R&D PROJECTS

I have been involved in several research projects, including the following ones:

DEAP - DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS WITH
PERSUASIVE SYSTEMS

Funded by FCT/MCTES, PTDC/AAC-AMB/104834/2008,
Principal Investigator: Teresa Romão, March 2010 - December 2012

The DEAP project introduces a new paradigm for environmental awareness, which will help motivating citizens to become more environmentally responsible in their everyday life, engaging them in environmental preservation activities. New information and communication technologies have the potential to change our relationships with computational appliances. The development of pioneering environmental persuasive interfaces aims at positively motivating citizens to become more environmentally responsible in their everyday life. The purpose is the study of how to stimulate citizens’ responsible environmental behaviour changes through interactive public ambient displays that sense and react according to users’ activities. Outcomes of the project will include the establishment of contextual aware systems that can sense the environment and stimulate users to take actions that contribute to improve it, even if they do not immediately perceive the benefits.

COLOUR IN MEDIEVAL ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS: BETWEEN BEAUTY AND MEANING
Funded by FCT/MCTES, PTDC/EAT-EAT/104930/2008,
Principal Investigator: Prof. Maria João Melo, January 2010 - January 2012

Medieval illuminated manuscripts range among the most valuable artistic objects of our European cultural heritage. Portuguese codices date from the formation of Portugal as a kingdom and are testimonies of medieval ideas, religion and policy. This project will study the issues related with the symbolic and social meaning of colour in medieval Portuguese illuminations. The project will explore new ways of sharing results with the general public contributing to divulge the ancient art of illuminations through the exploration of modern computer interaction technologies. The goal is to achieve an engaging, intuitive and easy to use interactive system, where physical objects similar to the ones used, in real life, when making the illuminations, will be used. This installation will simulate the illuminations’ creation process in the medieval period, addressing several aspects from the materials’ origin and production methods to the painting process. It will also show users the historical and social context of that epoch and reveal the meanings of the used colours and images depicted. This interactive installation can be easily deployed at cultural sites, enriching an exhibition, or at institutions where the books are preserved.

ImTV - ON-DEMAND IMMERSIVE-TV FOR COMMUNITIES OF MEDIA PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS
Funded by FCT/MCTES, UTA-Est/MAI/0010/2009,
Principal Investigator: Prof. João Magalhães, September 2010-February 2013

The long-term vision of this proposal is to exploit the full potential of new trends in media production and consumption by devising an on-demand immersive-TV framework combining TV industry, Internet distribution models and end-user’s needs/interests. The two major outcomes of this project are the solid statistics concerning the population of media consumers in the Portuguese media market, and the technology that will permit a ubiquitous interaction between viewers, media and producers. The impact of these outcomes will be quantified by 1) assessing the media market impact of the proposed scenario, 2) evaluating media recommendation algorithms, and 3) evaluating users’ satisfaction with the proposed immersive-TV framework. Besides FCT/UNL, this project involves several other participating institutions, including: Universtity of Texas at Austin (UTA), Rádio Televisão de Portugal, SA (RTP), Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores do Porto (INESC Porto), ZON Multimedia SA, Fundação para Computação Científica Nacional (FCCN).

ARIA - AMBIENT-ASSISTED READING INTERFACES FOR THE AGEING-SOCIETY
Funded by FCT/MCTES, PTDC/EIA-EIA/105305/2008,
Principal Investigator: Prof. Nuno Guimarães, January 2010 - December 2012

This project proposes to study the cognitive processes involved in reading for older adults, and to develop an ambient-assisted reading framework targeted for elderly people and communities. The cognitive processes involved in reading will be considered, as well as a characterization of the individual’s cognitive, emotional and perceptual states, and their evolution during the reading process. For this characterization to be possible, a cognitive model of the user and a modelling process must be defined. To build the model several inputs will be acquired through a series of sensors, including biometric sensors (e.g. heart rate), video cameras (e.g. facial processing), and microphones (e.g. user utterances). The information gathered from the various sensing devices will then be combined to generate a representation of the cognitive, emotional and perceptual profile of the individual. The framework will also allow for multimodal inputs, relieving the user from depending on keyboard and mouse commands, and relying on other input modalities, more familiar to older adults, with particular relevance to speech commands. The books can be presented to the user in two individual or combined modalities: audio and visual. A framework considering all the aspects will be developed and implemented in a living-room style set-up, to contribute to a better integration into an environment the older adults are used to, thus allowing more realistic evaluations to be conducted.

VIDEOFLOW
Funded by Agência De Inovação/Qren,
Principal Investigator: Prof. Nuno Correia, July 2009 – December 2011

The project aims at developing digital video archiving technology that enables automatic segmentation and pre-classification of videoclips. It uses and combines information obtained at capture time with semantic information extracted from the clips and indexed by several classifiers. The semantic information is stored using the MXF standard and the databases are directly used in the production process. In the project the user interfaces for access, browse and search will also be developed and evaluated.

