Mendeley Brainstorm – Augmented Reality – We Have a Winner!

Augmented Reality helps us see the world and each other in new ways.
Augmented Reality helps us see the world and each other in new ways.

Many thanks to all those who entered the Mendeley Brainstorm related to Augmented Reality; picking a winner given all the well thought out answers was not a straightforward matter, however in the end, we selected Carol from the University of Manitoba’s response:

I think a really obvious app for AR would be an emotion recognition app. There are already emotion recognition apps that allow people to look at photos and select which emotion the person is expressing and there is software that analyzes the emotion in video content. Augmented reality would be the next logical step. For those individuals with Social Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorders or certain types of Traumatic Brain injury and others who have a difficult time recognizing social cues and/or emotions. They could simply check a “message” and learn if the person is stressed/calm/indifferent. It wouldn’t hurt for single people doing the dating thing either!

We asked her what inspired her. She responded:

…I know several people with difficulty recognizing emotions/social cues for a variety of reasons and it seemed to me to be a natural fit for an augmented reality app. Could you imagine the sheer processing power that it would require to do real-time emotional recognition?

That sounds like a challenge. Carol also told us:

By the way love the Mendeley product and am having a blast teaching it to my library clients at the University of Manitoba. It makes me look like a guru. 😉 Thanks for making it easy.

You’re welcome, Carol!

Those who didn’t win this time are encouraged to respond to the latest Mendeley Brainstorm, regarding Assistive Technology. Thanks again to all our participants.

Mendeley Brainstorm: Assistive Technology – Powerful and Pervasive

Thanks to assistive technologies, impaired no longer means disabled.
Thanks to assistive technologies, impaired no longer means disabled.

The Paralympic Games open on September 7th; they are a visible example of how powerful and pervasive assistive technology has become. This month, we’re asking: what is the most innovative assistive technology application you’ve seen?  We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research!  The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes September 28th.

Powerful and Pervasive Technologies

Assistive technologies are diminishing physical limitations.  During the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the delegates were addressed by Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.  She strode to and from the podium, fully mobile, despite having lost her legs while serving in the military.

The forthcoming Paralympic Games are another powerful illustration that impairment does not mean disabled: competition is conducted at the highest level.  New materials (such as carbon fibre) combined with engineering nous have created products such as the “Flex-Foot Cheetahwhich enable athletes to run who could not otherwise have walked. Other technologies compensate for the absence or impairment of senses.

For the Elderly Too

These technologies also assist the elderly. A “Smart Walker”, for example, can have a range of functionality including an “Advanced human–machine interface” in addition to providing physical support. (Martins et al., 2012, p. 555) One type of “Smart Walker” is the “SIMBIOSIS”: “This walker presents a multisensory biomechanical platform for predictive human–machine cooperation….the forces that are applied by the user on each forearm-support while walking are measured and the guidance information can be inferred. This turns out to be a natural and transparent interface that does not need previous training by the user.” (Martins et al., 2012, p. 558)

The Future?

It’s clear that assistive technology is enhancing lives, but what is the most innovative application you’ve encountered?  Tell us!

Try Elsevier DataSearch!

DataSearch results
Partial results for DataSearch lookup for “Flex-foot Cheetah”

Note: much more information for researchers can be found via Elsevier Datasearch (https://datasearch.elsevier.com/):  DataSearch works with reputable repositories across the Internet to help researchers readily find the data sets they need to accelerate their work. DataSearch offers a new and innovative approach.  Most search engines don’t actively involve their users in making them better; we invite you, the user, to join our User Panel and advise how we can improve the results.  We are looking for researchers in a variety of fields, no technical expertise is required (though welcomed).  In order to join us, visit https://datasearch.elsevier.com and click on the button marked “Join Our User Panel”.

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research.  We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

MARTINS, M., SANTOS, C., FRIZERA-NETO, A. and CERES, R. (2012). Assistive mobility devices focusing on Smart Walkers: Classification and review. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 60(4), pp.548-562.

Össur Americas. (2016) Flex-Foot Cheetah. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ossur.com/prosthetic-solutions/products/sport-solutions/cheetah. [Accessed 10 August 2016].

Mendeley Brainstorm: Augmented Reality — Here and Now

 

IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage
IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage

 

“Pokemon Go” has made Augmented Reality wildly popular; this month, we’re asking in our latest Brainstorm competition – what Augmented Reality innovation do you think will be the next “killer app”? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research! The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes September 6th.

