AAL Call 6 Info Day

Gerard van Wolferen presented the CDI programme at the AAL Call 6 Info Day, February 6th 2013 in Brussels. The topic of this next call of the Ambient Assited Living Joint Programma is “ICT solutions for supporting occupation in life of older adults.”

CDI Presented at AAL Forum, Eindhoven

The 2012 AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) forum took place in the impressive Evoluon building in Eindhoven. The Creative Design for Inclusion programme was presented by Gerard van Wolferen under the title “Creative Design for Inclusion: new paths to social innovation”. Click here to download the associated paper. Authors G. van Wolferen, D. Crombie & H. Verweij.

Special Thematic Session at the ICCHP, Linz

During the 13th ICCHP conference (International Conference on Computers Helping People), the CDI program organized and led a ‘special thematic session’. Introductory text by David Crombie and Gerard van Wolferen, who also chaired the session. Click here to download a description.

ASSAM kick-off

In the fist week of June the Creative Design for Inclusion research programme began a new European project under the Ambient Assisted Living funding scheme.

The project, called Assistants for Safe Mobility (ASSAM), is co-ordinated by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Bremen, where the kick-off meeting was held. The consortium contains a blend of research, exploitation and end user organizations from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

The ASSAM project aims to compensate for declining physical and cognitive capabilities of elderly persons by user-centred development of modular navigation assistants for various mobility platforms, such as walker, wheelchair, and tricycle, providing sustained everyday mobility and autonomy with seamless transition from indoors to outdoors in environments such as residential complexes or the neighbourhood quarter.

HKU is responsible for the requirement gathering, persona and scenario building and the evaluation activities in the project. This strong end-user focus aims to ensure that the products and services developed during the project will be of real and practical value.

Directional Sound

For his Master of Arts research Rogier van Straten is working with directional sound. By nature, sound is omnidirectional. This means, you cannot point it in one direction without it being spread around the space. But there are ways to manipulate the sound waves in such a way that it can be ‘projected’. Various experiments have been carried out using parabolic speakers, which point sound waves in one direction. In a shop, for instance, parabolic speakers can be mounted in the ceiling to project commercial messages to customers at specific locations. Using such a speaker in a quiet room will still spread the sound a little.

Test set-up in the anechoic chamber

Another technique is using ultrasonic waves and the non-linearity interaction of air. Ultrasonic frequencies are already directional due to the short wavelengths, but cannot be perceived by the human ear. Though traveling trough air by means of a carrier wave and a modulated wave, the sound becomes audible. The resulting experience is astonishing. We are so used to sound going everywhere that it feels very unnatural at first to hear sound being shot at you like a laser beam. It’s not really suitable for music as the low end is almost nonexistent, but for spoken word it works. We are anxious to see the further results of this research project, as it opens up a whole range of possibilities.

CDI at the Think Design Play conference

Gerard van Wolferen presenting the Feel the Music vibrating vest

The biannual Digra conference on games and play took place in Hilversum this year on 14 – 17 September, titled Think Design Play. Keynote speakers at the conference, mainly aimed at researchers in the field of games, were Kid Koala, Eric Zimmerman and Antanas Mockus, among many others.

Gerard van Wolferen, leader of the Creative Design for Inclusion programme, presented the Feel the Music project. To enable hearing impaired club-goers to enjoy the music, apart from the very low frequencies they can feel if the music is being played very loud, and to enable them to enjoy the structure and rhythmic patterns of the music, the Feel the Music vest translates these musical patterns into a tactical sensation.