Wearables Becoming Mainstream vol. 02 “Smart Glasses -The Case for Eye Wear Computing-“

Smart Glasses
-The Case for Eye Wear Computing-

Most of our senses, vital signs, and actions involve the head, making the human skull one of the most interesting body locations for the simultaneous sensing and interaction of assistance applications. Although hearing aids and mobile headsets have become widely accepted as head-worn devices, users in public spaces often consider novel head-attached sensors and devices to.
In the first part of the series we explored how wearables are entering mainstream and the potential and perils of the “big” data gathered by them. This part focuses on an emerging kind of wearable computing: smart glasses and their potential.

From Pocket/Wrist to Head

Recently, we see a lot of wrist worn wearable devices, most dominantly smart watches and fitness trackers. However, the wrist is ergonomically a none optimal sensing position. You can get skin contact (ability to sense heart rate, skin conductivity etc.), yet, for a lot of professions it’s difficult to wear something on their wrists (doctors, maintenance workers) and also already very old studies showed that the majority of users feel obstructed by wirst-worn devices[1].
In contrast, the majority of our senses are situated on the head, making it one of the most interesting body placements for the sensing and interaction. Although hearing aids and mobile headsets have become widely accepted as head-worn devices, users in public spaces often consider novel head-attached sensors and devices to be uncomfortable or even condemning (see some feedback and news coverage about Google Glass as an example).

Cognitive Assistance

A lot of wearable computing studies provide evidence that head-worn sensing could reveal cognition-related behavior and essential vital parameters. Behavior and vital data is the key component for many cognitive assistance applications from learning aids over memory augmentation to concentration improvement. The glasses form factor seems perfect. Eyeglasses are publicly accepted accessories, often worn continuously throughout the day, rendering them an ideal platform for cognitive assistance. Subsequently, I outline our initial research towards specific cognitive assistance devices in a smart glasses form factor. So far we focused on measuring mental activities: how much you are reading and your facial expressions. Yet, the goal is to use the measures to improve user habits.
img1If we want to assess cognitive functions, it seems most obvious to directly observe brain activity.
On the top picture you see our progress in assessing cognitive functions in real life. From special brain sensing technology over Google Glass applications and early J!NS MEME prototypes to a more general smart glasses concept.

Reading Life Log

The more people read the larger their vocabulary and their critical thinking skills. Smart eye wear is perfect for quantifying and improving reading habits, as some people already wear some reading glasses. We already implemented a word count algorithm integrated in a smart eye wear frame. So your future glasses can tell you how much you are reading and even what type of documents. We are working on how much you understand while reading.

Affective Wear

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Next to reading and comprehension analysis, future eye wear will also be able to understand more about our emotions. To this end Masai et al. already built smart glasses that can detect facial expressions. Teh system Affective Wear detects facial expressions over photo-reflective sensors (recognizing the changes of distances between face and glass frame). Facial Expressions are a first step to understand feelings and a easy way for us to exchange information nonverbally. They can give us insights into how people think.

Mental State Improvement

After gaining insights in quantifying at comprehension, cognitive load and emotions, we can continue designing interactions to improve theses mental activities. We already investigated how to improve reading immersion using nose temperature and eye movements to detect a user’s immersion and playing audio/ haptic stimuli to increase engagement. In future, we will have technology that understands and improves our cognitive functions: attention, comprehension, recall and ultimately decision making.

Finally …

In this series of 3 articles I explore the impact of wearables on society more. In the next and last article, we will discuss how to get from just collecting data to actual change, from quantified self to practice design.

[1] Gemperle, Francine, et al. “Design for wearability.” Wearable Computers, 1998. Digest of Papers. Second International Symposium on. IEEE, 1998.

(Kai)-thumb-522x560-2114 Kai Kunze

Kai Kunze works as Associate Professor at Keio Media Design. He held a position as research assistant professor at Osaka Prefecture University 2012-14.
He was a visiting researcher at the MIT Media Lab, 2011.He earned his Ph.D., summa cum laude, in the Wearable Computing field from the University of Passau in Germany, 2011.
His work experience includes research visits and internships at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC, Palo Alto, US), Sunlabs Europe (Grenoble, France), and the German Stock Exchange (Frankfurt, Germany).

