A SUITCEYES paper presented at the PETRA 2018 conference

A short report by Nasrine Olson

The conference took place in the beautiful Corfu, Greece, on June 26-29, and comprised of multiple sessions, three industrial workshops and seven regular workshops. Two project members, Oliver Korn and I attended the conference and I presented the first SUITCEYES publication, which was a peer-reviewed, full paper, titled, Empowering Persons with Deafblindness: Designing an Intelligent Assistive Wearable in the SUITCEYES Project, on Friday June 29, at the NOTION workshop.

This open access paper is available at ACM’s Proceedings of the 11th PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments Conference, with DOI: 10.1145/3197768.3201541

As the paper was already available, I used the opportunity to provide a context for the paper, by presenting some general information about the project SUITCEYES. I also included an update on some of the developments/experimentation that have taken place since the writing of the paper earlier this year.

Some of the slides (14 out of 30) related to these points are included below.

The presentation was followed by a short discussion comprising of a couple of questions and a comment that the data that we collect in this project can be very valuable to many others and a request to make as much of it as possible accessible for re-use by other researchers.

Otherwise, the conference was quite relevant for us where multiple assistive technologies and accessibility tools and methods were presented. Topics included for example, multimodal interfaces; gaze as input modality; identity management; audio, visual and tactile cues for remote assistance; haptic exploration of virtual objects; an assistive haptic system towards visually impaired computer science learning; emotion recognition; assistive spatial guidance and vibrotactile navigation; and more. In most of the solutions presented, there was a need for the presence of either hearing or visual senses. It seemed to me that the challenges that are to be addressed by SUITCEYES were unique and breaking new grounds.

The atmosphere of the conference was very warm and welcoming and many interesting connections were made. Food was delicious and the gala entertainment was enjoyable. One might have asked for a better weather, but then it would have become too tempting to skip some of the sessions and miss out. All in all, therefore, a very informative and useful conference. Thanks to the organisers and the participants.

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Standardisation Meeting 22 May 2018

Brussels Hotel NH Carrefour de l’ Europe

Standardisation and standardization committees are an often forgotten channel for dissemination. Standardisation is an important contribution to the development of technology (as well as to other societal areas) in general and is a highly international way of working. There are several standardisation organisations. ISO is perhaps the most well-known. For the electronic and electrical field there is IEC, International Electrotechnical Commission. IEC in turn, is consisting of a huge (>100) number of Technical Committees, each devoted to a certain topic. SUITCEYES was 22 May 2018 invited to speak for TC 100. TC 100 is devoted to visual and audial multimedia (TV, radio, broadcasting). TC 100 wanted to inform themselves on potential, new areas for their standardisation work and haptic communication was one of these.

We were given generous 25 minutes. Undersigned described the origin of SUITCEYES, who we are and where we are heading.  Even if we have just recently started some results were mentioned. The focus was on haptics and haptic communication. It seems as if it was new to many in the audience. Ca 30 persons, many from Japan and South Korea.

The speech led to a number of small chats and visit card exchanges. Large companies as Panasonic and Sony are members and active in the TC and showed interest in our work. Here also potential new members of our Advisory Board might be found.

Of special interest was that also three other H2020 project were presenting. Among these Insension. Insension has run for a couple of years already and is devoted to enabling people having profound learning disabilities interacting with digital services. Not only is it the case that some of the questions and research methods we have in SUITCEYES overlap with those in Insension also Harpo is taking part in both. Even if not deciding anything the communication channels are established. Loose discussion of meeting each other for example when SUITCEYES having meeting in Poznan. There will also be a follow up with an interview for their magazine or newsletter.

It could also be noted that undersigned take part in the Swedish chapter SEK, “Svensk Elstandard” who is member of IEC and in the work of SEK on wearables and IoT.

Nils-Krister Persson
Smart Textiles
Universty of Borås

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Communication Carneval / Västsvenska kommunikationskarnevalen

Clarion Post Hotell, Göteborg 7-8 May 2018

The Town of Gothenburg and the regional authority for the western part of Sweden (Gothenburg, Borås etc), Västra Götlands regionen, VGR, arranged and supported what is called the “Communication  Carneval” . In spite of its rather generic name it is devoted to communication for the disabled. The carnival’s basic idea is to be a forum and a meeting place for anyone interested in communicative difficulties and communication support. This year’s carnival had two tracks – one for those working with children and young adults with disabilities and one trail for those who work in the care sector and who are interested in communication support. The carnival’s focus is always communication, and the basic idea is everyone’s right to communication. My impression was that the audience mostly consisted of persons from different professions such as speech therapists.  Undersigned made a speech (60 min). Audience was 4-500 persons.

The “carnival” was a mixture of (invited) speakers and a meeting place for the invited groups as above and a fair. Perhaps the most interesting was to have an input on what tools and supportive aids are out on the market. Much is devoted to software for computers such as different solutions for cognitive support for communication. Most the companies seemed to be very small. None would suit as a collaborative partner for a HIPI or similar.

Nils-Krister Persson
Smart Textiles
University of Borås

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