing Engine technology.

This sensing and localization engine allows rapid integration with existing information systems.

The Internet of Things is celebrated annually on April 9, in what was chosen as the “IoT Day” – Internet of Things Day.

IoT Day

This Internet of Things Day is an open invitation to the world community to attend an event, to organize a hackathon, or to simply have a coffee with someone sharing a link and discussing the Internet of Things and its implications.

This international initiative was created in 2010 by the IoT Council to promote the concept in a global and collaborative environment.

The theme of the Internet of Things Day 2018 is IOT & Social Good.

Find an event near you on the official date website.

Internet of Things: what is it?

IoT (Internet of Things) is an extension of the Internet, which allows everyday objects (with computational and communicative abilities) to connect to the Internet.

“Things” exchange data between themselves and with the Internet, making decisions automatically, without human interaction, according to their programming.

This connection enables, for example, remote control of common objects and that these objects are used as service providers.

rede da internet das coisas

Internet of Things: Examples

IoT can have many applications, more or less of everyday use.

Some examples of IoT are:

The Internet of Things’ revolution is not only about domestic devices, but also about the industry, smart cities, or self-employed cars, to name a few.

IoT’s focus is on networking and in business development in five verticals: homes, automobiles, cities, retail, and wearables. However, the possibilities that arise are immense, generating different scenarios: advantages and disadvantages, opportunities, risks, and challenges.

Advantages and application of IoT

At the level of advantages, in addition to increasing the comfort and security of the person, IoT allows to identify problems, to improve the use of resources, to improve infrastructures and to reduce costs.

Technology can leverage micro-entrepreneurship in developing countries, similar to what happened with the MOSAIC 2B – Mobile Empowerment for the Socio-Economic Development in South Africa project, in which the CCG worked.

Greater efficiency and new business models will bring economic benefits, but the most important thing will be the advantages that IoT brings in the human chapter.

IoT can, for example, improve the quality of life of the elderly. Imagine a device that detects the vital signs of an elderly person living alone and sends a warning to health professionals when they reach a certain limit or if you notice that this elderly person has fallen and cannot get up. Or an application that helps identify the medication you need to take. These are examples of projects in which the CCG is working in Portugal, such as the ALERTFALLS project and the Senior Inclusive.

More than changing the world around us, IoT has the ability to change ourselves, the actors on the world stage…

Did you know that?

The Audiovisual Content Development workshop, organized by CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica, will take place on March 25, Sunday, at 6 pm, at Fnac, Braga.

This workshop is aimed at all enthusiasts in the areas of audio, music technology and the development of audiovisual content. Admission is free.

workshop de desenvolvimento

Contents of the audiovisual workshop

In the lecture of the workshop of development of audiovisual contents will be approached the current methods of production of 3D sound in two strands:

  1.     analog sound capture 3D;
  2.     modeling and computational generation of 3D sound.

 

Throughout the lecture, a special focus will be given to the impact this technology can have on music, film, and virtual reality environments. Some scientific results obtained, in the area of acoustic perception with 3D sound, by the research group PIU of the CCG, will also be presented.

As speakers will be Frederico Pereira, Master in Audio and Acoustics from the University of Sydney, and Carlos Silva coordinator of the PIU research team, who is finishing a doctorate focused on the development of audiovisual environments of virtual reality.

PIU team

The Perception, Interaction, and Usability team of the Centro de Computação Gráfica is a scientific research group applied to the development of new technology products based on the study and understanding of the user.

One of the recent projects of this team focuses on the development of computational methods of 3D sound generation for immersive contents such as games, music, and experiences in virtual reality.

The presentation of SONAE results for the year 2017 took place on March 15 at the company’s facilities in Maia. The CCG – Centre for Computer Graphics – was one of the guests present at the event.

The theme of SONAE’s 2017 annual presentation was technology. Among a range of hundreds of ongoing projects, the CCG was invited to present the mixed reality project applied to training in the context of logistics. This is one of the works developed in CCG through the applied research domain CVIG (Computer Vision Interaction and Graphics).

Of the 6 projects demonstrated in the SONAE event open to the media, the CCG was the only entity external to SONAE.

Mixed Reality CCG Demo

The CCG worked on the recreation of SONAE MC logistics in a mini space, with a low rack and two pallets, where some of the contents already used in the demonstration in real context at SONAE were applied.

