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Dec
17

Participants to the Turin meeting.

Participants to the Turin meeting.

The VERITAS consortium had a 3 days project meeting in Turin (Orbassano), Italy at CRF (Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A.) on 14-16 December 2011. CRF is the Industrial research centre of the Fiat Group, specialized in the automotive environment.
Focus of the meeting was on finalising the virtual user models, the creation of the interaction tools for designers/developers, development of the VERITAS embedded design tools, and preparing for the pilot phases in 2012 and 2013.

Nov
07

VUMS workshop at the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, organised on July 11-13, 2012 (Pre-Conference July 09-10, 2012) at the University of Linz, Altenbergerstraße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria

This workshop at ICCHP 2012, organised by four EU-funded projects VICON, VERITAS, GUIDE and MyUI building the VUMS cluster VUMS (Virtual User Modelling and Simulation Cluster), presents prototypes and discusses concepts of generic interoperable user models that describe the relevant characteristics of users, who will interact with products and user interfaces. These include physical cognitive, and sensory attributes, habits, preferences and accessibility capabilities. With such a model designers can define as many user interaction profiles as needed to address the whole range of requirements from a target population. It will also help designers and developers to maximize the level of accessibility of products and services by providing a comprehensive set of Human Factors design guidelines, which could be used in virtual spaces to visualize accessibility and usability issues.

All user models depend heavily on their specific use cases. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • A complete model of the user, meaning a model that includes facets according to the state of the art would be rather complex and inefficient in use for both simulation purposes and even more for implementation in a product’s user interface.
  • Existing devices might not be able to handle complicated user models.
  • Not all facets are needed for the specific use case. E.g. modelling some severe visual impairment is not relevant when designing a car.
  • Specific requirements might require modifications in existing user models.
  • Ways of measuring variables might differ among use cases.

New findings may result in changes and updates of models.

Workshop Chairs: Dr. Dimitris Tzovaras, Dr. Konstantinos Moustakas, CERTH/ITI
Background, Experiences:
Dr. Dimitrios Tzovaras is a Senior Researcher A’ (Full Professor) at CERTH/ITI. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Imperial College London. His research activity has led to the coauthoring of more than 250 papers in refereed journals and international conferences. He has been very active in the field of accessibility serving as the coordinator of the ACCESSIBLE project and the Technical Coordinator of VERITAS, while being also the Principal Investigator in AEGIS, OASIS, APSIS4ALL, ATIS4ALL, CLOUD4ALL.
Dr. Konstantinos Moustakas is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CERTH/ITI. During the latest years, he has been the (co)author of more than 75 papers in refereed journals, edited books, and international conferences, many of them in the field of accessibility. He has been also involved in ten research projects funded by the EC and the Greek secretariat of Research and Technology, among them VERITAS, AEGIS, OASIS.

Co-Chairs: Fraunhofer FIT: Manfred Dangelmaier, Matthias Peissner, Carlos Velasco; Pradipta Biswas

Participation: open

Duration: 3 hours

Time: to be announced

Room: to be announced

Link to ICCHP workshop page: http://www.icchp.org/node/348

Nov
07

VUMS STS at the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, organised on July 11-13, 2012 (Pre-Conference July 09-10, 2012) at the University of Linz, Altenbergerstraße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria.

This STS, organised by four EU-funded projects VICON, VERITAS, GUIDE and MyUI building the VUMS cluster VUMS (Virtual User Modelling and Simulation Cluster) , calls for papers and presentations of:

  • research and development work
  • prototypes and products
  • concepts and
  • evaluation of usability and applicability

of generic interoperable user models that describe the relevant characteristics of users, who will interact with products and user interfaces. These include physical cognitive, and sensory attributes, habits, preferences and accessibility capabilities.

With such a model designers can define as many user interaction profiles as needed to address the whole range of requirements from a target population. It will also help designers and developers to maximize the level of accessibility of products and services by providing a comprehensive set of Human Factors design guidelines, which could be used in virtual spaces to visualize accessibility and usability issues. All user models depend heavily on their specific use cases. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • A complete model of the user, meaning a model that includes facets according to the state of the art would be rather complex and inefficient in use for both simulation purposes and even more for implementation in a product’s user interface.
  • Existing devices might not be able to handle complicated user models.
  • Not all facets are needed for the specific use case. E.g. modelling some severe visual impairment is not relevant when designing a car.
  • Specific requirements might require modifications in existing user models.
  • Ways of measuring variables might differ among use cases.

New findings may result in changes and updates of models.

