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12th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence (UCAmI 2018)

The 12th edition of the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence (UCAmI) will take place in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) from December 4 to 7, 2018. This conference is organized by our research group (MAmI Research Lab.) with the support of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) as the local organizer in the Dominican Republic. The event will also be sponsored by the Instituto de Tecnologías y Sistemas de Información, the Escuela Superior de Informática and the Departamento de Tecnologías y Sistemas de Información of our institution (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain); other collaborating sponsors will be announced soon.

The conference proceedings will be published by MDPI publisher as part of its MDPI Proceedings series under the Open Access modality, with the consequent positive impact on the dissemination of contributions. In addition, the most relevant articles will be published in special issues of high-impact journals on related topics.

In order to give some key aspects and indications about the background of the UCAmI conference and its goals, it is necessary to introduce the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) paradigm as a new generation of user-centric computing environments. AmI's purpose is to find new ways for a better integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in everyday life devices and activities.

AmI can be understood as the evolution of the idea of Ubiquitous Computing illustrated by Mark Weiser back in the early 1990s. Particularly, AmI environments are made up of several autonomous computational devices of modern life ranging from home appliances to smartphones or wearables. Ideally, people within an AmI environment will not notice these devices, but they will benefit from the services these solutions provide them. Such devices are aware of the people present in those environments by reacting to their gestures, actions and context.

The interest in AmI environments has grown considerably in recent years due to new challenges posed by society, demanding highly innovative services, such as Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), m-Health and Pervasive Care, Internet of Things (IoT) or Smart Cities, among others. One of the goals of the UCAmI Conference is to provide an adequate space for innovation, where new sensing mechanisms, processing techniques and new usages of environmental information can be presented.

AAL occupies a central place in the interests of the UCAmI community paying special attention to solutions that enhance the Quality of Life (QoL) of elderly people through ICTs.  AAL promotes the provision of infrastructures and services for more independent or autonomous living of elders, via the seamless integration of ICTs within their homes, thus, promoting active ageing policies and reducing the need for being institutionalized, or being aided when this happens.

In a more general view, AmI and Ubiquitous Computing can provide powerful tools and applications for Healthcare. While they are increasingly getting their research momentum in this domain, a sufficient level of maturity has not been reached yet. Reasons for such deficiency include not only the challenges of understanding the health domain by heterogeneous working groups consisting of panels of experts from different disciplines, but also the difficulty of dealing with critical situations where errors are unacceptable. The UCAmI conference and, in particular, the AmIHEALTH track attempt to give a boost to this area of research by focusing not just on innovations on the infrastructure and technology required for achieving the Ambient Intelligence in Health, such as smart environments and wearable medical devices, but also on the development of novel testing, verification and evaluation techniques that make possible the actual implementation of such innovations.

The conference will feature two excellent keynotes by two AmI experts. Dr. Daniel Mosse, from the University of Pittsburgh (USA), who will discuss about the transition from Embedded Systems to Smart Everything; and Dr. Julio Abascal, from the University of the Basque Country (Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain), who will talk about the power of AmI and its capacity to contribute with extremely promising new opportunities for people with disabilities; both keynotes promise to be exciting.

Although the paper submission and peer review has already been closed, any interested person can attend as a listener to the UCAmI track sessions and can participate in the round table and networking sessions sheduled. More information about the conference, the registration process and the associated fees can be found at: http://mamilab.esi.uclm.es/ucami2018. You can also contact us through our mail account: grupo.mami [at] uclm [dot] es. The latest information about the UCAmI conference will also be posted to the twitter account: @UCAmIIWAAL.

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