Research

Emergency response drone demo by Lab.

Connecting People Through Technology

June 08, 2019
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The Connections Lab (cLab) is a research group led by Dr. Carman Neustaedter at SIAT. Through applied research in the design of human-computer interaction for everyday scenario, the Lab members are contributing to the refinement of research and design methods to increase the interaction efficiency and improve its overall quality.

The Lab is naturally named after the notion of human connectivity as its projects aims to enhance communication and connexion between users. More precisely, the common aim of many projects is to minimise the disconnects implied by physical distance in everyday contexts. It might be that technology has not been spatialized for these social diachronic interactions.

Now a days, family members and communities are typically geographically separated. The CLab has produced experimental designs to allow non-collocated family members or friends, to experience bicycle rides over a distance. The bicycles are “augmented” with audio and video connexions so that one gets to see and hear what the other does. Ph.D student Azadeh Forghani explored how this system impact grandparents-child relationship sharing bike rides over a distance!

FIGURE 1 FURTHER OPTIONS TO ENGAGE FAMILY MEMBERS WITH FAMILY WINDOW

The Family Window (see Figure 1 and Figure 2) allows remote family members to connect through this 24h audio-video streaming app that facilitates sharing everyday moments like meal times, and children bedtime activities. Similarly, the MyEyes app allows couples to exchange visual points of view for better intimacy over a distance. This VR app allows to plunge the couple is the same virtual space and merging the two subjective experiences in a variety of interactive modes.

FIGURE 2 UBIQUITOUS CONNECTIVITY WITH THE FAMILY WINDOW!

Connectivity is not only matter of comfort and social connectivity; it can have life and death implications. In recent work, CLab includes using emergency response drones to help firefighters. A drone can be dispatched really quickly to the site of the call to provide visual information and feedback to the firefighter control center. It can allow to scale and finesse their plan dynamically.

By using existing technologies and adapting them to specific scenario, some real improvements can be made. By specialising and refining existing interfaces, the CLab research aims to make a difference. In that, the Clab incarnate the people-center design approach that is the trademark of SIAT.

Sources:

-          Emergency Response Drones:  https://vimeo.com/320362982

-          Grandparents-children connexion over bike ride:  https://vimeo.com/107827867

-          The Family window: https://vimeo.com/99242526