STS Chair: Fraunhofer FIT: Yehya Mohamad, Manfred Dangelmaier, Matthias Peissner, Carlos Velasco;
Pradipta Biswas

Submission: Contributions to a STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP. When submitting your contribution please make sure to select this STS under “STS/Session”.
Contributions to a STS are evaluated by the Programme Commitee of ICCHP and by the chair(s) of the STS.
Please get in contact with the STS chairs for discussing your involvement and pre-evaluation of your contribution.

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2012

Link to STS page: http://www.icchp.org/node/349

Sep
30

VERITAS was shortly presented (in the RAMSIS in Motion presentation) at the specialised RAMSIS User Conference on September 20 in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Sep
28

VERITAS organised a successful 2nd User Forum in Nottingham on the 20th September 2011, with the participation of designers, developers and beneficiaries (people with disabilities, older people) from various European countries.

Below you can find the presentations that were made that day:

Sep
28

VERITAS released following demonstration videos of the simulations it is working on in the different application areas:

Video: Automotive – Pull Handbrake (dynamic, hard handbrake and easy handbrake)
Subjects: Normal & Elderly


This video describes a scenario where the designer performs accessibility evaluation of a car’s handbrake prototype for a fully capable user and an elderly user with limited force exertion capabilities. The designed prototype is evaluated via the framework by following step by step the a scenario containing four subtasks: a) locate the handbrake, b) reach it, c) grab it and d) pull it. Two different handbrake models were tested: the first had a resistance torque of 17Nm, which loosely speaking can be translated into lifting a weight of about 4.8kgr, while in the second the resistance was 6Nm (~1.7kgr).
The results of the simulation process showed that the normal user was able to perform the requested tasks in both prototypes. However, it was clearly revealed that were accessibility issues for the elderly user regarding the first handbrake: the user failed to complete the task because of his limited strength capabilities. However, when the resistance torque was reduced, the elderly user managed to complete the task.

Video: Workplace – Open Drawer (kinematic, drawer above desk and drawer below desk)
Subjects: Normal & User having Rheumatoid Arthritis on the left arm.

In these 2 videos, two different desk prototypes were evaluated: one having its drawers above the desk and one having them below. Two virtual user models were tested: normal user and user having rheumatoid arthritis on his left arm. The users asked to perform four tasks: a) locate the bottom drawer, b) reach its handle, c) grab it and d) pull the drawer.
The results of the simulation process clearly revealed accessibility issues of the rheumatoid arthritis user. More specifically, while the normal user performed successfully in both designs, the reumatoid arthritis user could not reach the drawer above the desk, because of his left arm’s limited range of motion. As it is shown, the impaired user managed to open the drawer when it was placed below the desk.

Video: Infotainment – Navigate to a visible location, Navigate to audio source. (Vision, Hearing)
Subjects: Normal & various Vision and Hearing impairments among which (colour blindess (3 kinds), Macular Degeneratio, Autitis, Otosclerosis, etc.)


This video demonstrates the scenario where the user wants to enter a 3D metaverse environment, in this case Second Life. The user must be able to acces both the 2D elements of the GUI but also to navigate the avatar inside the 3D space both towards visible locations but also to locations defined by distinct audio sources. The virtual user models that correspond to visual impairments demonstrated include Macular Degeneration, Protanopia, Deuteranopia, Tritanopia, Cataract etc. and the virtual user models that correspond to hearing impairments Otosclerosis, Otitis, Presbycusis etc. while some virtual user models combining both types of impaiments are also used. The simulation of the effects of these impairments help the designer/developer of such an application to identify directly any accessibility problems in an interactive manner.

Sep
21
Veritas Workshop 2011 at JVRC 2011

Workshop 2011 at JVRC 2011

The workshop “Accessibility Engineering with User Models, Simulation and VR” was successfully organized in the context of the 2011 Joint Virtual Reality Conference on 21 September 2011, Nottingham UK. The workshop chaired by Manfred Dangelmaier (Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart, Germany), and which took place on Wednesday afternoon 21 September 2011, gathered a wide array of experts and users in the area of Simulation and Virtual Reality, and showcased relevant projects and initiatives in the area of accessible design and simulation in the areas of automotive, home, working environment, infotainment and ehealth design.

Following papers were presented:

Sep
21

VERITAS VUMS cluster meeting 2011

Cluster meeting in Nottingham, UK

VERITAS organised a successful 4th VUMS Cluster Meeting in Nottingham, UK on the 21st September 2011.

Representatives from VUMS cluster projects (VERITAS, Guide, Vicon, MyUI) were present.

