October Update

Posted in: Updates

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind week, with meetings and events left, right, and centre. Since there was so much going on, I didn't get around to writing a post. Sorry! To make up for it, I have decided to write a short update on what has been going on and what is coming up. Keep reading to find out all about it!

What's Been Going On?

Locally, there are lots of people and places that will be able to help inform my research project. For example, I met with a research psychologist from the nearby RICE centre on Friday to ask his opinion on my research project. It was really useful to hear his thoughts, since he works with people with dementia every day. His feeling was that, since new technology can be daunting to many people who are not used to using technology, any augmented reality (AR) tools should be very explicit and clear to avoid overloading the person with information. This reflects my own intuition about how the technology should be developed, and I am glad we were able to meet to talk about this; thinking about these potential problems now will save lots of time later on down the line.

Throughout the week, I attended some Bath Digital Festival events. One of the most exciting ones was about how Visit Bath have been working with a researcher from the University of Bath to develop an interactive AR application for smartphones for people visiting the city. The highlight was a 3D model of Jane Austen dancing next to the Abbey! Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos or videos of the event, but it was great to find out how AR is being used by others in Bath. Watch that space (they aim to release the app next Summer)!

I also attended a workshop at the university that was aimed at improving creative thinking and problem solving skills. The workshop was actually great fun, with lots of interactivity and group activities. We discussed whether or not creativity and problem solving are things one can learn, concluding that, actually, yes, they are. An interesting aspect the course leader shared with us was that people with a higher tolerance to ambiguity are usually more creative. As technical researchers, sometimes exactness is what is valued, but being able to think outside the box is also very valuable. All in all, I feel like I gained a lot from the workshop, including learning new techniques for devising a wealth of new ideas quickly, and reinforcing how important it is to take regular breaks.

What's Coming Up?

On top of the meetings last week, I had to complete two application deadlines, which seemed to come out of nowhere. One was for funding to help towards an international visit that will be taking place next year, and the other was for an upcoming conference in Brighton, the UK Dementia Congress (UKDC). I will be writing about the visits after they happen, so keep your eyes peeled! (The UKDC is next week, so you don't have long to wait.)

I have also arranged to visit the Bath Carers' Centre at the end of next week, and I am looking forward to seeing how this service helps people with dementia and their carers.

This week I will be focusing on reading about task prompting in general, but also how AR has been utilised for this purpose. I hope to update you all with some conclusions from this reading by the end of the week.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this quick update has been an interesting read.

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Posted in: Updates

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