Enabling the Naked Vision: Surrounding as a Service

Author: Tanesh Kumar (CWC, University of Oulu)
Co-Authors: Juha-Pekka Soininen(VTT), Madhusanka Liyanage(CWC), 
Antti Anttonen(VTT) and Ijaz Ahmed(CWC)

Are you feeling yourself a slave of gadgets? Are you tired for typing every time to get some set of services? Are you fed up with looking at some screen each time to get any of service? Imagine an environment which knows your needs and responds according to that? Interesting!!!

The current society is device centric and mostly dominated by gadgets and electronic devices. These connected devices provide immense potential for data collection and business services. However, there is clear a need of change to how these potentials should be exploited, as the future digital world will be more user centric and intelligent.

Recent technologies like IoT and 5G, have already begun the new era of digitalization. Everyday objects are becoming smart enough to understand user’s intentions and can perform context aware operations. We are approaching towards digital surrounding where infrastructure itself is intelligent enough to deliver the required services to users without the need of having explicit gadgets. The Naked Approach project also deals with such kind of intelligent environment which will be capable of recognizing user intentions and deliver the services according to that without using any means of carry on gadgets. The Naked World vision revolves around user centric approach and provide efficient ways for dynamically adapting the services to user’s needs.

Figure 1 summarizes the main dimensions and challenges in the path towards the Naked World: 




Naked World will need novel and multimodal user interaction which would be a way different and innovative with respect to what we are using today. The current trend is leading us towards wearables where stylish wearable appliances are used for interacting for digital services. The next phase would be user interaction using available objects in the smart surrounding and eventually the interaction would be done directly with the environment itself.

The next big challenge towards naked world is to identify user in such digital surrounding. The traditional ways of identification for gadgets and wearables like username and password are not useful and appropriate for Naked World. The infrastructure has to automatically identify users without any sort of users’ interference. Biometric identification seems to be one of the promising candidate for such naked scenario but is very challenging with the current available technology. Prior to biometrics, some carry on identifiers or digital identities will be used to identify the users.

Naked World vision promises the user to have services everywhere and anywhere. Gadgets are current way of acquiring the services. The transition can start from wearables where user would can have services by wearing digital devices. Initially this will happen with some support and at limited places. Location-based-services, positioning and tracking will also play a vital role. The gadget-naked transition will need a significant changes in storing and sharing of digital data. Getting rid off gadgets also removes personal data storages. This has already started with ongoing trend of sharing data from gadgets to clouds and it will be followed by the next phase of wearables. Huge amount of data storage creates concerns like security and privacy. The final step would be directly collecting and sharing of data by the smart environment. Technically this will be a major challenge for the capacity of the Internet and data repositories, but the main issue will be the user acceptance.

Allowing the infrastructure to know everything will be a hard nut to crack. Service logic is another key transition for this gadget-naked world. The service logic i.e applications is moved from devices to servers. The main enablers in this transition will be web technologies and cloud computing capabilities. This transfer of logic from local processing to servers might cause higher network latencies. Various concepts of edge and fog computing have been proposed as a possible solution for this.

Future is hinting us towards gadget free and more environmentally intelligent world. In the near future, we will most likely to get services from smart surrounding in the everyday life applications such as home, office and healthcare. This complete paradigm shift towards nakedness would not be so straightforward and requires more advancements in technologies such as electronics, networks and communications among others. Different other factors such as security, privacy, energy efficiency are also critical while designing this environment. The Naked Approach project works on these innovative and novel ideas and provide a solid platform where this naked concepts are proposed and implemented for intelligent surroundings.