Digital technology is slowly creeping into every aspect of our daily life. Can this trend help us to address societal challenges such as ageing, energy, cost of living and family cohesion through new systems and services based on enhanced objects? In 2008, a ministerial workgroup addressed the issue through the focus on “ambient intelligence” and now, in a very recent report, the Rhône Alpes Region in its turn has qualified these challenges as being of top priority. High energy efficiency smart buildings, digital technologies and caring systems are amongst some of the smart specialised fields that were selected by the workgroup, within the context of the 2014-2020 Regional Innovation Strategy, for their competitive advantage at a European level. Now, in this respect, the Grenoble Alpes University can rely on the synergy existing with the Minalogic and Tenerrdis competitive clusters in the fields of energy and information sciences. Moreover, Grenoble has excellent expertise in microelectronics which fosters the development of sensors and actuators that may be capitalised in these areas. Healthwise, we can contribute to the well-being of individuals by helping to socialise an ageing population for example and by anticipating the natural changes in physical and cognitive abilities. Amiqual4Home, a project that came to life in October 2013 is aimed at bring together the various stakeholders to invent new digital and physical objects that have perceptive abilities (sensors, interaction, communication and calculation) and to compose human services from a set of digital objects.
James Crowley, professor at Grenoble INP and researcher at Inria