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Research Projects of the Distributed Systems Group

We conducted a number of internal and external research projects with a wide variety of industrial and academic partners. Follow the links below for more information on the individual projects.

  • ECO data set
  • Embedded Web Resources
    The goal of this project is to make programming of Internet of Things applications significantly easier. A central building block is the light-weight RESTful protocol CoAP.
    As part of the Mobile Information and Communication Systems (MICS) project – a long term research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation – we are investigating architecture and infrastructure issues for smart cooperating objects.
  • SNIF
    SNIF is a Sensor Network Inspection Framework that supports passive observation and inspection of deployed Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). It consists of a distributed sniffer, a new package description language, and a data stream engine with multiple operators.
  • Fosstrak (formerly Accada)
    Fosstrak is an open source RFID software platform that implements the EPC Network specifications. It is intended to foster the rapid prototyping of RFID applications and to accelerate the development of an Internet of Things.
  • Smart Heating
    In this project we estimate how much heating energy could be saved in individual households, if an occupancy-based heating strategy was appplied.
  • SPARK - Rapid Prototyping on Mobile Phones
    In this project we developed a rapid prototping environment that targets specifically novice users and enables then to create mobile phone applications in a very easy and fast way.
  • eMeter
    One of the major causes of abusive energy consumption in households is due to the existing intransparency. Thus, the eMeter system provides feedback on the residential electricty consumption of the entire household as well as on the consumption of single devices. Through connecting smart electricity meters with a mobile application, we investigate what feedback is best suited to lower usage barrieres and motivate users to change change their behavior in order to achieve sustainable energy savings.
  • BaToo - Barcode Recognition Toolkit
    In this project we are developing a free toolkit for the recognition and resolving of 1D barcodes on camera equipped mobile phones. Using this toolkit, we are implementing and investigating services that are based on the linking of the wide range of barcode tagged products with an abundance of various information sources available on the web.
  • Smart Meter Services
    Smart meters are being deployed in millions of households worldwide. This project collects and analyzes real world electricity consumption data to investigate potential services and applications for private households.
  • Augmented Knight's Castle
    The Augmented Knight's Castle is an augmented toy environment that enriches the children's pretend play by using background music, sound effects, verbal commentary of toys, and different forms of tactile and visual feedback in reaction to the children's play. Moreover, interactive learning experiences can be integrated into the play.
  • Dyser - A Real World Search Engine
    In collaboration with NTT DoCoMo Euro-Labs, we developed Dyser: A Real World Search Engine, a system for searching the real world, based on dynamic information gathered by a large number of heterogeneous sensors and sensor networks. Within the scope of this project, we also investigated to what extent the built-in Bluetooth modules of modern mobile phones can be used to sense the dynamics of people at public places.
  • LOP - Location Oriented Programming
    In the LOP project we explore the idea, design and implication of making location a first class programming construct.
  • SAP Research Switzerland
    As part of a long-term cooperation we work together with SAP Research Switzerland in the joint areas of Internet of Things, Internet of Services and device to business integration.
  • M-Lab (ended December 2008)
    In a cooperation with the University of St. Gallen and a large range of industrial partners, we are developing business applications in the domain of pervasive and ubiquitous computing.
  • Hitachi Mu-chip (ended March 2007)
    A research cooperation with the Hitachi Systems Development Laboratory, Japan, that explores applications for tiny, sub-millimeter-sized RFID tags.
  • UbiGate (ended February 2007)
    In collaboration with NTT DoCoMo Euro-Labs, we developed UbiGate, a system for locating and monitoring everyday items using sensor-equipped mobile phones. This system allowed us to identify challenges that are common to many applications which make use of the large people-centric infrastructure provided by mobile phones and the cellular network.
  • Living in a Smart Environment (ended February 2005)
    Funded by the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz foundation, we lead a team of researchers from seven universities exploring possible social, economic, and ethical consequences of large-scale ubiquitous computing deployments.
  • Smart-Its (ended December 2003)
    Within the EU-funded Disappearing Computer initiative we developed a sensore-node platform, the so-called "Smart-It", which can be attached to everyday items in order to support collaborative behavior among objects. We also conducted DC Troubadour, a survey of the state of privacy in a large number of DC projects.
  • Entry Points (ended December 2003)
    Within the ETH World program, we are developing a material entry point system for connecting the virtual campus to the physical campus environment.
  • P3P (ended April 2002)
    Within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), we participated in the design of P3P, an emerging world-wide standard for machine-readable privacy policies.
  • CASTING (ended December 2000)
    Together with Swisscom Corporate Research, we investigated the application of smart card technology in combination with short-distance wireless communication.


In order to validate theoretical findings, as well as to provide a testbed for trying out new ideas, we are developing demonstrator systems as part of many research investigations. Below you can find a list of some of the prototypes we have developed as part of our research into pervasive and ubiquitous computing systems.

ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated January 1 1970 01:00:00 AM MET mk