Research

HYDRA – Networked Embedded System Middleware for Heterogeneous Physical Devices in a Distributed Architecture

The HYDRA project aims to research, develop, and validate middleware for networked embedded systems that allows developers to develop cost-effective, highperformance ambient intelligence applications for heterogeneous physical devices.

Intelligent environments and sensor systems supporting us in any situation will real soon change everyday life. However, there is still a lack of suitable interfaces for man-machine communication.

In the EU-funded research project Hydra, researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute SIT participate in an international consortium to work on an open, expandable and secure SOA-based middleware platform for developers of embedded and interconnected sensors and actuators. The Hydra platform is to simplify and speed up the development of new, innovative and cost effective applications. The focus will be on the development of trustworthy components which automatically process personal and service-oriented data.

Exemplary applications for the Hydra platform would be healthcare or security systems at home. In these scenarios, Hydra could provide interoperability for heterogeneous systems in order to allow communication between them - no matter if they are from completely different manufacturers. An example: An inhabitant collapses and falls to the ground. Sensors in the carpet alert the health system that an emergency exists, the health system informs the ambulance, sends out the current health record and opens the electronic door lock for the rescuers. It is obvious that protecting the user's privacy is essential in such intelligent environments.

Disclosing important information such as health records to non-legitimate outsiders will have severe consequences for the user. In general, even allegedly unimportant data can be used to do serious harm: Anyobdy who knows the contents of a refrigerator can deduce when the inhabitant is on holidays – an invitation for burglars.

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