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Category: FP7

Following English spoken videos provide an extensive overview of the status of the European Assistive Technologies market, aims and objectives of the AEGIS project, and the outcomes as was presented at the DRT4ALL conference on 27/06/2011 in Madrid, Spain, in the dedicated panel on “Technical Aid: Future and Reality”.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Following its objective of making digital technology more accessible to all, the European Commission has just announced that it is to fund a project which aims to make self-service terminals easier for people with disabilities to use: the APSIS4All project, to which the European Commission will provide funding of €3.41 million.
“Public self-service terminals can be found everywhere, and their numbers keep increasing. Yet, many present a challenge for persons with disability or for some elderly persons, denying them the service”, said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes. As the European Commission’s European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 asserts: “accessibility is a precondition for participation in society and in the economy”.
The project will design and validate, in real-life situation, innovative, personalised digital terminals that overcome existing accessibility barriers. The goal of the project is to propose a standardised framework that could help bank cash machines (automated teller machines or ATMs) and other public digital terminals be more accessible to a wider range of users, from people who are not familiar with the technology, to people with reading difficulties, and tourists who do not master the local language.
For example, tests could involve a programmed card that contains the user’s preferences. When the user brings the card close to the terminals, the machine instantly adapts to the user’s needs (possibly even changing the size of the font or choice of language). Other interfaces could include a mobile phone with accessibility features that enables a customer to purchase a ticket online and pay at the machine issuing the ticket using a secure code sent to their phone.
To access the project website: http://www.apsis4all.eu/

Karel Van Isacker presented AEGIS at the DRT4ALL conference on 27/06/2011 in Madrid, Spain.

Press Information

September 7, 2011

OASIS (www.oasis-project.eu), a research project partially funded by the European Commission under FP7, promises to revolutionize the interoperability, quality, breadth and usability of services addressed to older persons through ontologies and semantic web services.

First results will be presented at the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011) in Bonn, Germany (October 23 – 27, 2011).

How to support holistically the independent living and mobility of the older citizens across Europe? How to connect services for the elderly in an one-stop-shop fashion and interrelate and integrate those services?

OASIS (Open architecture for Accessible Services Integration and Standardisation), a research project partially funded by the European Commission (FP7-ICT, GA# 215754), has developed an open and innovative reference architecture, based upon ontologies and semantic web services. This architecture enables plug & play and cost effective interoperability, seamless connectivity and sharing of content between existing and newly developed services in all domains required for the independent living of older people and for the enhancement of their Quality of Life.

The project addresses the issue of direct re-usability of information across heterogeneous services and devices through the common understanding and sharing of contextual information.

The OASIS platform allows aggregation of different services which offers the unique benefit of enhancing each of the services through a synergic exchange of information. In consequence, each application can adapt to the specific needs of the user

By fostering interoperability, standardization and organizational / business arrangements based on cooperative and aggregating models, OASIS addresses some of the main weaknesses in this area. These include fragmentation and duplication, poor cooperation among the key players of the value chain and lack of sustainable business models. “By these means, OASIS aims to contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems” says Project Coordinator Silvio Bonfiglio.

OASIS will moreover boost and improve the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.

The research work carried out by the OASIS Project in the field of ontologies and semantic web services will be discussed during the half-day OASIS Symposium (October 25, 2011:14:00-18:00), co-located with the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011) in Bonn, Germany ( October 23 – 27, 2011).

Press is invited to attend the Symposium.

Contact: Dagmar Roeller – Email: DRoeller@polisnetwork.eu

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OASIS Symposium at the ISWC 2011: Hyper-Ontologies and Modularity for Semantic Interoperability

The aim of the OASIS Symposium is to serve as a forum to exchange ideas with regard to the realization of a semantic interoperability of services.

The common vision of the Semantic Web is the achievement of seamless and transparent interoperability of services across diverse providers by making the meaningful content of those services openly accessible. For content to become ‘meaningful’ it must be related to more general information schemes for which some semantics has already been provided. Such information schemes range from tag collections, which impose an indirect semantics by means of induced similarity across tagged entities to formal ontologies, which explicity represent class-subclass relationships, the attributes of such classes as well as additional information that may be known about combinations of such classes and their instances. Whereas the semantic information that is explicitly maintained in ontologies might appear ideal for realizing the Semantic Web vision, substantial problems still render this goal difficult in practice. The symposium will address these problem areas.

More specifically OASIS addresses:

(i) the inherent complexity of constructing the high quality formal specifications necessary for trustworthy reasoning and (ii) the tendency for many formal specifications to emerge with little overlap in their coverage, modeling styles and intended semantics.

