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EMBASSI: multimodal assistance for universal access to infotainment and service infrastructures

Publication by Thomas Kirste, Thorsten Herfet, Michael Schnaider
Published in Proceedings of the 2001 EC/NSF workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing: Providing for the Elderly, 2001


EMBASSI is a joint research project with 19 partners from industry and academia. Its focus is the development new paradigms and architectures for the intuitive interaction with technical infrastructures of the everyday life, such as home entertainment and control, public terminals, and car infotainment systems. As a so-called focus project, EMBASSI is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and addresses innovative methods of man-machine interaction, where "machine" explicitly refers to technical systems consisting of a variety of distributed, networked devices.EMBASSI aims at enhancing the interaction with these infrastructures by providing intelligent assistance, multimodal interaction, and anthropomorphic user interfaces within a unified framework. Technical development in EMBASSI is based on a user centered approach, with accompanying psychological and ergonomics research.A primary objective of the project is to establish an "EMBASSI layer" that extends recently developed networking standards like HAVi, UPnP, or Konnex towards user-centered, goal-based interaction by merging experiences from knowledge based AI systems with those coming from device oriented command and control architectures. This layer will enable the unification of interaction paradigms and will assist the user by enabling "natural" or "intuitive" commands instead of forcing the user to think in terms of device functions.