The University of Southampton


Knowledge Technologies, Web Science, Decentralised Information Systems, Multimedia, Pervasive Computing and Networks, Human Computer Interaction
EPSRC (GR/N15986/01)

The central goal of the Equator IRC is to promote the integration of the physical with the digital. In particular, we are concerned with uncovering and supporting the variety of possible relationships between physical and digital worlds. Our objective in doing this is to improve the quality of everyday life by building and adapting technologies for a range of user groups and application domains. Examples include:

  • combining physical and digital cities to promote people's understanding of the world within which they live, and to enhance wayfinding and access to physical and digital artefacts, information and people.
  • creating new forms of play, performance and entertainment that combine the physical and digital so as to promote learning, participation and creativity.
  • exploring how new technologies that merge the physical and the digital can support activities outside of the workplace, including maintaining family and social relationships in the home, and supporting work in the open air.
Meeting this objective will require us to address fundamental and long-term research challenges. We will conduct research into new classes of device that link the physical and the digital, including embedded devices that are integrated into physical environments, information appliances that combine computing functionality with purpose designed physical objects, and wearable devices that are carried on the person. In turn, these activities will be supported by fundamental research into adaptive software architectures that can knit together heterogeneous collections of such devices, as well as new design and evaluation methods that draw together approaches from social science, cognitive science and art and design.

Primary investigators

Secondary investigators


  • University of Lancaster
  • The University of Nottingham
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The Royal College of Art
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Sussex
  • University College London

Associated research group

  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
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