Oct 06, 2014

Google Glass can now display captions for hard-of-hearing users

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a speech-to-text Android app for Google Glass that displays captions for hard-of-hearing persons when someone is talking to them in person.

“This system allows wearers like me to focus on the speaker’s lips and facial gestures, “said School of Interactive Computing Professor Jim Foley.

“If hard-of-hearing people understand the speech, the conversation can continue immediately without waiting for the caption. However, if I miss a word, I can glance at the transcription, get the word or two I need and get back into the conversation.”

Captioning on Glass display captions for the hard-of-hearing (credit: Georgia Tech)

The “Captioning on Glass” app is now available to install from MyGlass. More information here.

Foley and the students are working with the Association of Late Deafened Adults in Atlanta to improve the program. An iPhone app is planned.

Aug 31, 2014

Information Entropy

Information – Entropy by Oliver Reichenstein

Will information technology affect our minds the same way the environment was affected by our analogue technology? Designers hold a key position in dealing with ever increasing data pollution. We are mostly focussed on speeding things up, on making sharing easier, faster, more accessible. But speed, usability, accessibility are not the main issue anymore.  The main issues are not technological, they are structural, processual. What we lack is clarity, correctness, depth, time. Are there counter-techniques we can employ to turn data into information, information into knowledge, knowledge into wisdom?

Oliver Reichenstein — Information Entropy (SmashingConf NYC 2014) from Smashing Magazine on Vimeo.

Jul 09, 2014

Experiential Virtual Scenarios With Real-Time Monitoring (Interreality) for the Management of Psychological Stress: A Block Randomized Controlled Trial

Gaggioli, A., Pallavicini, F., Morganti, L. et al. (2014) Journal of Medical Internet Research. 16(7):e167. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.3235

The recent convergence between technology and medicine is offering innovative methods and tools for behavioral health care. Among these, an emerging approach is the use of virtual reality (VR) within exposure-based protocols for anxiety disorders, and in particular posttraumatic stress disorder. However, no systematically tested VR protocols are available for the management of psychological stress. Objective: Our goal was to evaluate the efficacy of a new technological paradigm, Interreality, for the management and prevention of psychological stress. The main feature of Interreality is a twofold link between the virtual and the real world achieved through experiential virtual scenarios (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and improve self-efficacy) with real-time monitoring and support (identifying critical situations and assessing clinical change) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, wearable biosensors, and smartphones).

Full text paper available at: http://www.jmir.org/2014/7/e167/

Nov 24, 2013

Call for papers IDGEI 2014 - International Workshop on Intelligent Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

Call for papers IDGEI 2014 - International Workshop on Intelligent Games for Empowerment and Inclusion - associated with "Intelligent User Interfaces IUI 2014"

2nd International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

http://idgei2014.joanneum.at/

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions. IDGEI 2014 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

 Suggested workshop topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Machine Intelligence in Serious Games
  • Mobile and Real-World Serious Gaming
  • Emotion & Affect in Serious Games
  • Player Behavior and Attention Modeling
  • Player-Adaptation and Motivation
  • Security & Privacy Preservation
  • Novel Serious Games
  • User Studies & Tests of Serious Games

Paper submission deadline 4 December 2013.

Associated with International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2014.

For more info, download Call for Papers (PDF; 582 KB)

 

Nov 20, 2013

Call for Papers on Physiological Computing for Intelligent Adaptation: A Special Issue of Interacting with Computers

Special issue editors:
• Hugo Gamboa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
• Hugo Plácido da Silva (IT – Institute of Telecommunications, Portugal)
• Kiel Gilleade (Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom)
• Sergi Bermúdez i Badia (Universidade da Madeira, Portugal)
• Stephen Fairclough (Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom)

Contact:
s.fairclough@ljmu.ac.uk

Deadline for Submissions:
30 June 2014

Physiological data provides a wealth of information about the behavioural state of the user. These data can provide important contextual information by allowing the system to draw inferences with respect to the affective, cognitive and physical state of a person. In a computerised system this information can be used as an input control to drive system adaptation. For example, a videogame can use psychophysiological inferences of the player’s level of mental workload during play to adjust game difficulty in real-time.

A basic physiological computer system will simply reflect changes in the physiological data in its system adaptations. More advanced systems would use their knowledge of the individual user and the context in which changes are occurring in order to “intelligently” adapt the system at the most appropriate time with the most appropriate intervention.