Among others, were shown in this demo: the contents of the rack, the flows of movement of the machines, the information present on the labels affixed to the beams and the avatar with the movement of the boxes.

The challenge was to prepare the demonstration in a non-existent environment, set up on the very day of the event.

 

Engineer Paulo Azevedo, President of the Board of Directors and Co-CEO of SONAE,  experiencing the mixed reality applied in the context of logistics training, at SONAE MC.

CCG e Sonae MC projeto realidade mista

Team Computer Graphics Center – SONAE MC present in the demonstration.

Cloud computing is a concept that is difficult to pinpoint precisely because the ideas surrounding cloud computing are still recent and are under construction, while the views of its experts still diverge.

Instead of a concept or technology, cloud computing is actually a model for the availability and use of Information and Communication Technologies, which enables remote access via the Internet to a range of shared computing media in the form of services.

Although there are still some uncertainties in the adoption of the cloud computing model, the truth is that this model has come to stay. More than a buzzword, cloud computing is a model that changes the solution delivery model and communication channels on the desktop. It forces companies to change the way they work as well as their business models. For businesses, instead of a dark sky, this is a clear horizon for opportunities.

 

cloud computing CCG

Advantages of cloud computing for businesses

Of course, cloud computing also has its drawbacks, such as the need for an internet connection, good processing speed, and obviously, it is a paid service. But the advantages on the user side are strong.

The work is all on the side of the service provider (the best known are Amazon WS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, VMware Cloud), which has to worry about the issues of storage, computing, virtualization, maintenance, backup, and updating, among others.

On their side, customers access the different services, usually from Browsers, in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) models.

What do companies gain from cloud computing?

Cloud computing can bring many benefits to businesses, for example:

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Different types of “clouds”

There are different models of availability of cloud computing services [1]:

Due to the increasing change in the business model of enterprises, namely in becoming providers of services, other forms of differentiating services (and of different natures) have emerged. We are talking about Business-as-a-Service (BPaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), Container-as-a-Service (CaaS), Function-as-a- -a-Service, just to mention a few [2].

Basically, it turns out that “everything” has the potential to be a service (“Everything-as-a-Service”, XaaS). The international consultancy Gartner ranks cloud services as the most profitable [3].

Deployment models

You can also talk about private, public, and hybrid cloud in deployment models. Companies can deploy solutions in a public cloud, open to public use, with all services and infrastructures outside the enterprise; or in a private cloud, built solely for a company. Another option is a hybrid cloud, with solutions outside and inside the company, expanding its resources. This ease in proposing several solution installation scenarios allows companies to tailor the offer to the specific needs of each customer.

cloud computing ccg

Cloud computing architecture

Cloud computing architectures are designed to ensure that different services (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) are secured, as well as other cross-cutting issues such as privacy and security, portability and interoperability. The most known reference is characterized by a layered structure, proposed by NIST entity [1].

The cloud computing architecture raises issues of cybersecurity, since programs and data are permanently online, in a “no man’s land”, shared by everyone, without a company knowing exactly where their data is stored.

Measures such as controlling user access to specific data and securing storage, processing, confidentiality, and retrieval of data by the vendor must be taken.

Despite these concerns, investing in cloud computing projects, where you only pay for what you use, is more advantageous than continuing to invest in traditional information architectures built to meet the needs of the past and where the costs of using and tend to multiply.

CCG work areas on cloud computing

Through its applied research domain EPMQ, scientifically led by Prof. Ricardo Machado and Prof. Helena Rodrigues, the CCG develops market solutions mainly related to Cloud Computing (SaaS and IaaS) service architectures:

Also on this subject, the CCG has already been working on some emerging issues, such as interoperability services (middleware/brokers) or “Fog Computing“.

You may be interested in the scientific publication of the GCC: “Transition from Information Systems to Service-oriented Logical Architectures: Formalizing Steps and Rules with QVT”, in Requirements Engineering for Service and Cloud Computing.”

Sources:

The CCG incorporates the Technical Commission for Standardization “CT 199 – Information Systems for Health”, a technical body that prepares documents and normative opinions related to Health Information and Communication Technologies and Systems.

This technical committee was created by IPQ – Portuguese Quality Institute – the National Standardization Body.

Scope of Technical Commission “CT 199 – Health Information Systems”

The purpose of Technical Commission 199 is to accompany the work on Standardization of Health Information and Communication Technologies and Systems for the promotion of quality, usability, compatibility, interoperability, security, privacy, and accessibility at the European and international level, taking into account the framework at national level.

