Death, depression and… Social media.

02/04/2013

Death in comicLately I happened to come across a number of sources that discuss what happens to our social media an generally digital accounts when we die.

The most recent article I’ve seen was on Mashable a few days ago. It brought back discussions of the matter with friends. Really what happens to our digital footprints when we die.  Well… the article explains quite good how different social media are handling such cases and in most cases there are options for relatives to either “shut down” the account and delete all data or put it in a specific state where it cannot be updated but can be used to post messages in memory of the lost person.

A few months ago I also read another quite interesting but spooky story about a new (back then) Facebook app called  “If I Die”. To be honest, after searching and reading a bit about the app I found the idea quite cool. What the app is doing is that lets you assign 3 persons responsible for verifying your death. When this happens they are then given a “key” to open your digital will. It could be a video, a document, a collection of photos… whatever you wish to say to them when you… you know… die! Read the rest of this entry »


The TV that… feels you!

12/10/2012
Elderly person using a smart TV

Elderly person using a smart TV

Why should people get sleepy while watching TV? Why shouldn’t a user friendly TV read our eye lids and take the courageous decision to either close or change program? Why shouldn’t the user friendly TV take the liberty to freeze the running of a movie to let us go to the toilet or alert us to go to the toilet in case we need to but are unable to see the risk? Why shouldn’t our user friendly TV adapt viewing settings so that we don’t need our glasses – a self-calibration of the presented images would allow the user to watch his or her favourite program without changing the settings.

So, the TV is a device that enables access to content but may also have decision-making capabilities. Access to content does not take place the way we have been used to: a child is not enabled to follow an adult film, same way as a manic depressive person is not allowed to have access to certain broadcasts, while a deaf person is given the necessary support through captioning and / or subtitling so that he / she may follow the program. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m not sick… I just want to enjoy the view from my window!

11/26/2012
Elderly woman looking from a window

Elderly woman looking from a window

Today, I’m going to briefly discuss the potential benefits from exploring affective computing technologies in smart homes and smart environments in general especially when it comes to providing health and social services. Smart home technologies today are mostly accompanied with some potential problems annoying residents of smart homes with false alarms and unwanted reactions. When an elderly or person with disability lives in a smart home one would expect it to be that smart home to recognise what situation is really a potential danger or threat to them and act accordingly. Sensor technologies have advanced a lot in the direction of detecting potential dangers and threats but there is one thing they still cannot control. Human behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »


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