In this special issue we call for the submission of cutting edge research work relating to the creation, facilitation of and issues involved in intelligent adaptive physiological computing systems (PCS). The focus of this special issue is on Physiological Computing for Intelligent Adaptation, and within this the scope includes but is not limited to:

• Applications of intelligent adaptation in PCS
• Mobile and embedded systems for intelligent adaptation in PCS
• Adaptive user interfaces driven by physiological computing
• Assistive technologies mediated by physiological computing
• Pervasive technologies for physiological computing
• Affective interfaces
• Context aware interfaces
• The user experience of intelligent adaptive PCS
• Ethics of intelligent adaptation in PCS

All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed to the usual exacting standards of IwC. Further information, including submission procedures and advice on formatting and preparing your manuscript, can be found at:http://iwc.oxfordjournals.org/

Nov 16, 2013

Stanford Center on Longevity competition challenges students to design products to help older adults

The design contest solicits entries from student teams worldwide and is aimed at finding solutions that help keep people with cognitive impairments independent as long as possible.

The competition is currently accepting submissions in what is called Phase I of the challenge. Submitted concepts will be judged in January and finalists will be given financial help to flesh out their design and travel to Stanford to present it.

From January until April, called Phase II, finalists will also have access to mentors in different schools and centers at Stanford

The final presentations, in April, will be before a panel of academics, industry professionals, nonprofit groups and investors.

The top prize is $10,000, while the second place team will take home $5,000 and third place will get $3,000.

 

Oct 25, 2013

Positive Technology at ICT 2013

Good news!

Our networking session proposal was accepted at the ICT 2013 Conference in Vilnius (6-8 November, 2013).

Title: Positive Technology: Steps Towards Ubiquitous Empowerment (07/11/2013, Booth 4, 18:00-19:30)

More than 5000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives are expected to attend the conference. That's indeed a great opportunity to explore the future developments of Positive Technology within Horizon2020.

ICT 2013

If you are also planning to attend the conference and you're interested in participating to this special networking session, drop me a message here.

Aug 07, 2013

International Conference on Physiological Computing Systems

7-9 January 2014, Lisbon, Portugal

http://www.phycs.org/

Physiological data in its different dimensions, either bioelectrical, biomechanical, biochemical or biophysical, and collected through specialized biomedical devices, video and image capture or other sources, is opening new boundaries in the field of human-computer interaction into what can be defined as Physiological Computing. PhyCS is the annual meeting of the physiological interaction and computing community, and serves as the main international forum for engineers, computer scientists and health professionals, interested in outstanding research and development that bridges the gap between physiological data handling and human-computer interaction.


Regular Paper Submission Extension: September 15, 2013
Regular Paper Authors Notification: October 23, 2013
Regular Paper Camera Ready and Registration: November 5, 2013

May 29, 2013

Symposium on Positive Technology @ Third World Congress on Positive Psychology

We hope you will join us in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday June 29th for attending the Symposium on Positive Technology.

The special session features interventions by key PT researchers and is a great opportunity to meet, share ideas and build the future of this exciting research field!

Download the conference program here (PDF)

Third World Congress on Positive Psychology Banner

May 24, 2013

New LinkedIn group on Positive Technology

Are you interested in Positive Technology? Then come and join us on LinkedIn!

Our new group is the place to share expertise and brilliant ideas on positive applications of technology!

Mar 03, 2013

Call for papers - International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

1st International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

Website: http://idgei.fdg2013.org/
14 May 2013, Chania, Crete, Greece
chaired by Björn Schuller, Lucas Paletta, Nicolas Sabouret

Paper submission deadline: 11 March 2013

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions. IDGEI 2013 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

Suggested workshop topics include, but are by no means limited to:

- Machine Intelligence in Serious Games
- Mobile and Real-World Serious Gaming
- Emotion & Affect in Serious Games
- Player Behavior and Attention Modeling
- Player-Adaptation and Motivation
- Security & Privacy Preservation
- Novel Serious Games
- User Studies & Tests of Serious Games

2nd Summer School on Human Computer Confluence

Date: 17th, 18th and 19th July 2013

Venue: IRCAM
Location: Paris, France
Website: http://www.ircam.fr/

The 2nd HCC summer school aims to share scientific knowledge and experience among participants, enhance and stimulate interdisciplinary dialogue as well as provide further opportunities for co-operation within the study domains of Human Computer Confluence.

