ALLOW – Adaptable Pervasive Flows

Project Overview

This work was part of an EU FP7 involving six European research institutions. The goal of this project was to develop “new programming paradigms for human-oriented pervasive applications”. Adalberto participated later in the project and was involved in the design of a visualization system to foster awareness of past and future events happening in a hospital room through small form factor displays, which provide context-aware information. These would be placed in key locations of a room like near devices, patient beds or on the patient themselves.


A graphical iconic language was designed to easily communicate to observers those tasks that a nurse has to carry out (such as turning the patient or giving them medications) or notify them if the patient drank enough water, among others. An underlying system captured sensor data and updated the displays accordingly. A prototype demonstrator was showcased at the Pervasive 2011 demo session and won an award as “Best Demo at Pervasive 2011”.


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J. Vermeulen, F. Kawsar, A.L. Simeone, G. Kortuem, K. Luyten, and K. Coninx.
Informing the Design of Situated Glyphs for a Care Facility
In Proceedings of Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing 2012 (VL/HCC 2012). IEEE, pp. 89-96.

PDF Version of DocumentBest Student Paper Award

G. Kortuem, F. Kawsar, P. Scholl, M. Beigl, A.L. Simeone and K. Smith.
A Miniaturized Display Network for Situated Glyphs
Demo at Pervasive Computing 2011 (Pervasive 2011). Springer.

PDF Version of DocumentBest Demo Award

Informing caregivers by providing them with contextual medical information can significantly improve the quality of patient care activities. However, information flow in hospitals is still tied to traditional manual or digitised lengthy patient record files that are often not accessible while caregivers are attending to patients. Leveraging the proliferation of pervasive awareness technologies (sensors, actuators and mobile displays), recent studies have explored this information presentation aspect borrowing theories from context-aware computing, i.e., presenting subtle information contextually to support the activity at hand. However, the understanding of the information space (i.e., what information should be presented) is still fairly abstruse, which inhibits the deployment of such real-time activity support systems. To this end, this paper first presents situated glyphs, a graphical entity to encode situation specific information, and then presents our findings from an in-situ qualitative study addressing the information space tailored to such glyphs. Applying technology probes using situated glyphs and different glyph display form factors, the study aimed at uncovering the information space pertained to both primary and secondary medical care. Our analysis has resulted in a large set of information types as well as given us deeper insight on the principles for designing future situated glyphs. We report our findings in this paper that we expect would provide a solid foundation for designing future assistive systems to support patient care activities.
author={Vermeulen, J. and Kawsar, F. and Simeone, A.L. and Kortuem, G. and Luyten, K. and Coninx, K.},
booktitle={Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), 2012},
title={Informing the Design of Situated Glyphs for a Care Facility},
keywords={health care;medical computing;ubiquitous computing;care facility;context-aware computing;contextual medical information;glyph display form factors;graphical entity;information flow;information presentation aspect borrowing theories;patient care activity quality;patient record files;pervasive awareness technologies;primary medical care;real-time activity support systems;secondary medical care;situated glyph design;situation specific information;Conferences;Electronic mail;Hospitals;Medical diagnostic imaging;Probes;Visualization},
We demonstrate a novel approach for building situated information systems using wirelessly connected miniaturized displays. These displays are spatially distributed in a physical work environment and present situated glyphs - human-readable abstract graphical signs - to provide activity centric notification and feedback. The demo will showcase how such miniaturized display networks can be used in dynamic workplaces, e.g., a hospital to support complex activities.