From interactive playgrounds to online tools that predict future climate changes and apps that could prevent sport injuries. Just some examples of 50 innovative applications that were shown on 2 October 2014 during the The Big Future of Data event of the COMMIT/ research programme.
Waag was present with seven prototypes and concepts. Four of those were developed within the healthcare domain (Creative Care Lab) and three within the educational domain (Creative Learning Lab).
Design object for social connectedness
Take Whiskers (COMMIT/ Touch) for instance. This prototype consists of two design objects that in a playful way remotely connect people by movement. "It resembles waving. Did you patent this yet?", was one of the many reactions on the prototype. Visitors did like this relative simple idea and were curious if movement can indeed contribute to a feeling of social connectedness.
Learning with your body
Another example is our Embodied Learning Installation (COMMIT/ Play). With this installation one uses the body to get better learning results. The interaction between body and space play a central role here. The cylinder, rolling stairs and asymmetrical see-saw are meant to stand upon and find the right balance through a number of tasks.
The technology in and around the objects give the users both visual and auditive feedback while they search for the correct balance, movement or position. Many were interested in a demo, and some were brave enough to try the installation out themselves. "It feels like doing yoga with some added technology, this could be an welcomed addition to the sports industry!", someone shouted from the rolling stairs.
Emotions in shapes and colours
The Mood Room (COMMIT/ Play) also adheres to the embodied learning principles. This intuitive installation aims at increasing the well-being of youngsters by giving them a new, non-verbal way to express their emotions.
"It would be great not having to talk and still being able to express yourself", one of the visitors told us while transforming the screen to green by waving his hands. Is the colour green a good sign? In this case, maybe yes.
Measuring in a friendly way
More than 300 million people worldwide are suffering from diabetes. From research we can learn that for many, measuring their blood values give them stress, which contributes to even more sugar to be released into the blood, thus creating a vicious circle. How could this be solved?
A solution from Creative Care Lab in cooperation with Inreda Diabetic is the development of a more intuitive interface that is not measuring in numbers but returns a colour instead, which will be connected to an artificial pancreas. This prototype is called ‘Measuring less to feel more’ (COMMIT/ Touch). “If this works, I will almost feel diabetic-free”, is a comment on the prototype by a patient. You can even go swimming with this tool!
An innovative health concept is also formed by so-called ‘Trusted Healthcare Services’. The reliability of healthcare services and the relation between transparancy, privacy and safety of services is researched in this project and Creative Care Lab organized co-creation workshops with several stakeholders in this field. In this way, technology that is developed can be better adjusted to the needs and demands of users.
From sketch to working prototype
How will our future society look like? There are enough ideas out there to make our life even more easy, better or comfortable by using technology. But many will remain just a sketch on paper. It is good to see that the COMMIT/ research programme gave so many innovative ICT concepts a chance to become working prototypes or research papers to further build upon. Who knows, maybe one of the above ideas might become a reality. The future will tell.