Seamless Home Services

Competence CenterNext Generation Services
ContactProf. Dr. Sahin AlbayrakDr.-Ing. Andreas Rieger
Partners: T-ComT-Systems


Increasing progress in the development of consumer electronics, as well as the broad use of wireless communication media opens new perspectives for the introduction and use of intelligent and seamless services at home.

Seamless services can be easily personalized. On top of this they are device-independent and multimodal to act suitably for every situation, e.g. by using positioning information.

Seamless services offer an increase in value by an increase of the comfort for the user, since they hide the complexity of the terminals. A condition for the supply of such services is the convergence of all devices in the household with typical communications equipment, and the interface to information and services should be as simple as possible, e.g. by phonetic input with the help of a speech processing system.


The project is especially occupied with:

  • Creation of intelligent and pervasive user interfaces between humans and services within the home range. The Multi-Access Service Platform developed at DAI-Labor is to be extended to offer a multimodal service use and to permit the aggregation of services depending on the current user context within the home range.
  • Development of a Home Serviceware Framework, which allows a fast and efficient development and supply of seamless services in intelligent environments. The Home Serviceware Framework includes a set of reusable functionalities like for example natural language processing, context- and location-awareness and device independence, in order to realize a service refinement within the home range and to create thus an increase in value for the user.
  • Realization of two value-added services, a personal newspaper ("personal newspaper delivery") and a personalized video recorder ("video timer"), which illustrates the Home Serviceware Frameworks ability for fast and efficient development of seamless services.


The Seamless Home Services project is about to develop the following solutions:

Multi-Access Service Platform (MASP)

For a service to be perfectly integrated in natural human proceedings, it shall not disturb these or interrupt these in an unnatural manner. To near this goal is to continuously adapt these user interfaces to the terminals that are located in the surrounding area of the user. Following this approach a service becomes ubiquitous available and the user no longer needs to leave for a different place or to configure certain new equipment to use a service.

The Multi-Access Service Platform makes services available for users in a device-independent and multimodal manner. Service user interfaces can be adapted at small expenditure in the characteristics of any available terminal and can be used also processing natural speech.

Services, which are provided by the MASP, do function interrupt free using the MASP session-management: Each service usage can be frozen at any time and be continued on other devices (or modalities) at exactly the same point in service-history.

In the context of this project using the MASP, which itself also supports the portlet standard, a house portal is realized, which combines all seamless home services in one single user interface.

The Home Serviceware Framework

The Home Serviceware Framework extends the JIAC Serviceware Framework by the possibility of the service refinement for net-centric services inside the intelligent house. For this internet-based entertainment and information services will be adapted on the user´s in-house-environment specifications.

Seamless services are based on several base components, which are made available as general components within the Home Serviceware:

  • Creation of situation awareness on the basis of an intelligent presence management by tracking users and equipment with RFID.
  • Realization of the possibility of uninterrupted service use, in particular when using video and audio data streams over different net infrastructures and terminals by creating an automatic service handover on the basis of the SIP-protocol.
  • Realization of device control and medium administration which are based on UPnP.

Smart Home Information Service

The goal of the smart home information service is to realize a personalized newspaper service (PZD), which can filter internet data regarding news and with the consideration of the user’s personal preferences. The personal newspaper can separate important from unimportant information, and offer the user the best possible access to these information.

Thus, the user is able to get access by any visual (e.g. HTML) or auditive user interface (e.g. VoiceXML) to the information which was filtered exclusively for him. These alternative access options offer a maximum of independence and/or mobility, which represent an increase in value for electronic services not to be underestimated in modern information society.

Apart from the aspect of mobility the PZD offers further advantages compared to the conventional classical newspaper. A classical newspaper only contains content which was received until its deadline, whereas the message extractors and filters integrated in the PZD ensure that users are supplied with the newest messages available at any time. Beyond that the PZD service has both an explicit filtering system working with keyword extraction and an implicit one, based on reading behavior analysis, which also makes it superior to conventional newspapers.

With these mechanisms of personalization the user can filter the content delivered by the PZD according to his own preferences instead of according to the newspapers editorship preferences, so that he receives only content, which he is interested in. Things the PZD and conventional newspapers have in common is that both consist of certain fields of interest in which news are bundled. Right now the themes "politics", "economics", "sport", "culture" and "television" are pre-defined. The TV shows recommended in the section "television" can be directly recorded by the "smart home video recorder" for the user using the interface, which was defined within the context of the Seamless Home Services.

In detail the PZD is characterized by the following:

  • Pervasive service availability
  • Natural-language user interface for message announcement
  • Adaptive HTML interface for PC's and mobile terminals
  • Proactivity through detailed configurable newsletter (E-Mail, SMS).
  • Explicit personalization by user-defined keywords.
  • Implicit personalization by analysis of the users reading behavior
  • Interface to the "Home video recorder".

Smart Home Video Recorder

The Smart Home Video Recorder is a service, which can be implemented either in the internet or also in a "Home Gateway" inside the home. Goal of the "Smart Home Video Recorder" is to realize an intelligent and personalized control option for your TV recordings.

The Home video recorder observes the TV watching behavior of its user and is able to draw conclusions for its future recording behavior. In order to reach this, it extracts current program information on a daily basis from the Internet and conducts these with the EPG data of the DVB program information.

In interaction with the users preferences extracted from the personal newspaper delivery it generates a personalized daily TV recommendation, which then is shown in the personal newspaper. All recording suggestions for the current day are evaluated concerning the hard disk capacity of the "Home Server" and the DVB number of possible signal ways. To avoid conflicts every program is checked for relevance for the user (overlapping or parallel transmissions).

The Home Video Recorder disposes all recordings as well as all DVB signals available to all IP media playback units in the intelligent house as audio and video stream. For this the Home video recorder uses the UPnP A/V Media server standard as interface to usual Home Entertainment solutions.

For the support of user comfort in the intelligent house, the Home Video Recorder service can be combined with a location detection technology. Thus the HVR is put into the position to deliver audio and video streams without breaks even if the user changes rooms during the transmission.

To solve this, a handover technology on the base of the SIP protocol was developed, which stops video and audio stream with the change of one area and continues streaming in the next area at another playback unit at the very same point of the transmission. On the basis of this handover technology, which is to be still further generalized in the context of this project, it will soon be possible to realize new "Follow Me" multimedia services in a very simple way.

In detail the HVR is characterized by the following:

  • Realization of a VCR service on basis of the DVB standard
  • Personalized program suggestions are produced automatically
  • Functionalities for signalization of conflicts in the case of overlapping transmissions
  • Support of the UPnP A/V Media server protocol
  • Interface to the PZD for showing the daily personalized television program suggestions
  • Possibility of a handover by video and audio stream for realization of "Follow Me" services.