Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Seamlessly Supported Personal Navigation in the City
Personal mobility in the city built environment is a very important aspect of autonomy and independence that needs substantially increased support as everyone may agree. Localization and geo- eferencing, access to location information, guidance and navigation are essential means for integration in the built environment and use of the public transport system that is also indispensable. In spite of the availability of relevant technologies there is still much to be done at the integration level, in order to deploy inclusive services with a good accessibility for the user’s benefit.
In this communication, the experience of the Speech Processing and Electro-acoustics Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto in the research and development of inclusive solutions for personal mobility will be presented and discussed.
One of the achievements that works as an umbrella project is NAVMETRO®, the telephone voice portal and ambient acoustic guidance system for the blind and amblyopic in the Porto’s underground transport system.
Associated with this project’s evolution, several usability evaluation and enhancement works will be reported. One of the laboratory’s recent outcome, the Audio-GPS acoustic indoor localization system, will also be described with a discussion of its impact potential on the inclusion of a wide range of users’ needs for accessing and living in the built environment, including a now feasible indoor-outdoor seamless integration.
Diamantino Freitas, graduated and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), in 1976 and 1991, respectively, has held academic professional functions at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department since 1974, presently with a position of associate professor and coordinator of the Speech Processing, Electro-acoustics, Signals and Instrumentation Laboratory of this Faculty (LPF-ESI).
Has been member of several national and international projects and R&D actions, eventually a national delegate, as in, e.g., COST Action 219 – “Future telecommunications and tele-informatics facilities for disabled persons”. The main areas of interest both for teaching and R&D have been Acoustics and Electro-acoustics, Telecommunications and Accessibility for Persons with Special Needs, Automatic Speech Processing, Bioengineering and Rehabilitation Engineering. Has authored or co-authored several papers in international conferences, international book chapters, international journal papers, prototypes and patents (details on this and additional information can be found at FEUP’s website.
University of Ioannina, Greece
Pedagogical aspects of ICT in learning and communication disorders
The contribution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to inclusive education is implemented in two different as well as complementary ways. Firstly, assistive technologies, based mainly on hardware systems, facilitate access to learning resources and to the educational system in general. Secondly, educational technology, with its main focus at software applications, contributes to cognitive enhancement, a topic of great importance in learning and communication disorders. Learning disorders include dyslexia that mainly involves reading disability and mathematics disorder, developmental disabilities like the autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, developmental coordination disorder, speech sound disorder, language impairment, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This work underlines the importance of the pedagogical approaches in designing ICT-based environments to cognitive enhancement in situations of learning and communication disorders.
Students with learning and communication disorders need individually designed and systematically monitored teaching procedures, adapted systems and teaching material that constitute an environment whereby their difficulties can be circumvented. Researchers and educators understand that interactive environments can help to address the needs of those students. Technology can have a significant role in the teaching interventions of individuals with special needs, by providing interactive media to facilitate communication and learning. Teachers need tailored applications that provide appropriate learning environments with transparent interfaces.
The diversity of characteristics encountered by children with learning and communication disorders may present an extra challenge for the design of ICT-based applications and systems such as adaptive hypermedia and virtual reality applications as well as real time dynamic affective systems. But an ICT-based learning environment and an educational system in general that does not acknowledge and address the specific, individual differences and needs of students with learning and communication disorders, in fact excludes and prohibits them from achieving a normal level of personal self-sufficiency and success in their life and the community. Important research topics are raised and discussed in this work as far as it regards the use of ICT-based environments for children with learning and communication disorders. Firstly, it is the attitude of these students against technology. This knowledge will inform researchers to think of the type of systems will be designed. Secondly, it is the pedagogical approach of the designed applications. Is the transfer of well-known teaching interventions into ICT-based environments enough or constructive approaches that promote specific types of interaction and feedback are needed? Thirdly, it is the evaluation of ICT-based environments that will help to inform on their design and delivery and improve future efforts. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the learning environments of the target population, assuming that the problem lies with the environment not the disorder and therefore needs adapting.
Dr. Tassos Anastassios Mikropoulos holds a B.Sc. in Physics and a Ph.D. on optical signal processing from the University of Athens. He is a Professor at the Department of Primary Education, Dean of the School of Education, University of Ioannina, Greece and the director of the “Educational Approaches to Virtual Reality Technologies laboratory – earthlab”. Tassos Mikropoulos is the elected chair of the Hellenic Association of ICT in Education. His research interests are on learning technologies, virtual reality in education and educational neuroscience. His work has been published in many referred journals, volumes and conference proceedings. He is a member of the editorial board and reviewer for many international journals. Professor Mikropoulos has been project director and principle investigator in numerous research and development as well as educational projects. He also serves as a consultant for the Computer Technology Institute supervised by the Greek Ministry of Education and Research in topics such as digital school, educational software, and in-service teachers’ training.
Coventry University, UK
Remixing play for inclusive learning
This talk will unpick the power of play for inclusive learning responding to the merging of digital/physical spaces and formal/informal contexts. There is a need for contextualised learning for facilitating deeper engagement with the learning process. This talk will touch on games and gamification inspired by the mechanics of play for injecting fun in everyday spaces based on projects, such as the EU Funded H2020 Beaconing project (Beaconing.eu) and the GameChangers game design thinking programme.
Presentation: link to presentation
Dr. Sylvester Arnab is a Reader in Games Science at Coventry University, UK co-leading research at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL). With more than 10 years research experience in simulation, serious games and gamification combined, his research interests include gameful, playful and pervasive designs that transform ordinary tasks into extraordinary experiences. As lead of the Games Science research at the DMLL, Sylvester is also leading the EU Horizon 2020 BEACONING project (worth €5.9 million with 15 partners), which aims to foster ‘anytime anywhere’ learning using pervasive, context-aware and gamified techniques.