The topics of the summer school will be framed around the following issues:
• re-experience yourself,
• experience being others,
• experience being together in more powerful ways,
• experience other environments,
• experience new senses,
• experience abstract data spaces.

The 2nd HCC summer school will try to benefit most from the research interests and the special facilities of the IRCAM institute, the last as a place dedicated to the coupling of art with the sciences of sound and media. Special attention will be given to the following thematic categories:
• Musical interfaces
• Interactive sound design
• Sensorimotor learning and gesture-sound interactive systems
• Croudsourcing and human computation approaches in artistic applications

The three-day summer school will include invited lectures by experts in the field, a round-table and practical workshops. During the workshops, participants will engage in hands-on HCC group projects that they will present at the end of the summer school.

Program committee

• Isabelle Viaud-Delmon, Acoustic and cognitive spaces team, CNRS - IRCAM, France.
• Andrea Gaggioli, Department of Psychology, UCSC, Milan, Italy.
• Stephen Dunne, Neuroscience Department, STARLAB, Barcelona, Spain.
• Alois Ferscha, Pervasive computing lab, Johannes Kepler Universitat Linz, Austria.
• Fivos Maniatakos, Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces Group, IRCAM, France.

Organisation committee

• Isabelle Viaud-Delmon, IRCAM
• Hugues Vinet, IRCAM
• Marine Taffou, IRCAM
• Sylvie Benoit, IRCAM
• Fivos Maniatakos, IRCAM

Feb 08, 2013

IEEE Special Issue: Technologies for Affect and Wellbeing

Technologies for Affect and Wellbeing- Special Issue of theIEEE Transaction on Affective Computing.

Guest Editors

  • Rafael A. Calvo (The University of Sydney)
  • Giuseppe Riva (ICE-NET Lab- Universitta Catolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan Italy)
  • Christine Lisetti (Florida International University)

Background and Motivation
There is an increased interest in using computer interaction to detect and support users’ physical and psychological wellbeing.  Computers can afford multiple forms of transformational experiences. Some of these experiences can be purposely designed to, for example, detect and regulate students’ affective states to improve aspects of their learning experiences. They can also be used in computer-based psychological interventions that treat psychological illness or that preventively promote wellbeing, healthy lifestyles, and mental health.
The application domain, so far referred to as ‘positive computing’, ‘positive technologies’, and ‘positive design’, draws on ideas from positive psychology, particularly the extensive research on developing human strengths and wellbeing. It is closely linked to the HCI work on personal informatics, and the development of tools that help people learn more about themselves through reflection.
This special issue will focus on ideas, methods and case studies for how affective computing can contribute to this goal. Articles should discuss how information that computers collect about our behaviour, cognition – and particularly affect can be used in the further understanding, nurturing or development of wellbeing and human strengths: e.g. self-understanding, empathy, intrinsic motivation toward wellbeing healthy lifestyles.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Systems to detect or support positive emotions and human strengths for example Reflection, Empathy, Happiness, Gratitude, Self-understanding/ interpersonal skills, Emotional intelligence/ emotion regulation, Social intelligence/ intrapersonal skills, Motivation.
  • Using affect and motivation for physical and psychological health.
  • Cyberpsychology for positive psychology and wellbeing
  • HCI design strategies for support of wellbeing and human strengths
  • Virtual Reality for support of wellbeing or human strengths
  • Positive personal health informatics for health promotion
  • Patient-centered technologies for healthy behaviour change
  • Empathic intelligent virtual agents for lifestyle monitoring and behaviour change
  • Mobile applications of affective computing for health and wellbeing
  • Informatics technologies for patient empowerment

Timetable

  • Call for Papers out: Feb 2013
  • Submission Deadline:  July 1st, 2013
  • Notification of Acceptance:  October 1st, 2013
  • Final Manuscripts Due:  December 1st, 2013
  • Date of Publication: March or July 2014

Review process

The Transactions on Affective Computing Special Issue on “Affect and wellbeing” will consist of papers on techniques, methods, case studies and their evaluation. Some papers may survey various aspects of the topic, particularly in ways that bring the psychological, health and wellbeing, and technical literature together. The balance between these will be adjusted to maximize the impact of the special issue. All articles are expected to follow the standard review procedures for the IEEE TAC.

Aug 03, 2012

Around 40 researchers attended the 1st Summer School on Human Computer Confluence in Milan

I would like to thank everyone involved but particularly the students and speakers who made this a very successful and enjoyable event. See you all next year in Paris!