This Commission includes the requirements for the structure of health information in the clinical, administrative and management fields.

Works of the CT 199

The CT 199 IPQ is responsible for the normative document NP ISO 18308: 2017 “Health informatics – Requirements for an electronic health record architecture” – (ISO 18308: 2011) Homologation Term Nº118 / 2017, from 2017-06-09.

Follow-up of Technical Committees

The main Technical Committees that the CT 199 follow, both European and international, are:

Structure of the CT 199

Technical Commission 199 has the following structure:

Constitution of the CT 199

This technical committee is coordinated by the IPQ, being chaired by Mário Macedo and secretariat by Maria Adelina Gomes.

It is represented by CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica – through Juliana Teixeira, of the EPMQ domain of the CCG, as a vowel.

This applied research domain of the CCG is also involved in the technical committee of normalization CT 196, regarding electronic invoice.

In this committee there is a total of 71 members. This broad number is constitued of stakeholders from the public sector and the private sector:

 

saúde, comisão técnica de normalização

The CCG also integrates an international technical committee of normalization for ergonomics, under the PIU, applied research domain.

Entrevista Carlos Silva – Centro de Computação Gráfica

cs entrevista

Fonte: Revista Auto Profissional nº91 (páginas 10 a 12)

“O papel do CCG visa a transferência de conhecimento dos meios académicos para a indústria local, como acontece com a parceria firmada com a Bosch Car Multimedia e a UMinho.

 

Carlos Silva, Development Coordinator, coloca a I&D do Centro ao mesmo nível do que de melhor se faz na Europa na área da condução autónoma.”

 

Auto Profissional:

Temas como a Condução Autónoma e a Inteligência Artificial ganharam um especial relevo na fronteira do conhecimento em 2017. No entanto a questão não é pacífica, pois ainda subsistem questões éticas como aumentar a segurança, confiança e aceitação da tecnologia. Na sua opinião, quais são os grandes desafios da condução autónoma?

Carlos Silva:

Podendo parecer um pouco surpreendente a alguns leitores, penso que os atuais principais desafios para a implementação da condução autónoma já não são desafios tecnológicos. Não quero com isto insinuar que a tecnologia já tenha atingido um nível de maturidade que dispense um continuado investimento no seu desenvolvimento e aperfeiçoamento. No entanto, creio que os últimos anos têm mostrado que a condução autónoma, enquanto tecnologia ao serviço da sociedade, é perfeitamente exequível, faltando agora cumprir a parte mais difícil e desafiante desta adoção tecnológica, que é precisamente perceber qual será o seu impacto na sociedade.

Acredito que os principais desafios que se avizinham serão, sobretudo, desafios relacionados com os Fatores Humanos, a Ergonomia e a Usabilidade dos sistemas.

Agora que a tecnologia está ao dispor dos utilizadores, demorará um pouco até percebermos quais são as reais dinâmicas de interação com esta tecnologia, quais os riscos que ninguém previu e quais os potenciais problemas que não se confirmaram. O caso da aviação comercial é nisto paradigmático: os sistemas autónomos de apoio à pilotagem foram sendo implementados gradualmente e, infelizmente, muito do seu desenvolvimento deu-se com a análise de incidentes e de casos em que a colaboração piloto-sistema autónomo não correu como previsto. Passaram-se dezenas de anos até que, com o apoio de sistemas autónomos, chegamos pela primeira vez a um ano (2017) em que não se registou qualquer acidente com um avião comercial.

Para que a adoção desta tecnologia no automóvel ocorra de forma segura, será muito importante estudar e definir/normalizar, com elevados padrões de segurança, de que forma o condutor interagirá com estes sistemas.

Por último, um outro desafio de uma natureza diferente parece-me ser o da adaptação das infraestruturas rodoviárias. Primeiro porque num ecossistema rodoviário híbrido (com carros autónomos e carros manuais) poderão ser necessárias novas infraestruturas, como por exemplo vias dedicadas a um tipo de veículo. Segundo, porque num contexto onde os carros passam a ser todos autónomos, algumas infraestruturas tornam-se obsoletas. De qualquer forma, esta é uma tecnologia que tem potencial para alterar significativamente o aspeto das nossas estradas e daí advirá outro grande desafio que é mobilizar a vontade política e social para proceder a estas alterações.

