Pervasive Systems

We conduct research into the design, development, deployment and evaluation of mobile and pervasive computing systems and their applications.

Our work is characterised by a focus on understanding the socio-technical aspects of systems in the real-world so that we can usefully contribute to both technology itself and to debates about important societal issues, and technology's relevance and role in these.

Our work spans a number of pervasive computing application areas including:

  • smart health and wellbeing
  • augmented cognition
  • energy and sustainability
  • pervasive displays and analytics
  • transport information
  • support for trusted working practices

We work closely with partners that provide real-world settings for our studies and we receive financial support from a wide range of sources including EPSRC, TSB, EU and directly from industry.

Group Leader

+44 (0)1524 510318 C55, C - Floor, InfoLab21

Group Members

Dr Lynne Blair

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1524 510360 C40, C - Floor, InfoLab21

+44 (0)1524 510312

Professor Nigel Davies

Distinguished Professor

CeMoRe - Centre for Mobilities Research, Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Energy Lancaster

+44 (0)1524 510327

Dr Joe Finney

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1524 510325

Professor Adrian Friday

Head of Department, Professor of Computing and Sustainability

Energy Lancaster

+44 (0)1524 510326 C57, C - Floor, InfoLab21

Professor Richard Harper

Professor, Co-Director of the Institute for Social Futures

+44 (0)1524 593105

DEMAND - Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand, Energy Lancaster

+44 (0)1524 510506 C35, C - Floor, InfoLab21

Professor Sumi Helal

Chair in Digital Health

+44 (0)1524 510307

Dr Bran Knowles

Lecturer in Data Science

HighWire Doctoral Training Centre

+44 (0)1524 592276 B42, B - Floor, InfoLab21

Dr Petteri Nurmi

Lecturer in the Foundation of Pervasive Data Science

+44 (0)1524 510519

+44 (0)1524 510305 D12, D - Floor, Infolab

Research Areas

Professor Corina Sas

Human-Computer Interaction and Digital Health

I enjoy interdisciplinary research and lead large-scale interdisciplinary projects. My research interests include human-computer interaction, interaction design, user experience, designing tools and interactive systems to support high-level skill acquisition and training such as creative and reflective thinking in design, autobiographical reasoning, emotional processing and spatial cognition. This work explores and integrates wearable bio sensors, life-logging technologies and virtual reality.

Professor Adrian Friday

Ubicomp for sustainability, systems support for ubiquitous computing, the Internet of Things

Interested in applying ubicomp sensing to conduct real-world empirical experiments to uncover how everyday practices contribute to carbon externality and global warming, and how we might transform these using technological ubicomp interventions. Recent work has explored energy in the home, time-shifting energy demand, adaptive thermal comfort, sustainable food choice, and promoting sustainable last-mile freight services.

Professor Nigel Davies

Nigel Davies is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Co-Director of Data Science Institute at Lancaster University. His work is in the area of pervasive computing including systems support for new forms of data capture and interaction and is characterized by an experimental approach involving large-scale deployments of novel systems with end-users.

Professor Sumi Helal

Digital Health, the Internet of Things, Pervasive Systems

As Chair of Digital Health, I lead interdisciplinary research and initiatives in digital health in both the School of Computing and Communications (Faculty of Science and Technology) and the Faculty of Health and Medicine. My active areas of research focus on architectural and programmability aspects of the Internet of Things (systems research), and on pervasive/ubiquitous systems and their human-centric applications with special focus on smart spaces, proactive health/wellness, patient empowerment and e-coaching, and assistive technology in support of personal health, aging, disabilities, and independence.

Professor Richard Harper

Originally trained as a sociologist but now a computer scientist, I am concerned with how new technologies shape us and how we, in turn, shape our technologies - in the space that is often known as Human-Computer Interaction or HCI.

