In future, detailed and fully up-to-date personal information,
including data from real-time body sensors, will be accessible for
widespread use by multiple services and applications. This information
can come from sources as diverse as certified medical exams carried out
by qualified professionals, or mass-market on-body accelerometers
casually used for computer gaming. The use of body sensor data can
start early in people’s life, when baby phones measure the emotional
state to gently guide the newborn into a peaceful sleep. Late in
people’s life, body sensing can play an important role in assisting
seniors to age in dignity in a safe natural home environment.
During the decades in between, sensor data can be used in
applications ranging from sport coaching to intensive computer gaming
and medical– preferably ambulatory–monitoring during periods of
illness, or chronic need of attention. Yet the widespread use of body
data, not only including people’s physiology but also their emotions,
raises societal issues. It also comes with interesting scientific
challenges, particularly because the technical constraints of node
power consumption and wireless links and networks have to be taken into
account. The VITRUVIUS project aims at exploring the underlying key
consequences for the architecture of Body Sensor Networks (BSN) and the
handling of information about the individual's body coming from
power-constrained wireless sensor nodes.
The handling of medical information about the human is
migrating from a hospital-centric to a patient-centric approach. Body
data is not only used in healthcare but also in lifestyle and
entertainment services, where the person-centric thinking already is
pervasive. Ownership and exercising access rights of personal
privacy-sensitive data is a delicate question, and has to be studied at
architecture level, in the context of severe limitations in ultra low
power sensors nodes with unreliable and bandwidth-limited sensor
The proposed project VITRUVIUS addresses some of the underlying key questions for the architecture of BSNs.
Is the envisaged system architecture is viable for entertainment, lifestyle and social services simultaneously?
- How can services providers easily develop new services and
applications, without rolling out their own body sensor hardware, but
reusing and coexisting with each other? This aspect is a key focus
question in this IOP GenCom Call.
- How to partition (automatically or by computer aiding) body-centric and infrastructure centric processing and storage of data?
- Can a service developer adequately handle the technical constraints that govern the BSN?