The Univeristy of Bath is developing new interactivetechnology to help improve the lives of people with dementia, the elderly and disabled people. The University's Department for Health has produced two new applications; In Touch and If Only, and is now seeking feedback from patients and their carers.
In Touch is a video communication system developed specifically for elderly users and those with dementia to help them feel more socially included. It has a touch screen and enables users to participate in virtual visits with friends and relatives who cannot be with them in person through a two-way video link. It provides a wide view of the family living room or kitchen, where the person with dementia could, for example, watch and hear their grandchildren playing.
The second application, If Only, is designed for smartphones and encourages users to upload videos and photographs of everyday problems encountered by elderly and disabled people.
These will then be viewed by designers who will try to create new products to tackle the problems. People, both those with disabilities or their carers, are being asked to look at the technology and provide feedback. Professor Christopher Eccleston, who led the development of If Only, said: "The goal is to bring together people with disabilities, behavioural scientists and design innovators, and offer them a challenge to find ways to make more relevant and effective products."
For more information email inclusive design research assistant Sarah Rook at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 383897.