The solutions being explored involve: the replacement of large-scale ontologies by small-scale, application-specific ontologies maintained by those who know their data best, the system developers; automatic and semi-automatic support tools for allowing system developers to flexibly relate their data with re-usable ontologies in their domains of application; and the automatic generation of code supporting seamless data transfer across and within applications. The resulting framework relies on the well supported inter-linking of heterogeneous ‘ontological modules’, which we term a hyper-ontology.

The symposium will present results achieved to date and – through the contribution of highly qualified speakers, external to the OASIS Consortium – will raise issues in the formal foundations and guidelines for future hyper-ontology work and discuss opportunities for new standardization initiatives in the area of hyperontology-driven interoperability.

Specific attention will be devoted to interoperability spanning complex services in the areas of Independent Living, Autonomous and Smart Homes and Workplaces and to the provision of cross-domain networked ontologies, a goal which is itself a substantial research challenge.

Relevant topics that will be raised during the OASIS Symposium presented by renowned experts both internal and external to the OASIS Consortium, include:

  • Modular Ontology Design
  • Reasoning over content from multiple sources
  • Query processing over multiple linked datasets
  • Creating applications drawing on multiple data sources
  • Open Ontology Repositories
  • Information and design quality of ontologies
  • Semantic Web Services and support tools

The program is completed by a Round Table discussion titled “Interoperability, Applications and Hyper-ontologies: the way forward”.

You can sign up for the OASIS Symposium when registering for the ISWC.

For further information about the OASIS Symposium, please contact info@oasis-project.eu or :

John Bateman – Chair of the Symposium Organizing Committee

E-mail: bateman@uni-bremen.de

Silvio Bonfiglio – OASIS Project Coordinator

Email: Silvio.Bonfiglio@philips.com

Evangelos Bekiaris – OASIS Project Technical Manager

E-mail: abek@certh.gr

For further information about the OASIS Project, please visit the web site www.oasis-project.eu

Brussels, 30 August 2011 – An EU-funded project is aiming to make self-service terminals, such as public transport ticket vending machines or public information kiosks and cash dispensers, more accessible for the one in six Europeans who have a disability or the 87 million Europeans aged 65 and over.
According to an EU study, only 38% of bank cash machines (automated teller machines or ATMs) across the EU provide voice capabilities to customers with disabilities, far behind the US (61%) and Canada (nearly all ATMs).
The European Commission is contributing €3.41 million, half of the overall budget, to the “APSIS4All” project which aims to design and validate personalised interfaces, including contactless cards, to help overcome existing accessibility barriers. Trials will begin in cash dispensers in Barcelona, Spain from September 2011 and at ticket vending machines in Paderborn, Germany from January 2012, and will run for three years.
The APSIS4All project sets out to design and validate, in real-life settings, innovative, personalised interfaces that overcome existing accessibility barriers. In a first phase, the project will collect information from 3000 users who will be testing different machines in order to adapt interfaces according to their needs and preferences. Tests will be carried out at 65 ATMS of la Caixa bank in Barcelona, Spain from 1st September 2011 and at 24 ticket vending machines operated by Höft & Wessel AG at Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany from 1st January 2012.
The goal of this project is to propose a standardised framework that could foster further take up of e-accessibility features by the ATM industry and service providers. This could ultimately help make public digital terminals (PDTs) more accessible to a wide range of users, from people who are not familiar with the technology, people with reading difficulties, tourists who do not master the local language or even people who may have forgotten their reading glasses. APSI4All will focus on multi-modal interaction and cutting edge technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC) or short range wireless communication. For example, tests could involve a programmed card that contains the user’s preferences. When the user brings the card close to the ATM, the machine instantly adapts to the user’s needs (perhaps changing the size of the font or choice of language). Other interfaces could include a mobile phone with accessibility features that enables a customer to purchase a ticket online and pay at the machine issuing the ticket using a secure code sent to their phone.

More information
APSIS4All (Accessible Personalised Services in PDTs for All)

After 4 years of activities, the OASIS project is coming to the end. This International Final Conference will be the opportunity to present the project’s outcomes and to gather all relevant academic and industrial stakeholders to discuss about the OASIS applications together with the beneficiaries of the project, older people and all those people in the need of assistance. Therefore the OASIS International Conference will host the User Forum and the Scientific Advisory Board meeting. The first event, scheduled on Tuesday 15th November in the morning, will give the invited beneficiaries the opportunity to test the OASIS applications and their on-line trainings, touching by hand the devices developed by the project and discussing with the developers about their functions and potentials. The second meeting, organised on Wednesday 16th November, will involve the OASIS international experts and will gather their views and further advice on the applications and their interoperability.