Pervasive 2010 keynote

Pervasive technology that changed the world

Dr. Henry Tirri, Senior Vice President, Head of Nokia Research Center

Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 9:00-10:00 am

Festival Hall, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 34, Helsinki


For world's developing communities the most pervasive technology comes in the form of mobile communication devices and associated services. For billions of people across the world, primary access to communication networks, including Internet, comes through their mobile phones - not from personal computers or fixed landlines telephony. This pervasive communication technology is on its way to fundamentally change social networking in local communities and dramatically improving education for remote schools. The same pervasive technology combined with sensor technologies is revolutionizing fieldwork in health care for rural areas. For the 3B people in the world that do not have a bank account pervasiveness of the mobile devices allows development of services that help these people to manage their finances and make payments without having to travel long distances or wait hours in line at banks. In this talk we will look at a range of technical and social science research that both helps us to understand the social context of pervasiveness of technology and to develop technological solutions designed for emerging and underserved markets in developing regions. We will use examples from the research performed at Nokia Research Center in Growth Economy initiatives and outline challenges for the research communities interested in ubiquitous computing for the next billion people.


Dr. Henry Tirri is Senior Vice President and Head of Nokia Research Center (NRC). Nokia Research Center drives breakthroughs that reach far into the future, enabling new business opportunities for Nokia. As Head of Nokia Research Center, Henry is responsible for labs worldwide that pursue disruptive innovation. NRC works closely with all Nokia operating units and promotes open innovation, working on research projects in collaboration with leading universities and research institutes around the world.

Henry joined Nokia in 2004 as a Research Fellow in the Software and Applications Laboratory. Henry holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Helsinki, Finland. In addition to his Nokia role, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki and an Adjunct Professor of Computational Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology. He has extensive experience in running research activities in the fields of intelligent systems and networking and his personal research interests span artificial intelligence, information theory, search technologies and wireless sensor networks.

Before joining Nokia, Henry was a Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Graduate School and the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the University of Helsinki, leading a large, world-class research group in probabilistic modeling. Previous positions include working as a Research Scientist at Microelectronics and ComputerTechnology Corporation (MCC), MTS at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Visiting Scientist at NASA AMES where he contributed to the Mars Rover technology for the 2003 mission.

In the academic world, Henry has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He was also Vice President of Scientific Operations and Co-Founder of Ekahau. He is the author and co-author of more than 175 academic papers in various fields of computer science, social sciences and statistics and holds five patents.

Henry Tirri