Sep
20
User Forum 2011

User Forum 2011

VERITAS organised a successful 2nd User Forum in Nottingham on the 20th September 2011, with the participation of designers, developers and beneficiaries (people with disabilities, older people) from various European countries.

Presentations:

You will find below short interviews with some of the participants/stakeholders.

Interview with Ms. Adenike Pearse (Brunel University, UK) at VERITAS User Forum, 20th September 2011, Nottingham UK.

Interview with Ms. Qin Gao (Assistant professor at Tsinghua University, P.R.C.) at VERITAS User Forum, 20th September 2011, Nottingham UK.

Interview with Mr. Lino Brundu (Atlha Onlus of Milan, Italy) at VERITAS User Forum, 20th September 2011, Nottingham UK.

In addition, the project demonstrated some of the simulations via videos:

Video: Automotive – Pull Handbrake (dynamic, hard handbrake and easy handbrake)
Subjects: Normal & Elderly


This video describes a scenario where the designer performs accessibility evaluation of a car’s handbrake prototype for a fully capable user and an elderly user with limited force exertion capabilities. The designed prototype is evaluated via the framework by following step by step the a scenario containing four subtasks: a) locate the handbrake, b) reach it, c) grab it and d) pull it. Two different handbrake models were tested: the first had a resistance torque of 17Nm, which loosely speaking can be translated into lifting a weight of about 4.8kgr, while in the second the resistance was 6Nm (~1.7kgr).
The results of the simulation process showed that the normal user was able to perform the requested tasks in both prototypes. However, it was clearly revealed that were accessibility issues for the elderly user regarding the first handbrake: the user failed to complete the task because of his limited strength capabilities. However, when the resistance torque was reduced, the elderly user managed to complete the task.

Video: Workplace – Open Drawer (kinematic, drawer above desk and drawer below desk)
Subjects: Normal & User having Rheumatoid Arthritis on the left arm.

In these 2 videos, two different desk prototypes were evaluated: one having its drawers above the desk and one having them below. Two virtual user models were tested: normal user and user having rheumatoid arthritis on his left arm. The users asked to perform four tasks: a) locate the bottom drawer, b) reach its handle, c) grab it and d) pull the drawer.
The results of the simulation process clearly revealed accessibility issues of the rheumatoid arthritis user. More specifically, while the normal user performed successfully in both designs, the reumatoid arthritis user could not reach the drawer above the desk, because of his left arm’s limited range of motion. As it is shown, the impaired user managed to open the drawer when it was placed below the desk.

Video: Infotainment – Navigate to a visible location, Navigate to audio source. (Vision, Hearing)
Subjects: Normal & various Vision and Hearing impairments among which (colour blindess (3 kinds), Macular Degeneratio, Autitis, Otosclerosis, etc.)


This video demonstrates the scenario where the user wants to enter a 3D metaverse environment, in this case Second Life. The user must be able to acces both the 2D elements of the GUI but also to navigate the avatar inside the 3D space both towards visible locations but also to locations defined by distinct audio sources. The virtual user models that correspond to visual impairments demonstrated include Macular Degeneration, Protanopia, Deuteranopia, Tritanopia, Cataract etc. and the virtual user models that correspond to hearing impairments Otosclerosis, Otitis, Presbycusis etc. while some virtual user models combining both types of impaiments are also used. The simulation of the effects of these impairments help the designer/developer of such an application to identify directly any accessibility problems in an interactive manner.

Sep
01

User Forum agenda

Below is the agenda for the forthcoming User forum on Tuesday 20th September from 13h00 till 17h00, hosted at Crown Plaza in Nottingham.

  • 12.00 – 13.00 Sandwich lunch
  • 13.00 – 13.10 Welcome and roundtable of participants AGE Platform Europe
  • 13.10 – 13.40 The VERITAS project at a glance (Fraunhofer IAO)
  • 13.40 – 14.00 Outcomes of the 1st User Forum (AGE Platform Europe)
  • 14.00 – 14.30 Introducing the VERITAS task models – Demonstration of simulation environment (MCA & CERTH-HIT)
  • 14.30 – 15.00 Coffee Break
  • 15.00 – 16.00 Discussion in groups per application area (automotive, work and home environment, ehealth and infotainment) on the task models (Moderated by partners per application area and coordinated by MCA & CERTH-HIT)
  • 16.00 – 16.45 Presentations in plenary on outcome of group discussions (Coordinated by AGE, MCA & CERTH-HIT)
  • 16.45 – 17.00 Wrap-up and goodbye (AGE Platform Europe)