New publication: Proceedings of Workshop and Poster Papers of the European Conference on Ambient Intelligence 2015 (AmI-15)

The European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI, is the prime venue for research on Ambient Intelligence, with an international and interdisciplinary character. It brings together researchers from the fields of science, engineering and design, working towards the vision of Ambient Intelligence. AmI-15 was held in Athens, Greece, November 11-13, 2015 ( and provided a meeting point for each of these communities, aiming for intensive networking and scientific debate, as well as shaping visions of the future. This CEUR Volume corresponds to the adjunct proceedings of AmI-15, containing the poster papers as well as the papers presented in the Workshop entitled “Affective Interaction with Avatars”, which was organized by Carsten Stocklöw, Sten Hanke, Maher Ben Moussa, Panayiotis Andreou and Christiana Tsiourti, and held in the scope of the EU-funded Miraculous-Life project ( All the contributions have been reviewed by at least three experts, comprising of members of the AmI-15 Committee and external reviewers, as listed below: Honorary Chair Emile Aarts, Tilburg University, The Netherlands Conference Chairs Achilles Kameas, Hellenic Open University, Greece Irene Mavrommati, Hellenic Open University, Greece Program Chairs Boris De Ruyter, Philips Research, The Netherlands Periklis Chatzimisios, Alexander TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece Thematic Chairs Massimo Zancanaro, Bruno Kessler Foundation, Italy Reiner Wichert, Fraunhofer, Germany Vassilis Kostakos, University of Oulu, Finland Dimitris Charitos, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece Christos Goumopoulos, University of the Aegean, Greece Ioannis Chatzigiannakis, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy Vanessa Evers, University of Twente, The Netherlands Workshops Chairs Andreas Komninos, University of Strathclyde, UK Vassilis Koutkias, INSERM, Paris, France Posters and Demos Petros Nikopolitidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Javed Vassilis Khan, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Koutkias, V., Komninos A., Khan J. Vassilis, & Nikopolitidis P. (2015).  Proceedings of Workshop and Poster Papers of the European Conference on Ambient Intelligence 2015 (AmI-15). Ambient Intelligence 2015. 1528, Athens, Greece, CEUR.
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New publication: URQUELL: Using wrist-based gestural interaction to discover POIs in urban environments

In this paper, we discuss the implementation of a prototype application (URQUELL) for the opportunistic discovery of POIs in a urban environment, and the multimodal, non-visual interaction with the system to retrieve details about these. The application works by pointing a smartphone or a wrist- worn sensor kit towards a physical venue location of interest. By retrieving information about the venue pointed at over various APIs, the application presents these to the users via high quality text-to-speech synthesis, negating the need to interact with the smartphone, which can be kept in a user’s pocket at all times. Here, we discuss the implementation details of our prototype and outline future research directions.

Komninos, A., Sarakinos S., Marini L., & Garofalakis J. (2018).  URQUELL: Using wrist-based gestural interaction to discover POIs in urban environments. WristSense 2018: Workshop on Sensing Systems and Applications Using Wrist Worn Smart Devices, Co-located with IEEE PerCom'18. Athens, Greece, IEEE.
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Nominated "Achaea Person of the Year" (Science & Education)

The biggest newspaper in Western Greece covering national news and news from the prefecture of Achaea, organises yearly its "Persons of the Year" awards. I had the honour of being nominated for this award, under the "Science & Education" category, for the work I did on Swymm (a crowdsourcing app for the condition of swimming beaches in the region).

New publication: Where's everybody? Comparing the use of heatmaps to uncover cities' tacit social context in smartphones and pervasive displays.

We introduce HotCity, a city-wide social context crowdsourcing platform that utilises user's current location and geo-tagged social data (e.g., check-ins, "likes" and ratings) to autonomously obtain insight on a city's tacit social awareness (e.g., "when is best time and where to go out on a Saturday night?"). HotCity is available as a mobile application for Android and as an interactive application on pervasive large displays, showcasing a heatmap of social buzz. We present the results of an in-the-field evaluation with 30 volunteers, of which 27 are tourists of the mobile app, compare it to a previous evaluation of the pervasive display app and also present usage data of free use of the pervasive display app over 3 years in the city of Oulu, Finland. Our data demonstrate that HotCity can communicate effectively the city's current social buzz, without affecting digital maps' cartography information. Our empirical analysis highlights a change in tourists' foci when exploring the city using HotCity. We identify a transition from "individual [places]" to "good [areas]" and "people [choices]." Our contributions are threefold: a long-term deployment of a city-wide social context crowdsourcing platform; an in-the-field evaluation of HotCity on mobile devices and pervasive displays; and an evaluation of cities' tacit knowledge as social context as a denominator in city planning and for the development of future mobile social-aware applications.

Komninos, A., Besharat J., Ferreira D., Kostakos V., & Garofalakis J. (2017).  Where's everybody? Comparing the use of heatmaps to uncover cities' tacit social context in smartphones and pervasive displays.. Information Technology & Tourism, Springer. 17(4), 399-427.. DOI:10.1007/s40558-017-0092-5
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