Human-Centered Computing

Department of Computer Science

Research Projects

HeatDial

Project: TotalFlex

To be able to study the concept of shifting in a domestic setting, we designed and implemented HeatDial – a prototype that enables electrical heat pump owners to set the inside temperature of their house and discover the tradeoffs between comfort and cost. Electrical heat pumps make an interesting use case for studying eco-interactions beyond user scheduling for several reasons. Firstly, to produce heat, heat pumps use a considerable large volume of electricity. Secondly, although they harness this electricity effectively, they become a more attractive green alternative, if the electricity utilized is produced from renewable resources. Lastly, as it is possible to externally control the heat pump, we can intelligently control the running times of the heat pump

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eForecast

Project: TotalFlex

eForecast is based on the two first stages of Riche et al., (2010) framework for facilitating sustainable behavior: raising awareness and informing complex changes. To raise awareness eForecast display information about the household’s past electricity consumption pattern, which is very similar to other eco-feedback displays. To inform complex changes eForecast display forecasts about future electricity consumption as well as forecasts about price, availability of green energy, and grid demand. Providing such additional information is relatively new in relation to eco-feedback displays, and enables the user to assess and predict the past and future electricity consumption patterns of the household

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Memento

Project: Clines

Memento is a locative smartwatch application for caregivers practicing spontaneous reminiscence therapy with people suffering from dementia. Reminiscence therapy can enhance the sense of identity of a person with dementia by activating competences from their past through conversations. We all have “triggers” – objects, people, events – that resurrect memories and remind us who we are, and what we know. Caregivers with multiple people in their care have difficulty remembering specific memory triggers for each individual while engaging in casual conversations with them. Memento overcomes this problem by connecting proximate triggers to nearby residents and subtly displaying relevant stories on the caregiver’s smartwatch. This information helps the caregiver engage in meaningful conversations on topics dear to the resident. A field study, involving a care home resident with dementia, Ester, demonstrated how Memento successfully instilled confidence during everyday activities, by helping her remember past competencies through situated conversations with a caregiver.Memento is a locative smartwatch application for caregivers practicing spontaneous reminiscence therapy with people suffering from dementia. Reminiscence therapy can enhance the sense of identity of a person with dementia by activating competences from their past through conversations. We all have “triggers” – objects, people, events – that resurrect memories and remind us who we are, and what we know. Caregivers with multiple people in their care have difficulty remembering specific memory triggers for each individual while engaging in casual conversations with them. Memento overcomes this problem by connecting proximate triggers to nearby residents and subtly displaying relevant stories on the caregiver’s smartwatch. This information helps the caregiver engage in meaningful conversations on topics dear to the resident. A field study, involving a care home resident with dementia, Ester, demonstrated how Memento successfully instilled confidence during everyday activities, by helping her remember past competencies through situated conversations with a caregiver.

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Bikecruzer

Project: Clines

BikeCruzer is an app that is intended to help tourists find their way round the city. The app collects and presents different kinds of information that is relevant for people that explores the city on bike.

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SpeculativeEdu

Speculative design practice questions the practice of design and offers some alternatives that are essential for the world of today and more importantly, the world of tomorrow. Based on the urgent need for an upgrade related to speculative design educational practice, the SpeculativeEdu (Speculative Design – Educational Resource Toolkit) project is oriented towards novel educational skills and practices for the 21st century, especially those focused on the critical relations between technology and people (society). Today, design practice often focuses on making technology easy to use, practical, even sexy. In speculative design, however, the curriculum proposes a practice engaging with a social context, using design as a means of speculating about how things could be, examining also the possible negative implications of introducing a new product into everyday life – imagining possible futures. SpeculativeEdu is an educational, project funded by ERASMUS+, the European Union programme for education, training, youth, and sport, with the aim of strengthening speculative design education by collecting and exchanging existing knowledge and experience whilst developing new methods in the field of speculative design. Its scope is to collect, exchange, reflect upon, develop, and advance educational practice in the area of speculative design and its self-critical approach. This project, which will last 24 months (1 October 2018 – 30 September 2020) will bring together the leading European academic/research institutions, SMEs, and an NGO from speculative practice, education, and research. The project will host renovated speculative design practitioners from around the globe to carry out a concept of open/free education resources producing three outcomes: State of Speculative Design Study, a collection of best practices and case-studies; Speculative Design Textbook, a textbook for students and practitioners; and Speculative Design Open Toolkit, an open access online repository.

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