In 1998, the board of management of Philips commissioned a series of presentations and internal workshops, organized by Eli Zelkha and Brian Epstein  of Palo Alto Ventures (who, with Simon Birrell, coined the name ‘Ambient Intelligence’) to investigate different scenarios that would transform the high-volume consumer electronic industry from the current “fragmented with features” world into a world in 2020 where user-friendly devices support ubiquitous information, communication and entertainment. While developing the Ambient Intelligence concept, Palo Alto Ventures created the keynote address for Roel Pieper of Philips for the Digital Living Room Conference, 1998. The group included Eli Zelkha, Brian Epstein, Simon Birrell, Doug Randall, and Clark Dodsworth. In the years after, these developments grew more mature.
In 1999, Philips joined the Oxygen alliance, an international consortium of industrial partners within the context of the MIT Oxygen project , aimed at developing technology for the computer of the 21st century. In 2000, plans were made to construct a feasibility and usability facility dedicated to Ambient Intelligence. This HomeLab  officially opened on 24 April 2002.
Along with the development of the vision at Philips, a number of parallel initiatives started to explore ambient intelligence in more detail. Following the advice of the Information Society and Technology Advisory Group (ISTAG), the European Commission used the vision for the launch of their sixth framework (FP6) in Information, Society and Technology (IST), with a subsidiary budget of 3.7 billion euros. The European Commission played a crucial role in the further development of the AmI vision. As a result of many initiatives the AmI vision gained traction. During the past few years several major initiatives have been started. Fraunhofer Society started several activities in a variety of domains including multimedia, microsystems design and augmented spaces. MIT started an Ambient Intelligence research group at their Media Lab . Several more research projects started in a variety of countries such as USA, Canada, Spain, France and the Netherlands. In 2004, the first European symposium on Ambient Intelligence (EUSAI) was held and many other conferences have been held that address special topics in AmI.