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Innovative collaborative work environments for individuals and teams in design and engineering

Ambient Interfaces and the research domain of Ubiquitous Computing represent a third wave in computing. This paradigm shift is characterised by the integration of our increasingly complex technological landscape with the environment we occupy, while removing our perception of the computer in the tasks and activities we undertake. In practice the nature of these ambient interfaces ranges from the simple, such as devices that notify users of events by extending the computer interface into the workplace environment, through to the complex, where intuitive interface technologies such as optical tracking and gesture recognition are used to provide the user with the ability to directly manipulate highly visual information sets without perceiving the underlying technological infrastructure.



01. May 2006 -
31. October 2009




The CoSpaces project addresses three scientific and technological objectives:
Evaluate collaboration at individual, team and enterprise levels, and develop collaboration models emphasising applications of problem solving, creativity, participatory and knowledge based design in innovative collaborative work environments.

  • Create an innovative distributed software framework that will support easy creation of collaborative work environments for distributed knowledge workers and teams in collaborative design and engineering tasks.
  • Validate the distributed software framework for creating different classes of collaborative working styles required for collaborative design and engineering in the Aerospace, Automotive and Construction sectors.

Expected impact

The research advances in CoSpaces will push the state-of-the-art of collaborative work environments in several key areas:

  • New collaboration models addressing the development and deployment of collaborative technologies that empower workers and teams and having a strong human factors and business focus.
  • A practical collaborative software framework for supporting dynamic organisations that are executing complex processes in order to produce complex products.
  • Uncovering and addressing real-world constraints and barriers to bridge the gap between industrial engineers and scientific researchers in collaborative working.
  • Industry workspaces and interfaces based on deploying virtual interface technologies, leading to more practical and usable interfaces for real-world problems and users.

CoSpaces software framework

The CoSpaces software framework will support the easy creation of collaborative work environments for distributed workers. It includes a Foundation Platform to provide core services and high-level  collaboration Tools that support seamless and natural collaboration among distributed workers and teams.
Industry Workspaces
Three workspaces will be developed for validating industrial applications from the Automotive, Aerospace and the Construction industries:

  • Distributed Design Workspace will address ad-hoc and scheduled collaboration between distributed, multi-functional design teams. Collaboration through fixed installations and mobile environments will be considered in this workspace.
  • Co-located Design Workspace will address how ad-hoc and planned meetings between co-located, multi-functional design teams could be supported, providing enhanced immersion, visualisation, interaction, mobility and flexibility.
  • Mobile Service Workspace will address generic challenges in supporting mobile site workers to collaborate with remote experts during the realisation or the support phase.

Roadmap implementation

CoSpaces addresses the vision developed by the Future_Workspaces roadmap project involving over 100 key players from a multiple disciplines and defining a 10-year European Vision for future collaborative working environments and scenarios. CoSpaces will initiate a programme of activities to implement this 10-year European vision for the benefit of European business, workforce, and society.