AP:

Recentemente, a Honda seguiu a tendência de outros fabricantes da indústria automóvel, tendo assinado um acordo com a empresa SenseTime Group, sedeada na China, que detém fortes competências em Inteligência Artificial. O projeto combina a tecnologia de reconhecimento de objetos em movimento da SenseTime com os algoritmos de Inteligência Artificial da Honda. Em termos gerais, como comenta este acordo?

CS:

Acordos deste género serão cada vez mais comuns. Empresas tradicionalmente ligadas às áreas das tecnologias de informação e comunicação estão muito interessadas em entrar na área dos veículos autónomos. A NVidia, mais conhecida pela sua produção de placas gráficas para computadores, tem-se colocado como um dos principais atores na área dos carros autónomos. Isto tem acontecido porque, apesar dos grandes fornecedores tradicionais das marcas automóveis terem capacidade para fazer um ótimo trabalho ao nível da sensorização necessária para capacitar um veículo para condução autónoma, são as empresas que dominam as áreas de machine learning, data mining e Inteligência Artificial que conseguem processar e tornar acessível toda a informação captada pelos sensores. No entanto, e porque estamos a falar de sistemas críticos para a segurança de quem os utiliza, espera-se bom senso por parte das marcas automóveis na escolha das parcerias com empresas de tecnologia, sendo necessário garantir que os sistemas desenvolvidos são à prova de hacking e que a privacidade dos dados está garantida.

AP:

Para o Centro de Computação Gráfica (CCG) da Universidade do Minho, quais são os principais avanços da condução autónoma em termos globais?

CS:

A inclusão de metodologias de machine learning e Inteligência Artificial vem, sem dúvida, contribuir para o aperfeiçoamento destas tecnologias. Em termos tecnológicos, poderá colocar esta tecnologia num nível acima em termos de maturidade. No entanto, acreditamos que os avanços em termos de regulação/normalização das interfaces constituirão um marco para o desenvolvimento destes sistemas, já que a partir daí as marcas vão ter que balizar a sua inovação dentro daquilo que as normas determinam como sendo um sistema eficiente e seguro para o condutor.

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DR: CCG

AP:

Recentemente, o CCG reuniu vários especialistas da condução autónoma no evento “World Usability Day 2017”, em Guimarães. Quais foram as principais conclusões deste encontro?

CS:

O World Usability Day 2017 trouxe a Guimarães um conjunto muito interessante de experts mundiais em áreas muito específicas do desenvolvimento tecnológico para carros. Tivemos, por exemplo, a Dr. Nora Broy, uma engenheira da BMW que é a referência na área dos dispositivos de visualização 3D, uma tecnologia que ainda nem existe comercialmente no contexto automóvel. Tivemos também connosco o Tim Smith, um designer inglês da empresa UsTwo que apresentou uma proposta/conceito para um veículo autónomo que foi especialmente pensado, tendo em conta as particularidades de alguns londrinos. Lembro-me, por exemplo, que o design deles incluía uns pequenos espelhos retrovisores, apesar de ser uma proposta para um veículo totalmente autónomo e estes extras serem obsoletos neste contexto. No entanto eles deixaram ficar os espelhos porque esta é uma característica fundamental para pessoas com problemas visuais perceberem a orientação de um veículo estacionado.

Este encontro serviu também para ficar com uma noção muito clara de quais são os desafios tecnológicos atuais e que tecnologia poderemos encontrar num futuro próximo.

No entanto o foco principal, como indica o nome do evento, estava colocado no estudo dos utilizadores em interação com a tecnologia. Todos os investigadores que falaram abordaram questões de fatores humanos ou usabilidade que influenciaram ou acabaram por definir o processo de desenvolvimento de determinada tecnologia. Podemos dizer que a mensagem para levar para casa foi: antes de começar a desenvolver tecnologia é fundamental estudar a fundo o utilizador final.

AP:

O CCG detém atualmente uma parceria com a Bosch Car Multimedia e a Universidade do Minho no âmbito da condução autónoma, nomeadamente, ao nível do programa INNOVCAR, que procura contribuir para avanços na direção da condução autónoma. Em que consiste este projeto?

