Never stop the magic!

04/16/2013

A magic hatA few days ago, browsing my feeds, I saw an article title that really caught my attention. The title was “I’m boycotting intuitive interfaces“. John Pavlus explains the concept of intuitiveness and to some extend it reminded me my post on instincts, intuition and the famous… nipple!  As John puts it, intuitive is a UI that feels familiar. It feels like you know how to use it. But the word itself might lead to different expectations and possibly fears.

Intuitive is not supposed to be something that senses your intends and acts accordingly. Or at least… it should not be doing so unless you know why, when and how it does it and have a certain amount of control on it. Read the rest of this entry »

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From live web analytics to… live learning analytics!

01/28/2013

Learning analytics written on a blackboard.We have discussed in earlier posts about personalized learning could affect students with disabilities.

A keystone need for personalized learning systems and curriculum differentiation has to do with assessment of learners’ progress. Assessment has to take under account specific factor for each student and adapt accordingly. Using technologies to assess students’ progress can have a series of benefits but most importantly it can support easier the adaptations needed for assessment for students with disabilities. Designing assessments for students with disabilities has to take under account various factors such as time, place, objectives etc. in order to be in equal terms with other peers. Read the rest of this entry »


Indoor navigation, outdoor navigation or simply… navigation?

12/17/2012
Traditional navigation tools

Traditional navigation tools

I already posted an article some time ago about WiFi and its potentials on providing the next indoor navigation system. The truth is that WiFi is just one of a number of different solutions presented for indoor navigation. There are also many more. For example, Sam’s Club mobile app is a mobile app that provides indoor navigation to specific items and shops in some selected American shopping malls since the beginning of 2011. Similarly, the FastMall app provides navigation for shopping malls in 31 countries using interactive maps that you download and use. In contrast to traditional mobile shopping and mapping apps, FastMall is based on MapOS platform that provides turn-by-turn walking directions for any venue without requiring a global positioning system (GPS), WIFI connection, or an Internet signal. Other applications in the same family are Meijer Find It and Micello Maps. 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 »


From school for some to… school of one.

11/12/2012
Learning algorithm in School of One

Learning algorithm in School of One

In previous post about education one of the key factors for inclusive education is the ability to adapt teaching methods, materials, tasks etc. according to learners’ needs and profile. Either by having a co-teacher, a robot co-teacher, a traditional CSCL system or a teleconference based CSCL system the key factor for success is to adapt teaching methods and learning objectives according to students’ needs and performance. Educators need to know how well students perform, what are their strengths and weaknesses and focus on them. This means that the learning process has to be adapted for each student individually and the traditional model of one-size-fits-all teaching and learning should be abandoned. Read the rest of this entry »


Will WiFi be the best solution for indoor navigation?

11/05/2012
Google Maps indoor navigation

Google Maps indoor navigation

I am returning to mobility problems in this post and especially for indoor environements. One of the most pressing issues for mobility impaired and vision impaired persons is the issue of getting around in unknown indoor environments. Getting lost, disoriented and even getting “trapped” in some circumstances can be quite a stressful situation for them.

Lately, a number of positioning techniques have been developed for indoor environments (e.g., the methods based on Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Ultra Wideband (UWB), infrared and ultrasound, etc.). Among these techniques, the approach on the basis of exploiting 802.11 WLAN (Wi-Fi) is attractive, which is expected to yield a cost-effective and easy-accessible solution. All modern smartphones have Wi-Fi built in, and wireless networks are common enough in indoor spaces that an app could easily scan for known access points and calculate your position using trilateration . This is currently enabled in open operating systems of smart phones, e.g. in Android ones. As an alternative, there are some Wi-Fi installations in buildings, such as the ones based on Cisco MSE that can determine the location of any wireless device in the building. The Wi-Fi access points receive the Wi-Fi signals created by the mobile phone and then estimate its position via trilateration. Read the rest of this entry »


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