In the NWO programme Data-driven research on Sports & Healthy Living three proposals have been granted. Consortia from Dutch and Brazilian researchers will collaborate in the field of sports and healthy living.

One of the subsidized projects is ‘Playful Data-driven Active Urban Living’ (PAUL). In this project the Digital Life Centre collaborates with University of Amsterdam, University of Utrecht and Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP).

In this proposal the applicants want to understand in more detail how physical activity of city dwellers can be increased by using personalized app technology. What type of app works, is highly individual and this means that the right type of app may depend on the person’s  current physical activity level, health, personality and residential context. How to make the optimal match between app and user is unclear.

The applicants aim to gain insight into the effectiveness of elements within an exercise app (motivational feedback, goal setting, individualized messages, gaming elements) for making people more physically active, and how the effectiveness depends on characteristics of the individual and the urban setting.  The sensors on the mobile phone, together with sensors (beacons) in public spaces, combined with sociodemographic and land use information will generate a massive amount of data.

The implementation of the app in São Paulo and Amsterdam will provide the applicants with (big) data on use of functionalities, physical activity, motivation etc. allowing them to investigate in detail the effects of personalized technology on lifestyle in different geographical and cultural contexts.


The Ubicomp conference, held this year in Seattle, USA, presents research in the field of ubiquitous (pervasive) computing; ICT that has penetrated into all aspects of our daily lives, smart environments, sensors, activity recognition, data analysis, interaction techniques, design and communication and privacy. This year the conference was combined with the ISWC, the International Symposium on Wearable Computing so there was a lot of mobile and smart fashion.

Saskia Robben and Ahmed Nait Aicha gave a presentation on their research in the workshop ‘Smart Health Systems’ and prof. Ben Kröse gave a plenary lecture at the beginning of the workshop.

If you want to see future developments in computer science, design, interaction and smart wearables; look at the program (and publications) on the website.


During the first Dutch iBeacon hackathon, organized by Glimworm Beacons (Joint Venture of Glimworm and HvA HOIO Sven Haitjema), Sanoma and Appsterdam, 10 developers presented their ideas after two days brainstorming, hacking, programming and probably occasionally swearing . Ideas and even functioning demos were presented to an expert jury. The teams presented ideas to make musea more attractive, to be spraying at parties, to share virtual graffiti all with a common denominator using iBeacon technology.

The first prize went to Billboard Stories. With iBeacon technology Billboard Stories will be possible to make billboards personally. Through an app and a iBeacon next to a billboard  anybody who is walking by a billboard can be ‘seen’.  On the basis of the preferences of the person an advertisement is displayed focused at that person’s needs.

The team of Sven also presented an application: Digital Grafity. This allows the user to leave digital messages at random places (where iBeacon is near …).

More information:

Dutch newsradio BNR interviews students working on an interactive wall for elderly with dementia

Laurean Serne is interviewed by BNR Newsradio

A group of students who, during the minor ‘healthcare technology’, developed an ‘interactive wall’ for elderly with dementia has started a bachelors project where they set up their own company. Because there was so much demand for the interactive wall, particularly from nursing homes, the students investigate whether they can start a successful business with this product. Today BNR news radio was visiting the HvA to interview the students. More information about the company: The interview will be broadcast on BNR eye openers.

Later this week the wall will be shipped to nursing home Naarderheem where it will be tested. Then the wall will be used as a Golden Demo for national ICT program COMMIT/.


Monday Feb 3, 2000 students of the Amsterdam University of Applied Science participated in the ‘Students in motion‘ week. Students carry out assignments for the city of Amsterdam. One of the assignments is exercising with the SIM SENSEI City Runner app.

The SIM SENSEI City Runner app encourages running in the city and also contributes to the scientific research of the HvA. People who turn on the City Runner app, generate motion data which is used to determine how people are running and how they feel about it.

The City Runner app is developed especially for SIM by the COMMIT project SENSEI, Amsterdam Creative Industries Centre of Expertise project Sense in the City and the CitySDK project which are three projects of the research group Digital Life.

Final presentation program ‘Intelligent Environments’

Today the 34 students from the minor program ‘Intelligent Environments’ displayed their work at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. The half-year educational program focuses on technology for ambient intelligence, interaction design and research methods. Furthermore students carry out an applied research project for a company. This year we had 11 companies, among which VANturelabs (face recognition software for interactive displays), (digital experiences connected to objects), AMSTA (an interactive video wall for people with dementia in a nursing home), and many more. See for a full list

Mock up of Dam square for a user study of a design by UNStudio
Mock up of Dam square for a user study of a design by UNStudio
Wouter Meys as coordinator presenting the events
Wouter Meys as coordinator presenting the events

Behaviour analysis with many sensors

More than 30 participants participated in this behaviour analysis experiment

Hayley Hung and Gwenn Englebienne from my group at UvA together with researchers from the group of Maarten van Steen at the VU organised a collaborative experiment to record people interacting with each other when taking part in a game event, using audio, video, position, and motion sensors.

Students Ambient Interaction

At the Hogeschool van Amsterdam I coordinate a minor programme on ‘Ambient Interaction’. Students learn about new technologies, interaction design and research methods for interaction in ambient intelligent environments. Students perform small research projects for innovative companies like IJsfontein, Ngage media, or living labs like Healthlab or Naarderheem. This week the students and researchers visited Philips Experience Labs. And had some fun on the ice!