In our increasingly information led and digital society, in which 95% of out time is spend within the build environment, environmental ambience is now being considered as a tool for understanding and increasing well being. Can we design systems to create environments that respond to and facilitate behaviours, activities and routines?
‘SubAmbience’ Investigates a new language between human behaviour and the control of environmental ambience. The systems learns to prompt and or adapt to the users needs and routines via  a smart sensing system and a networked intelligence and an interfaces that enables distributed access to information.


1. Comfort

2. Adaptability

3. Well-being

4. Ambience

5. Behaviours


The problem posed in futurist architecture is not one of linear rearrangement. It is  not a question of finding new mouldings and frames for windows and doors. It is a question of tending the healthy growth of the futuristic building (house), of construction it with all  the resources of technology and science, satisfying the demands of our habits and our spirit. We have lost our predilection for the monumental, the heavy, the static and we have enriched our sensibility with the taste for the light, the practical, the ephemeral and the swift…’

Antonio Sant’Ella 1914


SubAmbiences goal of distributed access to computing means that the computer will always be available anywhere in our environment. Through cameras and microphones, the user will always be able to signal the computer. For example, the notification of an email can be displayed via a screen whilst watching TV or via a superimposed screen on the window. When a user moves, the user interface of the application can move with him, this would be useful in business calls when consulting documentation whilst navigating around the room.

  1. Sensing – In my design for sensing and tracking people I have decided to use a combination of two technologies. The first a vision module that gives both colour and range images. The images will be used to construct colour histograms, which have been shown to work well for identifying objects. In combination with microphones for modelling strengths of sound and therefore location. This system can track and record where people are within the room.
  2. User Interface – SubAmbience will use a combination of migrating interfaces and static interfaces. For example, a user may start work in the bedroom by the desk space and move to make dinner in the kitchen area whilst reading a document. The image could follow her to a new screen in the kitchen and then allow for alteration by gesture and speech rather than a keyboard.




Technologies Used:

Person Recognition

Recognising people in a space allows the environment to offer the right set of services for each  person. SubAmbience involves both setting a user’s access privileges and customising theenvironment to his or her preferences.

  • Unidentified Guest – Amenities: Lights and Webrowser Room Cycle: Neutral and Adaptive
  • Identified User – Amenities: Own media – play lists, images, computer desktop. Room Cycle: Average of profile in terms of Light Settings, Mood Types, Room Space Used – and Adaptive.

Guest Activation is triggered when the hotel key is inserted in the room, the screen will ask if you want to log in or be an unidentified guest.

Information Sensed:

Person Location – Many behaviors are location specific, such as automatically turning on the lights near a person orrouting telephone calls to the nearest telephone. Person Location is used to control the lights in different areas of the room. Person Location also allows for a distributed interaction with media. Allow phone calls to follow  you around the room or a television show to follow you into the bathroom,
Activity Detection – Activity detection can be accomplished sensing motion and the triggering of pressure sensors located in chairs, the floor and near amenities. This can be useful in creating a video history of a routine in the room. Helping to solve the frustration of loosing keys and for security reasons also. Activity recognition is essential in constructing the correct ambience and facilitating medias for assisting them.

Activity Learning – Activity learning means discovering the normal patterns of activity in a space. If a system knowswhat activity to expect, it can use this information to assist the user.

Device Recognition – Object recognition could be useful for maintaining an inventory of amenities. Therefore for recording what is being used when.

Device Control – For the control of HVAC and lighting the environment gives feedback to the external status and status intended and adapts accordingly.



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