I am a member of the Digital Technology Group headed by Professor Andy Hopper at the Computer Laboratory in Cambridge. My initial research interests were linked to physical techniques to locate people and objects. These interests stemmed from work I did for a local mobile phone positioning company, Cambridge Positioning Systems, and an interest in GPS. My interest grew in how to locate people indoors – a significant challenge since buildings hinder signal penetration, degrading the location accuracy you get outdoors. Worse, we need higher accuracy indoors since we work on smaller scales. Knowing where someone is to 20m is very useful outdoors, but indoors it can’t even tell you the floor they are on.
Over time my interests diversified to include the management of the location data (location is useless unless you can do something with it) and subsequently into the wider research areas of context-aware and ubiquitous computing. In a nutshell, my research today concentrates on augmenting computing machinery with sensors in order to improve or optimise our environments. This still encompasses a lot of location tracking because where we are is a great indicator of what we are doing.
In recent years I have also helped found the Computing for the Future of the Planet initiative, which seeks to explore how computers might improve our world, rather than continue to be the environmental villains that they are often cast as.
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