Projects

Give&Take co-designs an innovative digital platform that enables senior citizens to reciprocally exchange services and resources, creating new opportunities for senior citizens to contribute to society as volunteers and caregivers in their local communities. The GiveTake project is funded under the EU’s AAL programme.

Project Homepage: givetake.eu

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A principal challenge for existing social-emotional learning (SEL) programs is to provide reinforcement of the learnt competencies in everyday contexts and beyond the in-school lessons. SEL4Home project starts to bridge this gap by exploring how novel technologies can extend the programming into the homes of learners.

We collaborate with SEL developers and researchers at Committee for Children---the developers of Second Step, used by more than 8 millions of children in USA; as well as the VIBE group at Microsoft Research.

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Together with secondary school students we investigate how concepts from the field of game-based learning can be used to develop learning methods and materials covering the topic informatics and society.

Project Homepage: http://www.piglab.org/sparklinggames

Team: Fares Kayali, Peter Purgathofer

Project Partners (Scientific): Gerit Götzenbrucker und Vera Schwarz (Universität Wien)

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The Centre of Visual Analytics Science and Technology (CVAST) is one of the Laura Bassi Centres of Excellence. The goals of CVAST are twofold. The first goal is the integration of the outstanding capabilities of humans in terms of visual information exploration with the enormous processing power of computers to form a powerful knowledge discovery environment. The second goal is to scientifically assess the usability and utility of such discovery environments while bridging the gap between theory and practice for selected application scenarios. To achieve these goals we cooperate with several partners from industry.

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Social play is key for successful inclusion of children with disabilities and has significant impact on their wellbeing and development. Typical traits in autism, such as impaired social and communication skills and repetitive behaviours, make social play particularly challenging for children diagnosed on the spectrum, exposing them to a wide range of mental health risks. This project investigates how technology can help support social play activities in mixed, co-located groups of autistic and neuro-typical children, aged 6 to 8 years. We aim to develop smart play objects, which can intelligently react to social situations to scaffold interactive play experiences of autistic children and their typically developing peers. For such objects to be meaningful to different children, it is key to involve them actively in their design.

Project Homepage: http://socialplay.at

Team: Christopher Frauenberger, Laura Scheepmaker, Katta Spiel

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The goal of this project is to improve visualizations for pairwise network comparisons via new cognition-driven design guidelines. This project will specifically concentrate on the visual comparison of directed acyclic graphs in node-link diagrams. Such comparison is needed, for example, in the analysis of phylogenetic trees in biology or in the assessment of contagion in financial networks. In these cases, the domain experts concentrate on finding commonalities and differences between the two networks being compared. This analysis is often undertaken in a visualized form. Visual exploration enables to identify where the differences are located and thereby to extract insights from these differences. Effective visual network comparison requires a well-designed visualization. Effective visualization uses guidelines, which are inter alia derived from research in cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction (HCI). Until now, HCI research has mainly focused on deriving guidelines for the visualization of single networks. There are still many open research questions concerning the comparison of two or more networks in node-link diagrams

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In Austria about 1.2% of the population or a total of ca. 130.000 persons are affected by dementia. The increase of life expectancy will lead to a growing number of people affected in the future. Maintaining mobility can at least help delay the advance of dementia symptoms. Lack of movement is considered to be one of the prevalent risk factors for dementia in the USA and Europe. Encouraging mobility of people with dementia poses risks like getting lost or falling. For this reason technological solutions mostly focus on monitoring and restricting or even inhibiting the mobility of persons with dementia. Often considered stakeholder groups in the design and implementation of technological solutions are care personnel and relatives, making persons with dementia only passive users in the functional chain. Whenever attempts were made to increase independent mobility of people, smartphones or smart watches were used, which are known to be difficult to handle for this user group.

The project Way-Key follows the approach of promoting mobility. For persons with light to medium grades of dementia independent mobility is feasible and a legitimate need in a self-determined lifestyle. Technology should be used to support people to the necessary extent, to guide them to their goal and back home safely, and to generally encourage mobility. Relatives or care personnel will be involved only when necessary. To avoid acceptance problems and facilitate everyday use, the developed tool will be connected to an item of daily use to make it likely to be carried along by users when leaving home. Privacy protection, human dignity, ethics by design, usability and non-discrimination are central themes in the project.

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Minecraft multiplayer servers allow millions of children from around the world to build, play and problem solve together in a shared virtual space. As conflicts between players are common, these online spaces offer unique opportunity to help children develop effective conflict resolution skills that would then transfer to real-world settings.

This project draws on 40 years of conflict resolution curricula in Prevention Science to develop in-game tools that embedded learning into the Minecraft gameplay. To explore this space, we collaborate with leading game researchers (Katie Salen, Mimi Ito) as well as SEL developers at Committee for Children (the developers of Second Step, used by more than 8 millions of children in USA).