CS:

O projeto INNOVCAR, na componente para a qual contribuímos, tem como objetivo desenvolver novos sistemas de interação carro-condutor, também denominados sistemas HMI (Human-Machine Interface). Há um foco especial neste projeto para o desenvolvimento e teste de sistemas HMI para a condução autónoma, e o objetivo final é ter uma proposta para um novo sistema HMI alicerçado em estudos com utilizadores finais. Desta forma, pretende-se que a proposta final de sistema HMI, que incluirá informação e funções relacionadas com a condução autónoma (ex.: como ativar diferentes níveis de autonomia; de que forma se processará o pedido de retoma do controlo do veículo; que alarmes apresentar quando algo corre mal e de que forma se pode responder a esses alarmes) seja o mais eficiente e seguro possível.

AP:

Ainda sobre a parceria com a Bosch Car Multimedia, qual é o papel do CCG para este projeto de condução autónoma? Que novas soluções serão lançadas pelo Centro nesta iniciativa inovadora?

CS:

O nosso papel é dar apoio à Bosch e à Universidade do Minho em questões de Fatores Humanos e Usabilidade, elaborando estudos em simulador de condução que testem escolhas específicas de design de interfaces. Baseamo-nos nos dados de condução e na análise de comportamento do condutor para ajudar a tomar decisões de design. Não somos nós que definimos o aspeto das interfaces, mas providenciamos à equipa de design dados quantitativos que lhes permitem tomar decisões, tendo sempre em foco aquilo que é mais seguro para o condutor. Isto pode-se traduzir na definição do conteúdo que é mostrado a cada momento ao condutor, na forma como se comportam os sistemas de alarme, ou até na definição da posição e do tipo de comandos que serão usados para ativar o módulo de condução autónoma.

 

The mixed reality developed by CCG, applied in the context of hypermarket logistics, was highlighted in TVI24’s “NXT – The Next Step” program.

The work developed in the CCG, by the CVIG (Computer Vision Interaction and Graphics) applied research domain, together with SONAE MC, allows shortening the logistic processes in the large warehouses, reducing the time of supply delays and facilitating the training of new workers, which becomes more interactive, effective and satisfying.

In addition to optimizing the training of the picking activity, the mixed reality technology also allows increasing the levels of safety in the work.

This promising project was chosen amongst hundreds of technological projects to be present in the annual demonstration of SONAE results.

In February 2018, the CCG obtained the double certification ISO 9001 (Quality Management) and NP 4457 (Management of Research, Development and Innovation) awarded by APCER – Portuguese Certification Association.

This certification covers all research, development and innovation activities in the areas of computer graphics and information technologies, developed by CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica.

Even without having the legal form of company, the CCG achieved the certification by its degree of organization and by the maturity of the practices of management of the quality and RDI.

Importance of the certification ISO 9001 and NP 4457

This certification reinforces the commitment of the CCG to achieve continuous improvement, accentuating the collective effort made in quality assurance within the Center of Computer Graphics.

João Nuno Oliveira, CEO of CCG, stated that this double certification is a proof of the quality of the work developed by the CCG and of the commitment established with quality, with the customer, and with the partners.

Mónica Melo, Manager of the Integrated Management System (SGI) of the CCG, also adds that NP 4457 is another differentiating factor in a market that is proving increasingly demanding and competitive while enhancing the commitment of all employees of the organization in achieving innovation objectives at the same time.

logo_APCER_certificacao-01

The CCG is part of the Technical Commission for Standardization “TC 196 – Electronic Invoice”, a technical body that aims at drafting normative documents and opinions regarding the dematerialization of documents at European level and electronic invoices.

This technical committee was created by IPQ – Portuguese Quality Institute – as National Standardization Body.

Scope of Technical Committee 196 – Electronic Invoice

The Technical Committee 196 is intended to monitor work on the dematerialization of documents and electronic invoicing at European level, in the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) or in the European Commission (EC), taking into account its framework at national level.

The EC has issued a warrant to CEN for the creation of a European standard for the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice.

This new standard will need to be technologically neutral and compliant with relevant international standards at the level of the electronic invoice or be used for business-to-business transactions.

Constitution of the TC 196

This technical committee is chaired by GS1 Portugal CODIPOR and secretariat by CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica, through Ana Lima, development coordinator of the EPMQ domain of CCG.

In this committee there is a vast set of stakeholders, both from the public sector and from the private sector:

Did you know that?

comissao-tecnica-ct196fatura-eletronica

The CCG also includes a technical standardization commission for Health Information and Communication Technologies and Systems, through the EPMQ laboratory, and an international technical standard for ergonomics under the PIU applied research domain.

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