Keynote Talk

Dr. Morten Kyng

Making dreams come true – or how to avoid a living nightmare

By Dr. Morten Kyng

Technological advances in miniaturisation and communication are enabling revolutionary transformations: computation can be embedded in almost any object and the increasing bandwidth and ubiquity of communication networks connects objects and frees them spatially.

However, the ambitions for ubiquitous computing typically go further. For example ‘ambient intelligence’ aims to provide users with a constant serviced cocoon that envelopes them in appropriate information, communication and services, protecting, enabling and empowering them wherever they are. We share some of these visions, but argue that profound difficulties stand in their way: Far from simplifying computing, ubiquity risks making it much more complex and confusing, e.g. by obscuring the relation between action and reaction.

In this keynote we will discuss some of the challenges in realizing the promises of pervasive technologies and present ideas for the design of technology that supports learning, exploration and continued development. To this end people need to be able to grasp, both physically and conceptually, what technologies are doing and could do for them. We have termed this ‘palpable computing’.


Dr. Morten Kyng is professor of Pervasive Computing at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University. He heads the Centre for Pervasive Healthcare, which researches how to make healthcare available where and when it is needed through pervasive computing. The current focus of his research is on co-development of ICT, organization of activities and physical infrastructure in healthcare. His research is based on participatory design/user driven innovation and he has directed and co-directed major national and international projects on CSCW, web-technology and more recently software architecture.

Prior to his current job Morten has headed the Danish National Center for IT Research and from 2004-2007 he lead the European Union Integrated Project ‘Palcom’ on software architecture for pervasive computing.

In recognition of his work Morten was in 2001, as the first European, appointed to the ACM CHI Academy for leadership in the field of computer-human interaction.