1st Summer School on Human Computer Confluence

Jul 14, 2012

Does technology affect happiness?

Via The New York Times

As young people spend more time on computers, smartphones and other devices, researchers are asking how all that screen time and multitasking affects children’s and teenagers’ ability to focus and learn — even drive cars.

A study from Stanford University, published Wednesday, wrestles with a new question: How is technology affecting their happiness and emotional development?

Read the full article here

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/does-technology-affect-happiness/

May 07, 2012

CFP – Brain Computer Interfaces Grand Challenge 2012

brain-computer-interface-1.jpg

(From the CFP website)

Sensors, such as wireless EEG caps, that provide us with information about the brain activity are becoming available for use outside the medical domain. As in the case of physiological sensors information derived from these sensors can be used – as an information source for interpreting the user’s activity and intentions. For example, a user can use his or her brain activity to issue commands by using motor imagery. But this control-oriented interaction is unreliable and inefficient compared to other available interaction modalities. Moreover a user needs to behave as almost paralyzed (sit completely still) to generate artifact-free brain activity which can be recognized by the Brain-Computer Interface (BCI).

Of course BCI systems are improving in various ways; improved sensors, better recognition techniques, software that is more usable, natural, and context aware, hybridization with physiological sensors and other communication systems. New applications arise at the horizon and are explored, such as motor recovery and entertainment. Testing and validation with target users in home settings is becoming more common. These and other developments are making BCIs increasingly practical for conventional users (persons with severe motor disabilities) as well as non-disabled users. But despite this progress BCIs remain, as a control interface, quite limited in real world settings. BCIs are slow and unreliable, particularly over extended periods with target users. BCIs require expert assistance in many ways; a typical end user today needs help to identify, buy, setup, configure, maintain, repair and upgrade the BCI. User-centered design is underappreciated, with BCIs meeting the goals and abilities of the designer rather than user. Integration in the daily lives of people is just beginning. One of the reasons why this integration is problematic is due to view point of BCI as control device; mainly due to the origin of BCI as a control mechanism for severely physical disabled people.

In this challenge (organised within the framework of the Call for Challenges at ICMI 2012), we propose to change this view point and therefore consider BCI as an intelligent sensor, similar to a microphone or camera, which can be used in multimodal interaction. A typical example is the use of BCI in sonification of brain signals is the exposition Staalhemel created by Christoph de Boeck. Staalhemel is an interactive installation with 80 steel segments suspended over the visitor’s head as he walks through the space. Tiny hammers tap rhythmic patterns on the steel plates, activated by the brainwaves of the visitor who wears a portable BCI (EEG scanner). Thus, visitors are directly interacting with their surroundings, in this case a artistic installation.

The main challenges to research and develop BCIs as intelligent sensors include but are not limited to:

  • How could BCIs as intelligent sensors be integrated in multimodal HCI, HRI and HHI applications alongside other modes of input control?
  • What constitutes appropriate categories of adaptation (to challenge, to help, to promote positive emotion) in response to physiological data?
  • What are the added benefits of this approach with respect to user experience of HCI, HRI and HHI with respect to performance, safety and health?
  • How to present the state of the user in the context of HCI or HRI (representation to a machine) compared to HHI (representation to the self or another person)?
  • How to design systems that promote trust in the system and protect the privacy of the user?
  • What constitutes opportune support for BCI based intelligent sensor? In other words, how can the interface adapt to the user information such that the user feels supported rather than distracted?
  • What is the user experience of HCI, HRI and HHI enhanced through BCIs as intelligent sensors?
  • What are the ethical, legal and societal implications of such technologies? And how can we address these issues timely?

We solicit papers, demonstrators, videos or design descriptions of possible demonstrators that address the above challenges. Demonstrators and videos should be accompanied by a paper explaining the design. Descriptions of possible demonstrators can be presented through a poster.
Accepted papers will be included in the ICMI conference proceedings, which will be published by ACM as part of their series of International Conference Proceedings. As such the ICMI proceedings will have an ISBN number assigned to it and all papers will have a unique DOI and URL assigned to them. Moreover, all accepted papers will be included in the ACM digital library.

Important dates

Deadline for submission: June 15, 2012
Notification of acceptance: July 7, 2012
Final paper: August 15, 2102

Grand Challenge Website:
 

 

 

 

Mar 22, 2012

1st Summer School on Human Computer Confluence

 

The 1st Summer School on Human Computer Confluence will take place in Milan, Italy, on 18-20 July 2012.

