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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » Migration of internet services in pervasive ICT environment

version: 5 / updated: 2011-01-19
id: #1466 / version id: #121
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Martin Fatun
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Martin Fatun
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 3 - ICT - Information & communication technologies

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Components, systems, engineering

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
OPEN project (ID: 216552) - http://www.ict-open.eu/

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Migration of internet services in pervasive ICT environment

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
The objective of FP7 project OPEN is to provide ICT users with migratory interactive services, which enable them to change interaction platforms and still continue their tasks through an interface adapted to the new context of use. The benefits of this type of ICT services are multifaceted: migration can be used to improve user experience by switching to a more suitable device (bigger screen, better resources) and/or to a communication channel that can guarantee better quality of service (shorter delays, higher bandwidth). But there are also risks connected to this model of computing – different types of malware would be able to migrate between interaction platforms as well and they would be able to continuously track and endanger the user everywhere and everytime.


ICT, applications, pervasive computing, ubiquitous computing, platform migration


(max. 250 characters)
There is a demand for internet services which enable user to change ICT platforms and still continue his tasks through an interface adapted to the new context of use.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Improvement in efficiency of ICT utilization – Continuous issue with a very beneficial impact on business and society, which will become highly probable in timeframe form now to 2015. continuation
very beneficial
#2 Formation of new type of e-business and e-commerce business models based on very close and personalized relations with customers – Emerging issue with mainly beneficial impact on business and society, which will become highly probable in timeframe from now to 2025. new/emerging
very beneficial
#3 New type of applications able to monitor activity, health and mood of the user in real time – Emerging issue with neutral impact on society, which will become highly probable in timeframe from now to 2025. new/emerging
#4 Formation of new type of malware (harmful software), which will be able to track all activities of the user continuously on every ICT platform which he may use – Emerging issue with very harmful impact on society, which will become highly probable in timeframe from now to 2025. new/emerging

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

The weak signal might further evolve in “business-as-usual” environment and it is not necessary to stimulate it or to prevent it by any major actions. The potential implications should be rather beneficial. The implications may include smarter and more user-friendly ICT services in many application fields. On the other hand the weak signal occurrence may imply arising of new security threats, which should be prevented mainly by support of appropriate ICT research and development (EC, national governments, industry), by appropriate legislation protecting users against cyber attacks (EC, national governments), and by increased awareness of the users (press, media).


please specify
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union The weak signal is important for the whole world because it could indicate a beginning of a fundamental global change in attitude to the ICT utilization. From the same reason the weak signal is important for the European Union and for individual national governments as well. Potential implications of the weak signal can be extremely significant e.g. in healthcare, where they can literally “save lives”, or in business, where they can earn/save lots of money

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Comments on selection:

• Scientific filters: The technology is not yet publicly accessible, so the potential users are not aware of its possibilities. • Information filters: There is not much information about development of the new technology and its expected benefits and risks in media.

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Technological/Scientific The latest technological progress in ICT field creates preconditions for development of the weak signal. Among the preconditions are e.g. new broadband communication and internet access technologies, new hardware concepts (smart phones and internet phones), or new ICT components (bigger and brighter displays, high density and quick flash memories).
Economic New technology of services migrating among different ICT platforms in pervasive environment brings new opportunities for hardware manufacturers, software developers and ICT service suppliers. Therefore they are highly interested in development of the new technology and in its utilization in applications.

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 • Users are bothered by malware, which is able to track them continuously through all ICT platforms * Improvement of efficiency of ICT utilization * Personalised delivery of information to users * New type of highly personalized online e-learning applications
between 2015-2025 * The malware is able to filter and modify all the information transmitted through internet to the user. * Users are tracked continuously by clever spyware. * Attackers are able to endanger health and lives of patients, who are monitored through an on-line e-health monitoring system. * New type of e-business and e-commerce business models based on very close and personalized relations with customers * New type of e-health applications monitoring health of the user in real time

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) • To exploit the opportunities, EC and national governments should support further development of pervasive ICT technologies, including basic infrastructure issues (hardware, software, networks and other communication solutions) and specialised applications (i.e. pervasive e-learning, e-health or e-business solutions) etc.). • To prevent risks, the EC and national governments should support research oriented towards security in pervasive ICT environment at international and national level. • To prevent the risks, the EC and national government should adopt laws protecting users from negative impacts of the malware. • To exploit the features of pervasive ICT technologies, the EC and national governments should support interdisciplinary development of new solutions for e-health (on-line monitoring of the health and vital functions of the users/patients). Appropriate security measures need to be established. • The EC and national governments should create new regulatory scope for new advanced type of pervasive e-business and e-commerce techniques. The target is protection of users and their security.
Business actors (incl. SMEs) ICT producers and suppliers should create safe technological standards for the new generation of pervasive ICT environment.
Media Media should systematically and continuously warn users against possible malware attacks. As well the media together with ICT producers and suppliers should educate users how to safely handle the new technologies.

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Crime and terrorism The new ICT security threat mentioned above may lead to drop of transparency of internet environment and to growth of internet crime.
Diseases, health and well-being The weak signal may imply development of new e-health technologies for on-line monitoring of health (vital functions) of users and for online treatment of patients and/or elders.
Economic prosperity/dynamics The potential technological implications of the weak signal (i.e. smarter and more user friendly ICT services) may be markedly beneficial for further development of business and economic activities.
Techno-security, hazard & risk The weak signal appearance may imply formation of new type of malware (harmful software), which poses new security thread for users.

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Health The most influenced challenge in the Health priority is Optimizing the delivery of healthcare to European citizens. Potential new technologies implied by the weak signal may mean substantial contribution to this research area, but at the same time they can cause serious security incidents.
ICT - Information & communication technologies In ICT priority, the weak signal is most significant for the research area called Service and Software Architectures, Infrastructures and engineering, where majority of the above-listed potential stakeholders’ actions should be realized.

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Increasing the efficiency and impact of public research through Joint Programming (i.e. combining national and pan-European research efforts) or the optimisation of research programmes and priorities, for example.
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Knowledge sharing and research cooperation at international level may help to ensure desired heading of further development of the technology and simultaneously to guarantee required level of security.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.
Close cooperation between researchers and policy makers can lead to successful prevention of potential risks implied by the weak signal. The cooperation should help to perform majority of the desired stakeholders’ actions mentioned above.

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Potential implications of the weak signal represent important issues of future RTD & STI processes. Therefore the RTD & STI policies should be aware of potential opportunities and risks indicated by the weak signal and they should be focused to eliminate the risks and maximize the benefits. The weak signal should have main impact to the RTD & STI policies in fields of ICT and Health.