Wearables Becoming Mainstream vol.01

Wearables Becoming Mainstream

Today we interact more and more with computers throughout the day and sometimes don’t even realize it. Most obviously, we use smart phones and tablets. Yet, computers also “hide” in washing machines, dryers, kitchen utensils and more and more also in wearable accessories (e.g. watches) and finally also clothes. With these new technologies come new possibilities, we need to decide how we want to use them.
Wearable devices in form of the smart phone have already become an integrated part of our life and changed it substantially. Just think back on your last vacation or trip. Could you imagine it without your smart phone? Printing out maps, planning transportation, hotels, restaurants ahead of time. No “find my friends” or messaging applications telling you were your company is when they are running late. However, this is just the beginning.

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When I’m talking about wearables, I don’t just mean smart watches or bands, but a more personal form of computing. Computing you can wear like clothes accompanying you like a second skin wherever you go and most important supporting you seamlessly in every day tasks.
A word of caution, I’m speculating in these series of articles. Researchers often don’t have a good sense on where technology might go. To give you an example (also for early wearable computing systems), check out Figure 1. That’s me in 2005 with what we thought would be the future of wearables. It turned out that the future would be way less obtrusive and way more powerful. I’m talking about the smartphone.

Towards Wearable Tech

The more personal computing becomes; the more insights it can get from the users. For me the research directions of wearable, pervasive and ubiquitous computing share the same vision with slightly different flavors. The more computing we will have in our environments the less we have time interacting with them, therefore the computing devices need to become pro-active. Interfaces should vanish. The computing understands what I want and helps me to achieve it. To realize this idea researchers work with a wide variety of sensors detecting everyday activities from interactive stationary systems like the Kinect to wearable devices like the Myo (detecting muscle movement). Sometimes neither the user nor manufacturers are aware of the all the information contained in sensor data collected by these smart devices.

If you are wearing a fitness tracker throughout day/night, companies like FiBit or Jawbone know a lot about your lifestyle (when you get up, go to sleep) and even more private information about sleeping activities.
So far, private companies “own” the users data (step count, heart rate etc.).
Industry stances are quite broad on that matter: From Fitbit for example who lets you use their devices only if you upload your data to their online service to Apple on the other side claims “We don’t want your data”, store all of them in a vault on your phone (called Health Kit) and let you select whom you want to share your data with. Yet, still users need to trust these companies with potential very intimate data. Also, users are often not aware what information they are sharing.

Quo vadis?

Of course, the closer computing becomes the more difficult it is to design it well. We seen this now with a couple of devices, most prominently maybe with the mixed reception of Google Glass. Although I dismissed Glass due to battery runtime and the lack of everyday useful applications, my opinion changed a bit about head-worn devices when I gave Glass to my grandparents for a week. They could come up with a couple of interesting application scenarios. Moving away from the social acceptance issue, I believe society needs to have an open, informed discussion about important 2 related topics as soon as possible:
Privacy/Ethics and Democratization of Data.
First, who owns the data you or other people are recording? Second, what type of data can be processed or shared with companies/your employer? The Germany German constitutional court, for example, ruled the right to informational self-determination, meaning the citizens should have the right to determine the disclosure and use of their personal data. Yet, it’s till today it’s mostly not practiced and might be difficult to attain.
The other question, how can we use this data for the good of society (not optimizing for particular interest groups or companies).

Big Data – Big Liability Not Big Asset

The discussion around big data reminds me on old discussions about source code (e.g. producing software). In the beginning, more code was good leading even to developers being paid by the lines of code they produce. Yet, more code is often bad. It’s difficult to figure out what happens in the piece of software and makes it hard to find bugs. A lot of companies seem to believe more data is good. However, especially with wearable devices it touches a lot of privacy and ethic issues that consumers are not aware off (even though they agreed to the terms of the company by clicking “yes” in a “Terms and Conditions” Agreement). Big Data in itself can be more a liability than an asset. Actionable insights are an asset. Yet how to get there by just collecting a lot of physiological data (and by doing so violating the privacy and ethic sensibilities of your users) is not clear.

img2

Finally …

In this series of 3 articles I will explore the impact of wearables on society more. The next article will focus on eye wear. In my opinion, a very promising   technological development. In the last article, we will discuss how to get from just collecting data to actual change, from quantified self to practice design.

