Studies started in year:
 Projects and Studies
PROFIT: Potential pRofit Opportunities in the future ambient InTelligence world
For further information please contact:
Peter Stollenmayer
Programme Manager
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany
The PROFIT Scenario "towards an AmI environment" is available now
Project Information

What was this Project about?


The radical changes of the Information Society driven by the boost in information and communication technologies and its adoption has opened a fast path towards the vision of "Ambient Intelligence" (AmI). This offers tremendous business opportunities and challenges to telecommunications operators and service providers. Also the user roles and identities are changing dramatically. It is important to analyse the new scenarios, roles and identities, and to identify the opportunities and challenges for Telcos arising from this.

The concept of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) provides a vision of the Information Society where the emphasis is on greater user-friendliness, more efficient services support, user-empowerment, and support for human interactions. People are surrounded by intelligent intuitive interfaces that are embedded in all kinds of objects and an environment that is capable of recognising and responding to the presence of different individuals in a seamless, unobtrusive and often invisible way.

During the last years the Information Society has changed dramatically. We are fast moving towards the vision of "Ambient Intelligence" (AmI). Mobile telephony had its great breakthrough and Internet has become a commodity to most people. Broadband access is widely available though not very widely used. In the next few years we are expecting a big boost in the Information Society mainly based on the following facts:

  • Deployment of mobile systems of the third generation and beyond (UMTS, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, etc.) provide ubiquitous access to multimedia services anytime from anywhere.
  • Broadband access will become a commodity.
  • Internet access has reached its critical mass and electronic commerce will become a normal way of doing business. Appropriate security systems will soon be available.
  • Progress in Information Technology (processors, storage, displays, etc.) will provide pervasive computing. Through networking ever present computing devices we will see a revolution of Ambient Intelligence around us.

This project has tackled socio-economic and business issues related to AmI through two approaches:

  • Roles and Identities in an AmI world through fieldwork (focus on work/home boundaries)
  • Socio-economic and business analysis of AmI scenarios

Roles and identities in an AmI world

Europeans have a multiplicity of different social identities they want to create, support and communicate. The more mobile people get, the more complex their social relations become and the more they use communication technologies to create and support their social identities. People build and maintain more and more relationships through information and communication applications and devices. It is necessary to investigate the relationships between people’s social identities and the adoption of ICT services to be able to maximie the offer and use of modern Information Society Technology. To achieve this goal, PROFIT has performed fieldwork, i.e. it interviewed real users in UK, Finland, Norway and Hungary to find out wishes, unmet requirements, concerns and barriers related to AmI services. The focus of the fieldwork was on work/home boundaries.

Socio-economic analysis of AmI

The IST Advisory Group (ISTAG) has developed a vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI, Pervasive Computing, ubiquitous computing). This vision of pervasive intelligent objects and seamless communication between themselves and people has enormous implications for all involved in the ICT industry, but particularly those providing infrastructure and services. The AmI concept has promoted a great deal of interest and activity on the underlying technologies, but other, potentially complex issues surrounding the adoption of these technologies remain unexplored. It is important to examine the social and economic issues that will arise as the AmI vision develops. PROFIT has analysed 14 scenarios from various sources to find out the relevant socio-economic issues in an AmI environment.

What were the main objectives of this Project?

  • Quick review and identification of the state of the art of value creation concepts, Information Society business models, Ambient Intelligence scenarios and identities & roles in the Information Society.
  • Fieldwork preparation and analysis to compare and contrast the ‘identity/role management’ behaviour, practices and needs of selected groups in an AmI environment.
  • Selecting appropriate scenarios for describing the emergence of AmI.
  • Deconstructing these scenarios to cover the most important AmI issues and to analyse their socio-economic effects including migration paths.
  • Investigation of business models underpinning the Ambient Intelligence vision.
  • Identification of risks and benefits in investing in an infrastructure to support Ambient Intelligence, including the emerging business models.
  • Recommendations concerning the AmI vision and the migration paths to Eurescom members, industry, regulators and government

What are the key results for this Project?

  • Thorough knowledge of roles and identities in an AmI environment
  • Fieldwork analysis on work/home boundaries as practical input to a new grounded scenario and service & business recommendations (see rationale for fieldwork)
  • Business models underpinning the scenarios and migration paths
  • A new grounded scenario describing the most relevant issues in an AmI environment around the year 2010
  • Recommendations for actions to be taken by telcos, industry, regulators, government to achieve the identified goals

How was the project organised?

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

EURESCOM projects P902, P903, P904, P1047 and P1144.  IST projects e-living, FAMILIES, interliving.  ISTAG reports on Ambient Intelligence


Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Planned issue date
Roles and identities - Review and identification of the state of the art D1 available (June 2003)
STEEP Analyses D2 available (October 2003)
Strategic business models for the new economy D3 available (April 2004)
Work/ home boundaries: key issues and implications for business D4 available (April 2004)
Strategic Recommendations for Telcos D5 available (June 2004)

Selected project results in summary form:

Review and identification of the state of the art in the context of ICTs and Ambient Intelligence

How do you separate your work life and your private life? - Early results of the UK Qualitative fieldwork on work / home boundaries

Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological and Political aspects of everyday life - A STEEP analysis for UK, Norway and Hungary for the year 2010

Press release: BT working on "ambient" future study