Conference Paper

Open Urban Computing Testbed.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-17851-1_35 Conference: Testbeds and Research Infrastructures. Development of Networks and Communities - 6th International ICST Conference, TridentCom 2010, Berlin, Germany, May 18-20, 2010, Revised Selected Papers
Source: DBLP


We present a unique urban computing testbed for studying the utilization of ubiquitous computing technology in the public urban space of a city center. The testbed comprises of a wide range of pervasive computing infrastructure and different middleware resources. We demonstrate the applicability and benefits of the testbed in evaluating technology pilots and prototyping new ubiquitous services in real-world urban setting. We conclude with a discussion on the challenges in deploying this kind of a large-scale testbed in a public urban space. We introduce a unique urban computing testbed in the City of Oulu in northern Finland, just 200 km south of the Arctic Circle. With 140000 citizens Oulu is the sixth largest city in Finland. The Oulu region has strong ICT competence in 14000 ICT jobs and the largest regional R&D expenditure per capita in Finland. In the late 1990's the Wired Magazine ranked Oulu as the number three 'silicon valley' in the world. The long-term goal of our testbed is to provide open horizontal resources for building incremental functional prototypes of a future ubiquitous city. There networked computing devices are seamlessly embedded into the urban space, turning it into a smart space providing different interaction modalities with the physical, virtual and social spaces. The utilization of ubiquitous computing technologies in urban space is studied by the multidisciplinary field of urban computing. It is driven by two important and related trends, urbanization and increasing deployment of pervasive computing infrastructure in the urban areas. The mainstream research on ubiquitous computing suffers from a distinct lack of longitudinal, real-world case studies of system usage. The vast majority of research consists of studies that typically last a few days or weeks at best. Further, from the viewpoint of urban computing the studies are often executed in artificial settings such as labs and university campuses. While the immense research effort has produced numerous publications laying the theoretical foundation, few visible and lasting contributions to the urban digital fabric have emerged. This lack of coherent progress motivated the 2005 UbiApps workshop at Pervasive 2005, where 25 researchers were

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Available from: Marko Jurmu, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "To explore these questions via a longitudinal large-scale study in a real world setting, the University of Oulu has during the past ten years invested, together with the City of Oulu, several million euros into ubicomp infrastructure deployed around downtown Oulu. The resulting Open UBI Oulu test-bed is arguably the most versatile civic laboratory in the world where researchers have such a strong administrative and technical position [13]. The test-bed facilitates longitudinal provisioning of a wide range of novel services to the general public in an authentic urban setting, establishing the necessary critical mass of real users. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the appropriation process of two public computing infrastructures in the City of Oulu, Finland, a municipal WiFi network and large interactive displays. We analyze the adoption of these technologies in public urban places with a conceptual technology appropriation model involving three layers of factors contributing to the adoption or rejection of a technology. Quantitative data shows that while the use of the WiFi network has grown steadily, the use of the displays has been declining. Qualitative data obtained with ethnographic methods reveals that the adoption of the displays is hampered by their questionable utility and people's apprehension about interacting with the displays in a public social setting. Finally, we identify issues that designers should take into account when deploying these technologies in urban spaces in the future.
    Technological Forecasting and Social Change 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2013.08.037 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "The Challenge was at the same time inspired and enabled by the open urban computing testbed deployed at downtown Oulu, Finland. The testbed includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and IP-based wireless sensor networks across the city, and UBI-hotspots [6], a network of public interactive displays at indoor and outdoor locations around the city, accompanied by a middleware providing various computing resources and open APIs for application developers [5]. We have invested substantial resources in the testbed that allows us to deploy a wide range of applications and services in authentic urban settings for use by real people. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper introduces the UBI Challenge that challenged the global R&D community to design, implement, deploy and evaluate novel applications and services in real world setting atop an open urban computing testbed. The paper first provides a procedural description of the UBI Challenge and then discusses the outcome so far with a special focus on the various issues introduced by the real world setting.
    Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, MUM 2011, Beijing, China, December 7-9, 2011; 01/2011
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    • "For this purpose we have deployed a network of 12 so-called " UBI-hotspots " (Fig. 2, later hotspot) at downtown Oulu, Finland [20]. The hotspots are a key component of our open urban computing test bed for conducting ubiquitous computing research in real-world setting [21]. A key component of the hotspot is the 57" landscape full HD LCD panel with a capacitive touch screen foil. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we suggest utilizing modern social networking services for building versatile applications for interactive public displays. We demonstrate the functionality and potential of this approach by presenting a set of services deployed on top of a network of public displays, utilized in a longitudinal study in an authentic city setting. We further propose utilizing users' personal online profiles for building personalized and appealing public social services, and suggest that this may enhance the attractiveness of interactive public displays. Results of this study indicate that using interactive public displays is inherently a social event, and that services supporting group use and sociality succeed in urban smart spaces.
    Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, MUM 2010, Limassol, Cyprus, December 1-3, 2010; 01/2010
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