Mobile and ubiquitous computing

Pervasive computing embeds wireless communication and computation into material objects, locations and living entities, thus bringing together the physical and the digital into a single information ecology. We explore how such ubiquitous and tangible technologies can be exploited for applications in learning, particularly in their potential to enhance learning experiences through physical, kinaesthetic engagement with digital technologies and digital representations. We also investigate how highly detailed data about the physical and the built environment, captured through the sensing capability of pervasive computing, can support novel learning activities developed around fine-grained observation of our surroundings.

Wednesday, 04 July 2007




LKL Project Leader

George Roussos

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Jenson Taylor, LKL

Dimitrios Airantzis, LKL

Karen Martin, UCL

Giles Lane, Proboscis

Alice Angus, Proboscis

Orlagh Woods, Proboscis

Gary Stewart, InIVA

Helen Idle, InIVA


Project Web Site



Body sensor networks,
privacy security,
public engagement



snout (doc)

snout (pdf)




Snout explores relationships between the body, community and the environment. It builds on our previous collaboration with Proboscis and Natalie Jeremijenko on Feral Robots to investigate how data can be collected from environmental sensors as part of popular social and cultural activities.


Scavenging free online mapping and sharing technologies as a form of 'guerilla public authoring', the project also explores how communities can gather and visualise evidence about local environmental conditions and how that information can be used to participate in or initiate local action. This project combines an artistic with an evidence-based approach, building and testing a prototype body sensor network that uploads data to the Ning social networking system. This will allow participants to map experiential and emotional annotations to their readings – adding a whole new layer of sentient knowledge to machine data. It is intended to demystify how data is collected, what it produces and how we can correlate it to other factors affecting health such as environmental pollution.



Snout will create two prototype sensor wearables based on traditional carnival costumes. Carnival is a time of suspension of the normal activities of everyday life – a time when the fool becomes king for a day, when social hierarchies are inverted, a time when everyone is equal. There is no audience at a carnival, only carnival-goers. Snout proposes 'participatory sensing' as a lively addition to the popular artform of carnival costume design, engaging the community in an investigation of its own environment, something usually done by local authorities and state agencies


Snout performance event.


A public forum on 'participatory sensing and media scavenging' was held on Tuesday April 10th 2007 to demonstrate the Snout systems, discuss evidence collecting for environmental action and how communities can reflect on the personal impact of pollution and the environment. The forum shared tactics on how to 'scavenge' free online services and resources, as well as exploring the relationship between information, aesthetics and design and how to make these ideas and issues accessible to more people.

Snout is fundamentally about people not abstracted ideas of a person's health or populations – Out of the Lab and Onto the Streets!



G. Roussos, S. Maglavera and A. Marsh, 2005, "Enabling Pervasive Computing with Smart Phones", IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 20-27.



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