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.

Continue Reading...

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.

Continue Reading...