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The University of Southampton

New Pervasive Computing Centre to seek solutions to major environmental problems

Published: 25 November 2003

New wireless technology which could monitor environmental hazards and warn of potential disasters will be unveiled at the opening of ENVISENSE at the University of Southampton on Wednesday (26 November).

ENVISENSE is one of seven themed centres funded under the DTI sponsored Next Wave Technologies and Markets Programme. The programme aims to ensure that UK business is structured and equipped to exploit new information and communications technologies and to develop their 'pervasive computing' capacity to enable them to integrate computing seamlessly into their business and physical environments.

The ENVISENSE Centre, which will be based at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science and led by Professor David De Roure, the School's expert in Pervasive Computing, will focus primarily on applying wireless sensor technology to environmental projects, and three research collaborations between business and academia are already underway.

They are:

  • SECOAS, a BT Exact Technologies led project, which forms an investigation into the range of novel and emerging technologies needed to create self-organising networks of sensors which will allow more effective environmental monitoring;
  • FLOODNET, a University of Southampton led project in conjunction with the University's GeoData Institute, whereby a set of intelligent sensors monitoring the river and floodplain environment at a particular location will be connected by wireless links to other nodes to provide a much more sensitive and robust flood monitoring system; and
  • GLACSWEB, a University of Southampton led project, which allows glacier behaviour (a key issue in global warming) to be monitored continually via sensors deep inside them and then fed back into an intelligent web of resources.

Information about these schemes will be presented at the opening of the Centre after which Professor De Roure will deliver his inaugural lecture, 'Disappearing Computers: Pervasive Computing and the Semantic Grid'.

"This is just the beginning," comments Professor De Roure. "The opportunities presented by pervasive computing are enormous. It allows us to collect huge volumes of environmental data about crucial issues by embedding sensors in our natural environment and we can then apply the latest grid computing technologies to process this information. There are many more challenges ahead and we look forward to them."

For further information about ENVISENSE, please visit:, DTI's Next Wave Technologies and Markets Programme, please visit:

Notes for editors

  1. The Centre opening is from 4.00pm in the Zepler Building, Highfield Campus. Wednesday 26 November.
  2. Professor De Roure's inaugural lecture follows at 5.30pm in the Turner Sims Concert Hall.
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