Pervasive 2007 introduced a new form of tutorials – having a number of experts talking one hour about their special topic – I was last year as participant and liked it a lot. This year Pervasive 2008 repeated this approach and I contributed a tutorial on how to get context and activity from sensors (tutorial slides in PDF).
Abstract. Intelligent environments, sensor network and smart objects are inherently connected to building systems that sense phenomena in the real world and make the perceived information available to applications. In the first part of the tutorial an overview of sensors and sensor systems commonly used in pervasive computing application is given. Additionally to the sensor properties means for connecting sensors to systems (e.g. ADC, PWM, I2C, serial line) are explained. In the second part it is discussed how to create meaningful information in the application domain. Some basic features, calculated in the time and frequency domain, are introduced to provide basic means for processing and abstraction of raw sensor data. This part is complemented by a brief overview of mechanisms and methods for relating (abstracted) sensor information to context, activity and situations. Additionally general problems that are associated with sensing context and activity will be addressed in this tutorial.