CRS4 Information Society: the internet of things

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The objective is to design and develop some of the «next» applications in the fields of tourism, tv, home. Advanced mobile devices and pervasive high-speed Internet, at work, at home, anywhere, are continuously transfoming our society.
Information Society Research Programs:

Digital Media Applications

The Digital Media Applications group (DMA) is focused on developing innovative and practicable solutions enabling organizations and people to take advantage of the fast growing amount of digital content that is available nowadays. Modern societies rely heavily on digital media for fulfilling their vital functions. Digital content plays a key role in creative industries and boosts new forms of human expression based on the convergence of technology and arts.

Research interests span several areas:

– digital asset management: developing tools and methodologies for ingesting, classifying, searching, adapting and preserving digital assets across their whole value chain;
– future television: researching new models of producing, aggregating and consuming video content;
– knowledge management: finding solutions for making information understandable and usable;
– embedded consumer: developing solutions for accessing digital media from mobile devices.

The group believes in the open-source model and has at present released the following code:

MediaDART, a framework for resource processing that can be scaled over a cluster of computers accessing a shared storage.
Notre-DAM, a web-based, multi-user digital asset management platform.
CreaTivù, an application for automatically building web TV channels from user generated video clips.

Location and Sensor Based Services

The Location and Sensor Based Services group is focused on geolocation, mobile technologies, and Internet of things over SOA standards applied to the vertical fields of the “future applications” for Tourism, TV, Home. Relevant examples of our current development include:

– novel visualization of large sets of multimedia geo-referenced resources on mobile and large screen displays.
– Implementation, testing and refinement of models, tools and use cases for new services based on composition and collaboration of real and virtual objects.
– Integration of user generated content, sensor data and personal navigation systems. (Read more)

Natural Interaction Technologies

Our main research and development themes are the following:

Semantic Technologies
The research activity is focused on the study of data models and patterns for realizing semantics aware applications and services. It covers several semantic aspects, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Text Categorization, formalization of specific knowledge domains through ontologies as necessary components of semantic-based systems. Main focus is on semantic relations built to be processed automatically. In particular we study aspects related to the semantic indexing and the automatic categorization of web resources and develop tools and algorithms based on NLP in order to extract the meaning expressed in textual resources, by applying a process including a syntactic and a semantic analysis able to resolve relations and lexical ambiguity inherent in natural languages.

Profiling Systems
The research activity is focused on the study and testing of innovative methodologies aimed at developing personalized solutions which, through the analysis of the user behavior, are able to understand his interests and preferences in different areas of use, and are able to simplify the human machine interacion. The profiling systems, implementing the storing, the selection and the analysis of personal data, and working with recommendation methodologies based on collaborative filtering algorithms, allow the machine to know the person whom is interacting with and to establish a network of links between users which provides accesses to information more efficient.

Human Computer Interaction
Our research in this field is aimed at designing and evaluating novel interaction techniques suitable for working and playing in technology enhanced places. Beginning with graphical user interfaces, up to the latest gesture based and multitouch interfaces, the computer is evolving to encompass more and more natural abilities in the interaction. Manipulative interfaces help users to solve complex problems, foster efficiency, are easier to learn and to remember, since they are based on natural experience. Our goal is to let the computer sense and understand gestures and natural behaviors, thus making it able (or closer) to catch the richness of human expression.



Pietro Zanarini is the director of the Information Society sector at CRS4. His current activities focus on launching new CRS4 initiatives to help further the growth of Sardinia in the Information Society. He holds a degree in Physics from the University of Bologna (1982). Before joining CRS4, he worked for 9 years at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva (… where the web was born!), developing some of the major CERN Software Application Packages (GEANT3, PAW, KUIP).

He came to Sardinia in 1991 as the first employee of CRS4, helping the founding CEO to set-up the Centre from scratch. In 1993 he co-launched «L’Unione Sarda On-Line» project, one of the first on-line newspapers available on Internet/WWW, that originated the Video On Line Internet Service Provider and, with the later advent of Tiscali, de-facto started a process of transformation of Sardinia in one of the Internet key players.

In 2006 he launched the «DistrICT», a multi-lab facility to develop advanced prototypes of possible «future» applications of state-of-the-art technologies, aiming at catalyzing innovation in current companies of Sardinia, attracting and stimulating collaborations with outside companies, faciliting the birth of spin-off and start-up companies in the ICT-Information Society. Some of the topics of this multi-lab are: Natural Interaction Technologies, Open Media-Center, Digital Media Applications, Collaborative production of multi-platform TV programs and new TV formats for digital contents, Location and Sensor Based Services, GeoWeb and Mobile Applications.

CRS4, a fully owned subsidiary of Sardegna Ricerche, currently has a staff of 160. The company pursues scientific research and technology development and innovation, delivers further scientific and technical education and training, and provides advanced services in the sectors of high-performance computing, scientific imaging, simulation, modelling, bioinformatics and ICTs in general. The Centre operates in strategic sectors such as the information society, energy, the environment, medicine, biotechnologies and pharmacology (Read more).
Originally Published 2011-12-21