It’s usual to see people constantly staring at their mobile phones; it used to be that they were just texting friends or awaiting the latest post on social media. However, there is now a burgeoning tribe of gamers who squint, peer, then shift their phone around; they’re hunting for virtual creatures which are visible only to the eye of augmented reality. This craze has become so widespread that even the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spent part of his time on a Sunday political programme hunting for virtual creatures rather than expounding on his policies. (Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go, 2016)

AR is nothing new; in 2012, Google launched “Google Glass”, a headset which integrated Google information with what users could see in front of them. In turn, users could take photographs and video. It wasn’t a commercial success; it broke the First Rule of Wearable Technology as described by the inventor of the NFC Ring (www.nfcring.com), John McClear: “Wearable technology shouldn’t be ugly!” Furthermore, users were also concerned that they were in effect sharing their lives with Google. Finally, there were safety concerns: a person paying attention to a virtual object may not take sufficient notice of real ones.

Despite the setbacks, augmented reality is becoming increasingly prevalent in the fields of medicine, architecture, education, and tourism. For example, AR is rapidly becoming a valuable tool for surgeons: while minimally invasive procedures have made patients’ lives easier, nevertheless, these “techniques bring up new difficulties for surgeons by greatly reducing their usual abilities” such as touch and depth perception. (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 190) Though utilizing AR in this scenario has limitations (such as the fact that living beings aren’t rigid in their positioning), it was concluded “interactive augmented reality is a relevant approach to provide intra-operatively additional information to surgeons. This information usually can help for port positioning and give them confidence by showing them hidden structures at some steps with an accuracy which seems sufficient to them.” (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 196)

Mobile Augmented Reality applications are also being tested in Greece to enhance the tourist experience; an application called “CorfuAR” “supports personalized content provision and navigation features to tourists on the move”. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 72) The user journey can be personalized on the phone app according to interest: business, culture, religion, shopping, nightlife, gastronomy, nature study, tripping and water sports. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 77).

With these and other applications, it seems that AR is here to stay; but where else will it show up? Tell us!

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research. We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go (2016), BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36820874 [Accessed July 18, 2016]

KOUROUTHANASSIS, P., BOLETSIS, C., BARDAKI, C. and CHASANIDOU, D. (2015). Tourists responses to mobile augmented reality travel guides: The role of emotions on adoption behavior. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 18, pp.71-87.

NICOLAU, S., SOLER, L., MUTTER, D. and MARESCAUX, J. (2011). Augmented reality in laparoscopic surgical oncology. Surgical Oncology, 20(3), pp.189-201.

Mendeley Brainstorm: Brexit & Science

Road signs EU and BREXIT

 

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on June 23rd has set off a political and economic earthquake. As the country struggles to discern its eventual relationship with its neighbours, so too has the scientific and research establishment been left reeling.

British universities have benefitted significantly from EU funding; according to the BBC, they receive in excess of £1 billion per year. Furthermore, thanks to the freedom of movement, EU researchers have found it easy to work in Britain and vice versa. Some scientists believe that the funding shortfall and restrictions on personnel will cripple British research; others believe that it need not hinder British science. Early indications suggest that there will be a negative effect; according to an article published in the Guardian newspaper on July 12, British researchers are already being excluded from projects: “an EU project officer recommended that a lead investigator drop all UK partners from a consortium because Britain’s share of funding could not be guaranteed. The note implied that if UK organisations remained on the project, which is due to start in January 2017, the contract signing would be delayed until Britain had agreed a fresh deal with Europe.”

There are broader implications: research in advance of the referendum indicated that its effects could reach as far as sustainable forest management policy, suggesting that without the UK, the “EU will lose impact in international negotiations on forest governance” (Winkel and Derks, 2016)

This week’s Brainstorm is asking a very straightforward question: how will Brexit affect science, not just in Britain but across the European Union? We are looking for the most cogent, thorough answer to this question. The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items.

 

Mendeley Brainstorm: Our Brainstorms are fortnightly challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research. We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

 

References

GHOSH, P. (2016) “What future for post-Brexit UK science?” BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36685379 [Accessed July 12, 2016]

SAMPLE, I. (2016) “UK scientists dropped from EU projects because of post-Brexit funding fear” The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jul/12/uk-scientists-dropped-from-eu-projects-because-of-post-brexit-funding-fears [Accessed July 12, 2016]

WINKEL, G. and DERKS, J. (2016). The nature of Brexit. How the UK exiting the European Union could affect European forest and (forest related) environmental policy. Forest Policy and Economics, 70, pp.124-127.