New article published in IEEE Computer

Wearables for free-play

Wearable Computer Magazine

presented at 9th edition of NOVUM 2015 – Festival of Science, Technology and Innovation of Barcelona

YoWay: a location-based interactive storytelling experience

yoWayNOVUM

Our full paper “Urban ageing: technology, agency and community in smarter cities for older people” has been accepted for publication in ACM C&T 2015, the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies which will take place in Limerick (Ireland) from the 27th to the 30th of June 2015 (http://comtech.community/). The paper elaborates on the concept […]

Urban ageing: accepted for publication in ACM C&T 2015

urban ageing - smart cities for older people

7-9 September 2015, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

Human-Computer Interaction and the older population in 2025, Special track in Interacción 2015

fotosRutaGotico 050

The GTI member Juan Pablo (JP) Carrascal defended his PhD Thesis last Monday, January 26th, with the title “Aspects of personal information valuation in web browsing and mobile communication”. Congratulations to JP, and his thesis advisors Dr. Rodrigo de Oliveira from Google and Dr. Josep Blat from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. And thanks to the three members […]

JP Carrascal is now a doctor!

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PAGINA:

Wearables for free-play

Wearable Computer Magazine

 

“Beeping Socks and Chirping Arm Bands: Wearables That Foster Free Play”, by Andrea Rosales, Sergio Sayago, (both PhD from UPF, the former currently with IN3-UOC, the latter tenure track at Universitat de Lleida), and Josep Blat (CS professor at UPF), has just appeared in the June issue of the Computer magazine of the prestigious IEEE Society. Computer is between a trade magazine and a research journal, and “provides information regarding current research developments, trends, best practices, and changes in the computing profession”.
The cover feature of the June issue is “Wearable Computing: the new dress code” and the paper presents the playful side of wearable computers. The authors describe how four qualities of wearables—individuality, natural interaction, ubiquity, and intimacy— can foster rich and diverse free play, which is key to learning in young children. The authors study three accessories worn on the feet, wrist, and waist, and explore how their findings can help support wearables future design.

The paper derives from A. Rosales’ PhD (co-supervised by S. Sayago and J. Blat), and part of the free-play experiments took place in Ars Electronica, Mini-Música, and other festivals.

Ref: Rosales, A., Sayago, S., Blat, J.: Beeping Socks and Chirping Arm Bands: Wearables That Foster Free Play, IEEE Computer 48(6), 41 – 48, 2015 (June).

Link for download: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=7122175

YoWay: a location-based interactive storytelling experience

yoWayNOVUM

On the 25th – 26th of Abril the GTI participated in the 9th edition of NOVUM – the Festival of Science, Technology and Innovation of Barcelona. The event, which this year took place in the renewed Plaça de Les Glories, aims at bringing the general public closer to the science and research world. The event was attended by over 1000 visitors, especially families with children.

The GTI participated within the tent of BCNLab and conducted a pilot experiment with YoWay, a mobile-based game concept that mixes augmented spaces, interactive narrative, literature and urban sports. It features a series of interrelated missions by way of intrigue and mystery stories. The user resolves the mysteries by walking and listening to story fragments, and following clues that the story reveals to decide what new place to visit. For the occasion, our colleagues Quim Colas and Alan Tapscott, created a collection of three stories in which the player is transported to the Plaça de les Glòries in Barcelona in 1919 with the aim of solving a crime, as a thriller, while discovering the history of the area.

Among all the participants we drawn 10 entrances for the MIBA (Museu d’idees i invents de Barcelona).

YoWay has been developed by GTI in collaboration with Alquimia.

Urban ageing: accepted for publication in ACM C&T 2015

Our full paper “Urban ageing: technology, agency and community in smarter cities for older people” has been accepted for publication in ACM C&T 2015, the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies which will take place in Limerick (Ireland) from the 27th to the 30th of June 2015 (http://comtech.community/). The paper elaborates on the concept of smart cities for older people by drawing on two case studies we undertook in the past 4 years.