The Summer School is hosted and organized by the Doctoral School in Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano.

enquires: hcc.summerschool@unicatt.it

The specific objectives of the Summer School are to provide selected and highly-motivated participants hands-on experience with question-driven Human-Computer Confluence projects, applications and experimental paradigms, as well as to gather project leaders’ researchers and students working together on a list of inter-disciplinary challenges in the field of HCC. Participants will be assigned to different teams, working creatively and collaboratively on specific topics of interest.

The 1st Summer School will be addressed up to 40 Ph.D. students attendees, interested in the emerging symbiotic relation between humans and computing devices. There is no registration fee for the Summer School and financial aid will be available for a significant number of students towards travel and accommodation.

About Human Computer Confluence

HCC, Human-Computer Confluence, is an ambitious research program funded by the EU, studying how the emerging symbiotic relation between humans and computing devices can enable radically new forms of sensing, perception, interaction, and understanding.

The initiative aims to investigate and demonstrate new possibililities emerging at the confluence between  the human and technological realms. It will examine new modalities for individual and group perception, actions and experience in augmented, virtual spaces. Such virtual spaces would span the virtual reality continuum, also extending to purely synthetic but believable representation of massive, complex and dynamic data. Human-Computer confluence fosters inter-disciplinary research (such as Presence, neuroscience, machine learning and computer science) towards delivering unified experiences and inventing radically new forms of perception/action.

Jan 27, 2012

Positive Technology: Using Interactive Technologies to Promote Positive Functioning

Positive Technology: Using Interactive Technologies to Promote Positive Functioning

G. Riva, R.M. Baños, C. Botella, B.K. Wiederhold, A. Gaggioli

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (Online Ahead of Print: December 9, 2011) DOI

Abstract. It is generally assumed that technology assists individuals in improving the quality of their lives. However, the impact of new technologies and media on well-being and positive functioning is still somewhat controversial. In this paper, we contend that the quality of experience should become the guiding principle in the design and development of new technologies, as well as a primary metric for the evaluation of their applications. The emerging discipline of Positive Psychology provides a useful framework to address this challenge. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning and flourishing. Instead of drawing on a “disease model” of human behavior, it focuses on factors that enable individuals and communities to thrive and build the best in life. In this paper, we propose the “Positive Technology” approach—the scientific and applied approach to the use of technology for improving the quality of our personal experience through its structuring, augmentation, and/or replacement—as a way of framing a suitable object of study in the field of cyberpsychology and human–computer interaction. Specifically, we suggest that it is possible to use technology to influence three specific features of our experience—affective quality, engagement/actualization, and connectedness—that serve to promote adaptive behaviors and positive functioning. In this framework, positive technologies are classified according to their effects on a specific feature of personal experience. Moreover, for each level, we have identified critical variables that can be manipulated to guide the design and development of positive technologies.

May 23, 2011

Brains for Brains 2011 - Young Researchers Computational Neuroscience Award

The call is open for students from relevant disciplines who plan to pursue a research career in Computational Neuroscience and who have at least one peer reviewed publication or peer reviewed conference abstract that resulted from research accomplished before the start of doctoral studies, is written in English and was accepted or published in 2010 or 2011.The award comprises a 500 € cash award, plus travel grant of up to 1.500 € for a one-week trip to Germany, incl. a talk at the Award Ceremony in the framework of the Bernstein Conference 2011 and an individually planned visit to up to two German research institutions in Computational Neuroscience.

Deadline for application is May 31, 2011.

Detailed information about the application procedure can be found under:
http://www.nncn.de/verein-en/brains4brains2011

Jan 26, 2011

Take your two minutes

I stumbled over this site today: Do Nothing for 2 minutes.

The site presents the user with a very simple challenge: can you keep yourself from touching your computer for two minutes?

When the user enters the site a serene ocean view and the sound of waves displayed. The instructions ask to sit back and relax without touching your mouse or keyboard, and then a two minute timer begins counting down. If the user touches the mouse or the keyboard, a FAIL message appears, and the clock reset itself.

The site is very simple, but is gaining a lot of attention worldwide. In spite of its simplicity, I think that it includes interesting features: the provision of relaxing content “on demand”, the countdown, the feedback about compliance with task's instructions.

If any of you knows similar websites please post them in the comments!

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