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Urban Food Spots – Development of the basics for gender and diversity sensitive cooling stations for foodsharing in urban areas (2015 – 2017), financed by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)

70.000 tons of originally packed or opened food of households, industry or trade, are disposed of into Viennese residual waste, while at the same time 22,7 % of the inhabitants are at risk of poverty. To take counteractive measures, this project develops the base for an area-wide, low-threshold offer to share food on a local level, including all relevant gender and diversity aspects in the development of cooling stations. The so called UrbanFoodSp ots consist of a cooling station and an information system. The UrbanFoodSpots assemble the needs of the various groups of users and will be developed to be realised in different places and organisational forms.

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The Viz4PAIS (Visualization Techniques for Process-Aware Information Systems) project is an initiative from the Workflow Systems and Technology Research Group, Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna and we are one of their partners. The goals of the project are (a) to develop and design user centered visualization approaches and (b) to create a community to unify and nurture the development of process visualization topics as a continuing research area.

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TEAM (Technology Enabled Mental Health for Young People), is a 4-year Innovation Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions initiative. There has been considerable research and many commercial products for improving physical health. However, the use of technology to support mental health lags far behind. The aim of the training network is to deliver new applications and technologies that support rapid, large-scale early assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health issues in young people.

As part of the TEAM project, the HCI group focus on design and evaluation of technology-enabled programs that empower young people and help them to build resilience and care for their own mental health, thus reducing the incidence of mental health difficulties.

While incidence of mental health difficulties generally is increasing, incidence for youth from a refugee migrant background is even higher. Unaccompanied boys and girls, such as those fleeing Syria, are at particular risk of mental health issues, including attempted suicide and self-harm. The challenge is not just how to treat such youth once mental health issues manifest, it is how to implement prevention strategies that are evidence-based, but also fit into their specific life worlds. Thus, as part of the project an in-depth understanding of the lived experience, needs and opportunities for prevention programs delivery for unaccompanied migrant youths in Austria through an ethnographic study of their contexts, the role of technology, and how they might be engaged with prevention strategies, will be gained. One outcome of the research will be a framework and set of design implications for technology development: how technologies can be used to deliver (and, if needed, re-interpret) existing evidence-based strategies around resilience and positive coping strategies for this high-risk user group.

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In this project, we are trying to uncover the problems developers are facing in the development of sensor-based monitoring systems to support older people living alone. For this we use qualitative methods to investigate what happens during the development. We are particularly interested in the development processes, how different stakeholder-needs are determined, and other factors that might contribute to outcomes that are less successful than expected.

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RISIoT (Risks of the Internet of Things) is a market analysis and risk assessment to accelerate the adoption of the Internet of Things in Austrian enterprises.

Team: Peter Mayer, Geraldine Fitzpatrick Project Partners: IDC Central Europe GmbH, Austrian Institute of Technology - Digital Safety & Security Department, Oesterreichische Computer Gesellschaft

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The iToilet project addresses older persons who are living independently at home and the needs they have when using a toilet.

Project Homepage: http://itoilet-project.eu

Team: Paul Panek, Peter Mayer, Georg Ehrenfels

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The VALCRI project is funded by the EC to undertake R&D with a view to developing an integrated software support system for police forces across partner countries. This software system, known as VALCRI, will be used by police analysts to investigate crimes and crime-related behaviour, complementing and enhancing current police capabilities. The consortium includes partners and activities aimed at designing the technology from cognitive, legal, ethical and privacy perspectives so that the rights of the individual to security and liberty will be respected while ensuring the good of society.

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With Breaking The Wall we explore how to use technology to involve the audience in music performances. We design and develop different interactive systems together with artists. These systems will be deployed in public concerts of the artists in spring 2017 in the Kuppelsaal of the Vienna University of Technology. During all concerts the spectators can participate in various ways in the live performances.

Project Homepage: http://www.piglab.org/breakingthewall

Team: Fares Kayali, Oliver Hödl, Peter Purgathofer, Geraldine Fitzpatrick

Project Partners (Scientific): Ruth Mateus-Berr, Ulrich Kühn, Thomas Wagensommerer (University of Applied Arts Vienna), Johannes Kretz, Hande Sağlam (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna), Simon Holland (The Open University, UK)

Project Partners (Artists): Susanne Kirchmayr (Electric Indigo), Chris Bruckmayr, Didi Bruckmayr (Fuckhead)

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SCHAUKASTEN - Sehförderung für Kleinkinder (1.12.2016 - 31.1.2018), financed by: Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger

SCHAUKASTEN seeks to conceptualize, co-design and implement novel interactive toys that motivate young children with visual impairments to keep up with their often dull but crucially important optical exerices.

Children with distinct visual impairment shall exercise their vision as soon as possible in order not to go blind. This exercise in vision constitutes an important building block for later leading an autonomous life.

Unfortunately, these exercise can often be little engaging and boring for the effected children and their parents or caregivers.

Therefore, SCHAUKASTEN seeks novel ways into motivating these children to do their exercises by supporting them with engaging and interactive exercise elements. During training, children shall be motivated by interactive toys to focus and endure as long as optimal. At the same time, parents and caregivers shall be relieved from challenges in motivating the children.

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