Research Topic

Enhancing Quality of Life in Ambient Spaces

About this Research Topic

Sensor-based devices and ambient displays, often combined with AI techniques for machine learning about user behaviours, already provide numerous possibilities for the design and creation of adaptive spaces in buildings, homes, vehicles, urban spaces, and other public and private spaces. These have the potential of making life easier, safer, and more enjoyable for their users; and in some cases, environments are specifically designed for therapeutic or assistive purposes. But concerns have also been raised about issues such as personal integrity, privacy, and perceived safety and security. As technology continues to proliferate and is increasingly embedded into the fabric of our lives, work, and environments generally, it is vital that they are designed in ways that enhance people’s lives. This collection of papers will focus on new approaches to designing ambient spaces that improve quality of life, as well as on ways of alleviating or circumventing any negative consequences or user perceptions about their use.

The focus of this collection of papers is on ways in which technology can be used within ambient spaces so as to enhance the lives of the people living, working, travelling or in other ways experiencing those places.

For the purposes of this call, both Quality of Life and Ambient Spaces can be interpreted broadly. Ambient Spaces constitute a wide variety of possible situations in which a person’s surrounding environment senses them and responds to their presence and/or state. This could include the following and more:
• Sensors and displays embedded in physical spaces, such as homes or cars
• Wearable technologies mediating experiences in physical places
• Augmented, mixed and virtual realities that provide ambient environments
• Urban spaces, therapeutic environments, transformative experiences in/of places
• The design of sensing places, spaces, environments, and devices

In line with the World Health Organisation definition of the term, Quality of Life should be understood to cover at least one or more of the following:
• Health and general wellbeing (including in the presence of ill-health)
• Experienced safety, security and privacy according to individual needs
• Happiness, through the promotion of positive emotions
• Social engagement to help reduce maladaptive isolation from others
• Self-fulfilment through support for achieving personal goals and realizing aspirations
• Self-transcendence by experiencing something as being beyond the individual
• Self-sustainability by supporting continued living with a good quality of life.

Details for authors:
Contributions are sought that clearly bring together components of these two topic areas in the creation of humane places and spaces. We are interested in papers reporting empirical findings related to the design and use of ambient spaces and their measured impact on some aspect of users’ Quality of Life. These spaces might, for example, be designed in ways that encourage healthy exercise, relieve anxieties about security and privacy, increase the safety of vehicle use, help increase social participation or provide relaxing or uplifting experiences, or prevent or deter self-harming behaviours such as gambling addition or substance abuse. Theoretical position pieces and papers describing design approaches to these areas are also welcomed.


Keywords: augmented spaces, wellbeing, adaptive systems, transparency, mobility


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Sensor-based devices and ambient displays, often combined with AI techniques for machine learning about user behaviours, already provide numerous possibilities for the design and creation of adaptive spaces in buildings, homes, vehicles, urban spaces, and other public and private spaces. These have the potential of making life easier, safer, and more enjoyable for their users; and in some cases, environments are specifically designed for therapeutic or assistive purposes. But concerns have also been raised about issues such as personal integrity, privacy, and perceived safety and security. As technology continues to proliferate and is increasingly embedded into the fabric of our lives, work, and environments generally, it is vital that they are designed in ways that enhance people’s lives. This collection of papers will focus on new approaches to designing ambient spaces that improve quality of life, as well as on ways of alleviating or circumventing any negative consequences or user perceptions about their use.

The focus of this collection of papers is on ways in which technology can be used within ambient spaces so as to enhance the lives of the people living, working, travelling or in other ways experiencing those places.

For the purposes of this call, both Quality of Life and Ambient Spaces can be interpreted broadly. Ambient Spaces constitute a wide variety of possible situations in which a person’s surrounding environment senses them and responds to their presence and/or state. This could include the following and more:
• Sensors and displays embedded in physical spaces, such as homes or cars
• Wearable technologies mediating experiences in physical places
• Augmented, mixed and virtual realities that provide ambient environments
• Urban spaces, therapeutic environments, transformative experiences in/of places
• The design of sensing places, spaces, environments, and devices

In line with the World Health Organisation definition of the term, Quality of Life should be understood to cover at least one or more of the following:
• Health and general wellbeing (including in the presence of ill-health)
• Experienced safety, security and privacy according to individual needs
• Happiness, through the promotion of positive emotions
• Social engagement to help reduce maladaptive isolation from others
• Self-fulfilment through support for achieving personal goals and realizing aspirations
• Self-transcendence by experiencing something as being beyond the individual
• Self-sustainability by supporting continued living with a good quality of life.

Details for authors:
Contributions are sought that clearly bring together components of these two topic areas in the creation of humane places and spaces. We are interested in papers reporting empirical findings related to the design and use of ambient spaces and their measured impact on some aspect of users’ Quality of Life. These spaces might, for example, be designed in ways that encourage healthy exercise, relieve anxieties about security and privacy, increase the safety of vehicle use, help increase social participation or provide relaxing or uplifting experiences, or prevent or deter self-harming behaviours such as gambling addition or substance abuse. Theoretical position pieces and papers describing design approaches to these areas are also welcomed.


Keywords: augmented spaces, wellbeing, adaptive systems, transparency, mobility


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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