Awareness systems are computer mediated communication systems that help individuals or groups build and maintain a peripheral awareness of each other. A way of interpreting and predicting the level of success of such systems in providing value to their users seems to be currently missing. ASTRA explores the concept of pervasive awareness, (i.e., where awareness information is automatically generated as a result of personal/home devices exchanging information about the user semi-autonomously) and design awareness systems that support it. ASTRA aims to produce a theoretical account of the benefits these systems can provide, (interpreting, predicting and helping attain the acceptance of awareness systems for informal social communication). The project creates an experimental infrastructure: A service oriented architecture and tools for enabling end-user communities to create their own awareness systems and services. ASTRA supports, facilitates and analyzes the process of innovation driven by end-user communities acting as designers of their own awareness services. Thus awareness systems can fit the idiosyncratic needs of different communities, relevant to theirparticular life-styles, culture and communication needs.

ASTRA follows on work of the succesful assesment project: www.presence-research.org/Astra

See also: ASTRA summary and ASTRA short presentation.

The objectives of ASTRA are to:

  • develop an integrated "theory of connectedness and awareness";
  • develop a descriptive model and a design theory/framework for awareness mechanisms;
  • design an integrated service oriented architecture and implement a platform for supporting end-user development of awareness systems;
  • design and develop a set of tools that will support the composition of awareness applications by end-users;
  • develop proof-of-concept awareness applications by end-user communities using the experimental ASTRA technology.
ASTRA aims to define a framework for supporting the conception and the design of Pervasive Awareness systems, specifically those that are intended to support social relationships. This will consist of theories and technological solutions, addressing the two aims of the project:
  1. To develop a theory to guide the design and evaluation of pervasive awareness systems supporting social use.
  2. To develop supporting technology (a service oriented architecture, tools and applications) that support communities to create, adapt and appropriate Pervasive Awareness systems.

A feeling of belonging is crucial to human well-being. We believe that ASTRA systems can help us to fulfill fundamental social needs in the face of our changing lifestyles. Knowledge about others’ status, e.g. emotional, health, location and availability status, but also the exchange of messages can contribute to feelings of connectedness. We focus on a feeling of belonging, which we label social connectedness. Social connectedness stems from several feelings, such as feelings of being in touch and involved with others, satisfaction with one’s amount of social contact and the level of closeness in one's social life.

See also: ASTRA theory.

ASTRA Short Presentation111.71 KB
Publishable ASTRA Summary52.7 KB