(Kai)-thumb-522x560-2114  Kai Kunze

Kai Kunze works as Associate Professor at Keio Media Design. He held a position as research assistant professor at Osaka Prefecture University 2012-14.
He was a visiting researcher at the MIT Media Lab, 2011.He earned his Ph.D., summa cum laude, in the Wearable Computing field from the University of Passau in Germany, 2011.
His work experience includes research visits and internships at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC, Palo Alto, US), Sunlabs Europe (Grenoble, France), and the German Stock Exchange (Frankfurt, Germany).

「第23回国際学生対抗バーチャルリアリティコンテスト」にてKMDのチームが予選2位通過!

9月10日(木)から11日(金)まで、芝浦工業大学豊洲キャンパスにて行われた、「第23回国際学生対抗バーチャルリアリティコンテスト」でリアリティメディアプロジェクトのチーム「NULLNULL’s 」(加藤大弥、佐々木智也、杉本将太、中尾拓郎、伏見はるな)が予選を2位で通過しました。

DSC_4043

決勝大会(入場無料)は10/24-25に日本科学未来館7階イノベーションホールで開催されます。

 

国際学生対抗バーチャルリアリティコンテスト(IVRC)では、日本中の大学から、このコンテストのために、VR(バーチャルリアリティ)と工学などの分野を融合させて、様々なアイディアを形にしています。

学術学会の登竜門と言われるIVRC。リアリティメディアプロジェクトでは毎年研究開発の基礎を学ぶ場として、修士1年生の学生たちがチームを組み、それぞれ思い思いのコンテンツを作ります。

 

今年は、Reality Mediaプロジェクトから3チーム、Superhuman Sportsプロジェクトから1チームが参戦しました。

DSC_3988  DSC_3974 DSC_4002

音を触れる形に立体化し、音符に触覚情報を提示する音符型デバイス「ノーツインマイハンド」や、手の触感を増幅し、手の視点になってみることで、まるで自分が手に憑依したような感覚を再現する「テバター」、ふわふわと浮遊感のあるボール シャボン玉をつかった新しいスポーツ「シャボミントン」に加え、今回予選を2位通過したチームの「ニョキニョキ豆の木」。

「ニョキニョキ豆の木」はブレーキ機構で制御されたロープデバイスと仮想空間の表現により、ユーザの身体を用いて、仮想空間における没入感ある「上方向」への移動体験、擬似的に再現された高所において、実際の高所で感じるようなスリルや興奮が喚起される体験です。演出としては、天空に住む鬼が村に降るはずの雨を光の玉に閉じ込めてしまったため、巨大な豆の木を登って、天空にある光の玉に触れるというミッションが設けられています。

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10/24-25に行われる決勝大会@日本科学未来館7階では1位から11位の作品が一般公開(入場料無料)されます。誰でも体験できるので、この際に是非足を運んで自分で体験してみてはいかがでしょうか?

何もかもが想像以上だった・・・ワークショップコレクション11にKMD参戦!

ワークショップコレクション11 KMD

 

8月29日、30日に開催された「ワークショップコレクション11 in シブヤ

前回の記事でもご紹介した通り、主催はKMDの教授陣である

石戸奈々子先生、中村伊知哉先生が運営を行うNPO法人CANVASなのです!

 

ワークショップコレクション KMD

毎年、様々な場所をハックするワークショップコレクションですが、

今年は渋谷全域にわたる11の施設がサテライト会場としてハックされ、

特にメイン会場である取り壊し前の東急不動産本社ビルは

豪快に使われていました!!!どこにでも落書きし放題!!!

 

それだけじゃない、ワークショップ数も最大級!!!

150以上のワークショップが出展されていました。1日じゃ回りきれないっっっ!

 

さてさて、KMDのプロジェクトからもいくつか出展されていると聞きつけ

会場を探してみると・・・

 

デジタル絵本 KMD

 

ありました、ありました!デジタルえほんのお部屋です。

デジタルえほんは主催者である石戸奈々子先生が代表をつとめています。

 

デジタルえほん KMD

 

ごしごしごしごし(歯磨き中)

 

デジタルえほんアワード KMD

 

今回開催された第4回デジタルえほんアワードでグランプリを受賞した

面白法人カヤックの「ダンボッコキッチン」もありました!