Department of Sport and Health, Science and Technology School, Universidade de Évora, Portugal
Technology and Sports Science, Innovative Methods in Movement Analysis
Technology in Sports Science has assumed a strong importance nowadays. Particularly in the biomechanical analysis of movement with emerging new instruments and methodologies to better understand the origin and causes of the movement.
Technology is a set of tools, methods and techniques that aim to solve problems and wherever possible with practical application of scientific knowledge. The new technologies are the fruit of important technological development achieved over the recent years, and has a fundamental role in innovation.
This presentation is an integration of knowledge in the context of the biomechanics and movement analysis during the last 10 years working with an innovative multidisciplinary team while respecting the objective and balance of Technology-Science.
In this particular case, the increase of data collected relative to the position of “players”, resulted in the search for new solutions to increase accuracy and low cost investment through video analysis. This also lead to the development of computational methods for non-linear analysis that can provide augmented information and to contribute to new interpretations. This process involved the development of new technologies that resulted in the integration of methodologies (know-how) and instruments that already existed, innovating and promoting a wider applicability that is an obvious characteristic of Science/Technology.
Orlando J. Fernandes, born in 1962 is graduated, Master and PhD, in Sports Science. Currently is assistant Professor in Évora University, teaching Analyses of Human Movement and Biomechanics in Sports Science and Physical Therapy. His research focus on Biomechanical Analysis of Human Movement specifically related to injury prevention and nonlinear methods applied to human movement. Research topics: Sports and physical therapy Biomechanics, Motor Control, Neuromuscular function, Movement Variability and Data processing.
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Ubiquitous Health: Wearable Computing Systems that Promote Healthy Living and Transform Health Care
The fast-growing costs of acute care are pushing the healthcare systems worldwide to a limit.
Globally, we are coming to realize that we cannot afford to provide everybody with access to unlimited healthcare services in the light of current demographic changes. An alternative approach is emerging that focuses on “keeping people healthy” through primary and secondary prevention in all phases of life. This paradigm shift in the healthcare systems is demanding research in ambient, sensor-enhanced assistive technologies that “keep people outside of the hospital”. Therefore, a fast- growing interest exists for wearable and pervasive computing systems and ambient assistive technology that aim at ubiquitous health promotion for individuals in the home and community settings.
The talk will present several examples for associated research projects in the fields of sports, health, and medicine. A particular example is the miLife research project (Fig. 1). In this project, we i) implemented ambient sensors for hysiological (ECG, EMG, …) and biomechanical (accelerometer, gyroscope, …) data recording, ii) used pervasive computing systems (e.g. in smartphones or smarthomes) for monitoring and signal processing, and iii) employed data base technology, machine learning algorithms, and simulation models in order to provide accurate information to sportsmen, patients, and caregivers in numerous applications that aimed at promoting healthy living and improving health care.
The talk will also present further research challenges that exist in the field of wearable and pervasive computing systems for ubiquitous health support. Example challenges are the required signal processing and machine learning algorithms that need to be computationally efficient yet sufficiently accurate, but also comprehensive databases, simulative data analysis and holistic data mining strategies. The outlook of the presentation will focus on future research directions that aim at contributing to the above mentioned paradigm shift in global healthcare systems by the use of wearable and pervasive computing systems for ubiquitous health support.
Fig. 1: The miLife research project for the application of wearable computing systems and machine learning algorithms in sports and medicine.
Presentation: link to presentation
Bjoern Eskofier (married, two sons) studied Electrical Engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander- Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg and graduated in 2006. He studied under the supervision of Prof. Joachim Hornegger (Pattern Recognition Lab, 2006-08) at the FAU and Prof. Benno Nigg (Human Performance Lab, 2008-10) at the University of Calgary, Canada.
There, he received his PhD degree in Biomechanics in 2010 for his research on “Application of Pattern Recognition Methods in Biomechanics”.
Since February 2011, Dr. Eskofier is assistant professor for Computer Science in Sports (endowed professorship of the adidas AG) and head of the Digital Sports Group at the Pattern Recognition Lab of the FAU. Currently, this group has 20 co-workers and cooperations with several industry and medical partners. The group is working in the fields of machine learning and signal analysis for wearable and pervasive computing systems in sports and health care.
Bjoern Eskofier authored more than 120 peer-reviewed articles, submitted 5 patent applications, and started two spinoff startup companies (Portabiles GmbH and eGaIT GmbH). He has organized and contributed to several international conferences and symposia, among them Dagstuhl, AMASE, BSN, EMBC, IACSS, ISWC, ICOST, Wireless Health, and MobiHealth, and guest edited and reviewed for international agencies (BiSP, BMBF, EU, NSERC, UK Medical Research Council, German-Israeli Foundation, …) and journals (J-BHI, T-BME, PMC, CMBBE, IJCSS, …). He won several awards for excellence in teaching, and together with his group, he also won several medical-technical research awards. Recently, he was a visiting professor in Dr. Paolo Bonato’s Motion Analysis Lab at Harvard Medical School.
Bjoern Eskofier has led and participated in a large number of multidisciplinary research projects. His current research interest are machine learning, data bases and data mining, signal processing, biomechanical simulation, human-machine-interaction, and sensor systems for wearable and pervasive computing systems in ubiquitous sports and health care applications. His research motivation is generating a positive impact on human wellbeing, be it through increasing performance, maintaining health, improving rehabilitation, or monitoring disease.