SIMILAR will create an integrated task force on multimodal interfaces that respond efficiently to speech, gestures, vision, haptics and direct brain connections by merging into a single research group excellent European laboratories in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Signal Processing. SIMILAR will develop a common theoretical framework for fusion and fission of multimodal information using the most advanced Signal Processing tools constrained by Human Computer Interaction rules. SIMILAR will develop a network of usability test facilities and establish an assessment methodology. SIMILAR will develop a common distributed software platform available for researchers and the public at large through www.openinterface.org
. SIMILAR will establish a scientific foundation which will manage an International Journal, Special Sessions in existing conferences, organise summer schools, interact with key European industrial partners and promote new research activities at the European level. SIMILAR will address a series of great challenges in the field of edutainment, interfaces for disabled people and interfaces for medical applications. Natural immersive interfaces for education purposes and interfaces for environments where the user is unable to use his hands and a keyboard (like Surgical Operation Rooms, or cars) will be dealt with a stronger focus.