 

さて、次にすすみましょ〜

 

ピカリバブル KMD

 

やややっ!すごい列が!!!

行列を作る親子のまなざしの先にあったのは・・・

 

バブルサッカー

 

光るバブルサッカー!!!!!!!!!

なんかカッコいい!なんか楽しそう!

そして大人が入れば、足がほとんど出るバブルボールも

子どもが使うと足がちょこっとしか出ず、かわいい・・・

 

ピカリバブル

 

スタッフにはKMD生がたくさん!

そう、ここはKMDのプロジェクトの1つである超人スポーツが主催の

未来のスポーツ 「ピカリバブル」なのです!

ピカリバブル KMD

2日とも親子が途切れることはなく常に長蛇の列でした。

 

さて、次にすすみましょう!

芝浦 KMD

 

おや?お買い物中かな?

いえいえ違うのです。これは竹芝の未来の街をつくる材料なのです!

 

竹芝 KMD

 

箱ももらって、思い思いの街を自由に作っていきます!

こちらもKMDのプロジェクトであるCiP協議会のワークショップ。

 

CiP協議会は、中村伊知哉先生が理事長をつとめ、KMDを中心に

東京都竹芝地区に、コンテンツを核とした国際ビジネス拠点を形成すべく、

デジタル×コンテンツに関する様々な活動を行っています。

 

CiP協議会 KMD

 

KMDのお兄さんが一緒に材料も選びます(笑

 

CiP協議会 竹芝 KMD

 

どのワークショップも、子どもたちが笑顔いっぱいで

取り組んでいる様子が印象的でした^^ 来年もぜひ参加したいです!

 

石戸奈々子先生、中村伊知哉先生、

運営のみなさま、本当におつかれさまでした!!!

 

子どもたちが渋谷をハック!?ワークショップコレクション11にKMD陣も全面参加!

 

こんにちは!すっかり秋めいてきましたね〜
日吉の銀杏が色づくのも楽しみです!

さて、明日8月29日(土)と30日(日)に渋谷で開催される
こどものためのワークショップ博覧会 ワークショップコレクション11」というイベント。

ワークショップコレクション

 

子どもとKMD?なんの関係が?とお思いになるでしょう。

主催はなんと、メディアデザイン研究科教授の石戸奈々子先生や中村伊知哉さんが
理事を務めるNPO法人CANVASなのです^^

KMD forum

今回で11回目の開催を迎え、昨年は10万人以上の来場がありました!
今年は取り壊し前の東急不動産本社ビルを中心に渋谷を子どもたちがハック!

 

ワークショップコレクション

 

100以上のワークショップが出展され、KMDのプロジェクトでもある

超人スポーツ(イベント詳細は画像をクリック!)や

超人スポーツ

デジタル絵本(イベント詳細は画像をクリック!)

デジタル絵本 KMD

竹芝プロジェクト(イベント詳細は画像をクリック!)

竹芝 KMD

も出展しています!

私も土日で参加し、レポートしたいと思います^^!

みなさんもぜひ遊びに行ってみてください!

「超人スポーツ協会」設立イベントが開催されました!

concept5

 

KMDは、稲見昌彦教授、中村伊知哉教授らを中心に、国内のスポーツ・ロボット・人間工学・
ヒューマンインターフェース研究者、ゲームクリエイターらと共に、
超人スポーツ協会(Superhuman Sports Society:略称「S3」)を設立致しました。

スポーツとテクノロジー、文化を融合することで、いつでもどこでも誰でも楽しめる
新領域のスポーツ「超人スポーツ」を開拓し、超人スポーツによる新たなスポーツの祭典を今後創っていく予定です。

イベント内容レポート(超人スポーツ協会ホームページ):

http://superhuman-sports.org/150602_repo/ 

 

— ● 超人スポーツ協会 設立イベント(終了)● ———————————————————————————-

【日時】2015年6月2日 17:00 開場予定 ※時間がずれる可能性があります。
【場所】慶應義塾大学 三田キャンパス (〒108-8345 東京都港区三田2-15-45)
設立イベント:東館G-SEC Lab 6-7F / 懇親会:北館 ファカルティクラブ

【会費】設立イベント:無料  / 懇親会:5000円/人(予定)

【お申込み方法】http://superhuman-sports.org/150602_info/

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