PUBLIC COMMUNICATION OF ART: THE CASE OF LOCAL/GLOBAL ART MUSEUMS
Funded by FCT/MCTES, PTDC/CCI/68595/2006,
Principal Investigator: Prof. Pedro Andrade, October 2007 - September 2010

The project is carried out in two main and articulated directions: (1) a sociological analysis of cultural public who undertakes public communication of art at physical and virtual museums. This process involves the production, distribution, consumption and understanding of art in urban contexts. Within this project, a questionnaire survey was submitted to the public at an exhibition of artist Joana Vasconcelos held at the Berardo Museum, CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém), Lisbon, March-May, 2010. (2) The implementation of a multimedia device for interactive consulting of artworks by the museum public, which was also presented in the exhibition of artist Joana Vasconcelos. This module enables visitors to a playful interaction, alone or in groups, with the intention to generate discussion among peers about the works on display, allowing the public to imprint their mark in each artwork by contributing with their knowledge and opinions; construct a network of meanings constituted by the common knowledge of visitors, by assigning virtual tags (keywords) to artworks; collect critical information to the sociological study in which this multimedia device is included, through a playful interaction of users. For interaction, the mediator support was a surface/touch pad with multi-touch technology.

REGALEIRA
Funded through the Agreement with Fundação CulturSintra by Pos_Conhecimento (Action 4.2),
Principal Investigator: Prof. Nuno Correia, January 2007 - December 2007
This project is a follow-up to the InStory project funded by FCT/MCTES and has the goal of deploying the research results in a real setting. It funds equipment and the development of more content and additional storylines, supported by the previously developed technology. User evaluation was also carried out.

INSTORY: INTERACTIVE PERSONALIZED MOBILE STORYTELLING
Funded by FCT/MCTES, POSI/SRI/45786/2002,
Principal Investigator: Prof. Nuno Correia, March 2004 - December 2006

InStory has the goal of defining and implementing a platform for mobile storytelling, information access, and gaming activities. The platform has a flexible computational architecture that integrates heterogeneous devices, different media formats and computational support for different narrative modes and gaming activities. The system is driven and validated by a set of story threads and narratives that are centred on the exploration of physical spaces. This exploration is combined with the perspective of sharing information between users and providing historic context. The project also explores the social aspect of shared narratives and activities, with the idea that the technology can provide new innovative approaches to social participation in different types of events. This project won the first prize in the Web/Mobile category in 2006, awarded by APMP (Portuguese Multimedia Association).

M-TRAFFIC – MOBILE TRAFFIC
Funded by Agência De Inovação, POSI Action 1.3 Consorcium, December 2002 – May 2004
The project developed an advanced technological solution for providing road traffic information. The MobileTraffic project focuses on providing traffic information where and when it is most necessary and also by making information available on mobile devices. The proposed solution takes advantage of video cameras in places where traffic conditions are most difficult. Based on these images, the system provides all its functionalities, which go far beyond displaying video information in real time. Images are processed in order to adapt to various types of devices, which in turn permit the extraction of quantitative and qualitative data about the traffic flow. All the information is geo-referenced with a geographical information system and can be visualized on different devices such as, PCs, mobile phones, PDAs. The project involved three partners: YDreams SA, Siemens SA and Universidade de Évora.

ANTS – AUGMENTED ENVIRONMENTS
Funded by FCT/MCTES, POCTI/MSG/34376/99),
Principal Investigator: Prof. A. Eduardo Dias, September 2000 - September 2003

ANTS (Augmented Environments) project comprised the development of an Augmented Reality technological infrastructure that can be used to explore physical and natural structures for environmental management purposes. This project was developed in cooperation with the GASA/DCEA-FCT/UNL group (Environmental Sciences Department).

CHILIAS - CHILDREN’S IN LIBRARIES: IMPROVING MULTIMEDIA VIRTUAL LIBRARY ACCESS AND INFORMATION SKILLS
European Project, Telematics Application Program DGXIII- Telematics for Libraries, April 1996 - October 1998

CHILIAS developed a new concept for future European children's libraries, providing a stimulating environment for innovative learning and creative use of multimedia and networked technology with links to traditional library services. The project aimed to enhance the competence of children using interactive multimedia and networked information and communication systems, and to improve their information seeking skills in new learning environments. CHILIAS was co-ordinated by Stuttgart City Library, Germany, and involved several partners from Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

FESTIVAL – FOCUS ON EUROPEAN STORYTELLING IN VOICE AND LITERA TURE
European Project, January 1998 - 1999.
This project was related to CHILIAS project and its goals comprised the integration and harmonization between the traditional culture of storytelling and the latest multimedia and communication technologies, as well as the promotion of children mutual knowledge and access to the culture and history of European people. These objectives were achieved through the exploration of cultural similarities and differences between participating countries, identifying common myths and tales of each country, and the creation of new electronic versions of these stories disseminated by the WWW, through a common information structure.

SIMULAÇÃO MULTIDIMENSIONAL PARA A ANÁLISE AMBIENTAL (MULTIDIMENSIONA SIMULATIO FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS)
Funded by FCT/MCTES, PRAXIS 3/3.2/AMB/4/94, Principal Investigator: Prof. António Câmara, May 1995 – May 1998

This project developed a new methodology for environmental simulation based on extended cellular automata and using multimedia technology and sensorial ecology concepts. New methods for environmental data acquisition and storage were developed and new multimedia and virtual reality interfaces were exploited. The theoretical developments were tested in a prototype application that covered the sub-basin of the Tagus Estuary and included a GIS, as well as diffuse pollution and water quality models.