Awareness systems are a class of computer mediated communication systems that help individuals or groups build and maintain a peripheral awareness of each other. Awareness systems for informal social use are still in their infancy as a technology and as a research area. Such systems promise to address pressing social problems: elderly living alone, families living apart for large parts of the working week, monitoring the well being of an ill relative, etc. The ASTRA platform, which is being developed in the context of the EU research project ASTRA, provides a generalized solution to the development of awareness applications that are based on the concept of pervasive awareness. In this paper, we shall present how smart objects in a person’s environment can be used to capture and convey awareness information under this person’s control.