Dr Lynne Blair

Human aspects of Computing such as personal and social implications of our digital economy on community values and integrity, well-being, and environmental implications regarding sustainability in digital innovations. Values and frames – applied to digital technologies; and specifically the integration of values into design through the HCI field of Value Sensitive Design. Interactions occurring in software systems (feature-oriented development), aspect-oriented software development and formal verification techniques.

Dr Keith Cheverst

My research explores the obdurate problems associated with the user-centred design of interactive systems that utilise mobile and/or ubicomp technologies and feature context-aware/place-based locative media content. I am particularly interested in the deployment and longitudinal study of technology prototypes and probes in complex or semi-wild settings in order to gain insights into issues of user adoption and appropriation. I follow an iterative development approach with strong elements of co-design and the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Notable past examples of deployments which involved longitudinal study (over several years) include the Hermes office door display system and the Wray display deployment. A current research focus is to explore the potential positive role that digital technologies can play in mediating and facilitating the nature experience. Indeed, given the widespread concern over society’s growing disconnect with nature (and the scientific evidence showing the health and well-being benefits associated with time spent in nature) there is a societal urgency to investigate ways of realising this potential. 

Dr Mark Rouncefield

Mark's research covers various different aspects of the empirical study of work, organisation, human factors and interactive computer systems design. This work is strongly interdisciplinary in nature and has led to extensive and continuing collaborations with colleagues in Sociology, Computing, Informatics and Management departments both in the UK and abroad. His empirical studies of work and technology have contributed to critical debates concerning the relationship between social and technical aspects of IT systems design and use. He is particularly associated with the development of ethnography as a method for informing design and evaluation.

Dr Mike Hazas

In brief, my research is concerned with everyday practices and technologies, and how they can be related to sustainability. These include practices like playing, working or doing the laundry, and their connection to energy demand and wider impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions. I apply multidisciplinary observational approaches which juxtapose quantitative measures of demand and impact, and qualitative/quantitative data from everyday life (e.g. room occupancy, appliance times-of-use, routines of practice, and social meanings and expectations). Specific empirical sites have included cooking, thermal comfort and digital media and entertainment.

Dr Joe Finney

My research revolves around the investigation of network and system support for mobile, embedded and ubiquitous computing. I typically employ an experimental methodology in my research. Through the prototyping of novel and emerging applications, I work to discover new requirements, architectures, protocols and techniques for future networks and systems. I find adopting such a pragmatic and experimental approach not only provides accurate research results and insights but also enables more direct dissemination of research results into both the academic and industrial research communities. As an example of this, previous work I undertook around the Mobile IPv6 protocol was later adopted by Microsoft and integrated on their Windows XP and CE operating systems, and have developed patented and licensed technologies for the creation of emergent displays.

Dr Bran Knowles

Bran Knowles is a Lecturer in Data Science, focusing on trust, privacy and ethical considerations surrounding data and data systems. Her background is multidisciplinary, spanning the psychology, sociology, anthropology, and design, and her PhD is in Digital Innovation. Her research explores different aspects of trust through ethnographic case studies, develops conceptual models of trust that help in understanding a research agenda for developing trusted data systems, and develops practitioner guidelines for creating trusted data systems. She approaches the development of socio-technical systems from a human perspective, applying an understanding of how people come to trust one another in the real world towards understanding how to design systems that people trust.

Dr Andreea Molnar

My research can be broadly included in the human-computer interaction field, and it has been applied mostly to education.  I am interested in how rich media types (e.g. video, games, virtual reality) can be designed to complement and enhance public services and what factors affect technology adoption.

Dr Petteri Nurni

My research interests focus on sensing systems, covering system design, new algorithms for processing and collecting sensor measurements, and theoretical models of sensing. I am also interested in innovative applications of sensing technologies in different fields, ranging from healthcare to security, transportation, and beyond. Recent examples of my research include methods for mobility modelling and applying it to urban design problems, analysis of crowd sensed data and its use to optimize decision making, e.g., in making offloading decisions or energy recommendations to mobile users, and collaborative speech monitoring on commodity devices.