The Communities & Technologies (C&T) is a biannual conference series aimed at stimulating and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities – both physical and virtual – and information and communication technologies. This seventh edition of the conference will mark a stronger opening toward Community Informatics work.

urban ageing - smart cities for older people

urban ageing

Abstract

Despite the widespread popularity of smart cities in policy and research fields, and the ever-increasing ageing population in urban areas, ageing issues have seldom been addressed in depth in smart city programs. The main focus has hitherto been on making physical environments ‘older people friendly’. We review studies in environmental gerontology, policies and HCI that show the multifaceted relationship between ageing and cities. We discuss two case studies with scenarios of engagement of older people in urban areas we undertook in the past 4 years. By drawing upon the results, we propose a vision of smart city that conceives of older people as embedded in intergenerational urban communities and capable of creating new engagement situations by reconfiguring IT-driven scenarios to their interests and social practices. This paper aims at expanding the current visions of smart cities for older people by building along three main dimensions: technology, agency and community.

Righi, V., Sayago, S., Blat, J. (2015) Urban ageing: technology, agency and community in smarter cities for older people. Accepted for publication (33% rate of acceptance) in ACM Communities & Technologies Conference (C&T), Ireland. Pre-print available in the following link [PDF]

Human-Computer Interaction and the older population in 2025, Special track in Interacción 2015

7-9 September 2015, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

fotosRutaGotico 050

In light of an ever-increasing ageing population, along with the continuing pervasiveness of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in multiple facets of daily living, we believe that research into HCI and Ageing will remain just as important over the next decade as it has been for a number of years. The primary aim of this one-day special track is to bring together practitioners in the field of HCI and Ageing in order to discuss the question of where do we go from here? From time to time, it is a healthy practice to take stock of a research area in order to take it forward. Since the seminal Human Factors Research Needs for an Aging Population (edited by Sara J. Czaja in the 1990s), a growing number of HCI studies with older people have been conducted over the past two, almost three, decades. Established research indicates that accommodating for age-related changes in functional abilities is key to the design of more accessible technologies for older people. It is also widely accepted, especially in areas related to HCI (such as Gerontology), that older people are a very heterogeneous user group and that chronological age is not always helpful enough to conceptualize ageing. There is also a growing movement in favour of moving away from “assistive” technological conceptions based on stereotypical negative views of ageing. Conducting Participatory Design with older people is not so straightforward as we might think. How will this body of knowledge change when most of today’s non-digital immigrant adult people grow older? How will current trends in technology development (e.g. Wearables, Big Data, Casual games and Do-It-Yourself (DIY)) impact on HCI studies with older people? How will the fourth age shape HCI and Ageing in 2025?

Deadline for submissions (full and short papers): April 8, 2015. Accepted papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library. This special track is organised by (in alphabetical order) Josep Blat (UPF), Andreu Català (UPC), Andrea Rosales (IN3-UOC) and Sergio Sayago (UdL). For further information, please visit this special track’s webpage and/or the section of special tracks on the conference’s website.

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JP Carrascal is now a doctor!

The GTI member Juan Pablo (JP) Carrascal defended his PhD Thesis last Monday, January 26th, with the title “Aspects of personal information valuation in web browsing and mobile communication”.

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Congratulations to JP, and his thesis advisors Dr. Rodrigo de Oliveira from Google and Dr. Josep Blat from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

And thanks to the three members of the defense tribunal, Dr. Nuria Olivier, from Telefónica Research, Dr. Karen Church, from Yahoo Labs, and Dr. Davinia Hernández, from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

It is worth mentioning that most of JP’s research work was conducted at Telefónica Research as part of a collaboration agreement between Telefónica and the GTI.

The abstract of the thesis:

“The goal of this dissertation is to provide insights into how web and mobile phone call users assign value to their personal information. Two user studies are presented. The first one used a refined Experience Sampling Method to obtain the the monetary valuation of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of web users. We observed how the value of different types of PII compare, and reflected upon how these values relate to users’ concerns about privacy and monetization of their PII. The second study focuses on annotation of mobile phone calls, a process that involves selecting the information that the user considers to be the most important from the call. We found the factors that mainly influence the need of the caller to take notes. We also observed how the annotation needs and behaviors change over time. Finally, we evaluated different annotation techniques, including annotations made by context-independent observers. Our findings provide important insights for the development of automatic annotation tools, and also suggest the potential of crowdsourcing for finding noteworthy information from mobile phone calls.”