A new pilot project funded by the ACT network

Populations are ageing while Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are changing the way in which we conduct numerous activities. One of these activities is scientific research. Over the last 5-10 years, Citizen (Cyber) Science (CCS) has become increasingly popular. An unprecedented number of citizen scientists can now be mobilized to solve problems that are difficult for either machines or professional scientists to address alone. However, little if anything is known about, for example, those barriers which prevent older people (60+) from taking part in CCS projects (e.g. usability of technologies) or their motivations for engaging in them. Thus, bringing together CCS and older people is a timely task, which can potentially help us gain a deeper understanding of emerging socio-technical innovations and address important scientific issues. This project focuses on emotions, which are a key element of human behaviour and healthy ageing. Consequently, emotions also play an important role in designing ICTs that not only meet our needs but also enrich our lives. Yet, emotions are at best marginally addressed, and at worst overlooked, by Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) studies with older people. In this pilot project, we aim to take HCI research with older people forward by: (i) examining cross-cultural, everyday emotional experiences of ICTs use by older people with mild-to-moderate age-related changes in functional abilities, and (ii) exploring the participatory design of new types of online user interfaces (e.g. avatars) that relate to, arise from, or deliberately influence, more positive emotional interactive experiences. This main objective will be achieved by using Citizen Science platforms, such as crowdcrafting.org, and UPF’s online framework for creating and rendering interactive avatars online (http://webglstudio.org/).

This pilot project will be conducted throughout 2016 and it has been funded with 15000 CAD by the ACT network (Ageing-Communication-Technologies; http://actproject.ca/), in which the GTI participates.

This pilot project will be coordinated by the GTI and conducted with the participation / support of Àgora (http://edaverneda.org/), and other centres in which we plan to recruit participants, Sergio Sayago (currently, at Universitat de Lleida), and the ACT network.