BRELOMATE

The aim of this project was to develop a media technology prototype for socially isolated elderly. It should enable them to get access to the area of digital communication by means of intuitive and target group focused operability as well as didactical support.
Research studies show that life events like transitioning from working life to retirement, the loss of a life partner and sudden changes of living arrangements, potentially increase the risk of social isolation among elderly people. In Austria about 10% of 60-to-69-year-old people and 17% of people aged 80+ are affected by social isolation.

While ICT has a huge impact on everyday communication and social participation, elderly people struggle to overcome technical barriers such as complex interaction with devices and services. With BRELOMATE, their own TV becomes the center of intuitive video communication and gaming.
The BRELOMATE setup consists of three devices: a TV, a set-top box and a tablet. The second screen app is a tablet control unit that interacts with
a set-top box for game visualization and live communication. 

The project followed a user-centered design approach: Generating ideas with people of the target group, prototyping interfaces for TV and tablet, and usability testing. Ten retirees between the age of 61 to 83, who enjoy playing the popular Austrian turn-based card game "Schnapsen", participated in the usability tests, which were conducted at their homes, as well as in the usability lab. Results show that the playful approach to second-screen gaming helped first-time tablet users considerably. They quickly engaged in real-time video conversation as shown in tests that lastet more than 30 minutes.

Video about the project (german): http://youtu.be/YyOXIZ2Fe28


The project was funded by a program called benefit of The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), which is part of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (bmwfw).

Awards

"Karl Ritter von Ghega-Preis" - Innovation Award of Lower Austria (WKO NÖ, http://www.innovationspreis-noe.at/)
FH-Prof. Dr. Johannes Pflegerl
Jakob Doppler, MSc.
Dr. Josef Weißenböck
Mag. Wolfgang Gruber
Katharina Auer, BA, MA
Mag. (FH) Sabine Sommer

Publications

Doppler, J., G. Rottermanner, S. Sommer, J. Pflegerl, and P. Judmaier, "Design and Evaluation of a Second Screen Communication and Gaming Platform to Foster Teleparticipation of the Socially Isolated Elderly", Ambient Assisted Living: 8. AAL-Kongress 2015, Frankfurt/Main, Cham, Springer International Publishing, pp. 3–13, 2016.
Sommer, S., G. Rottermanner, J. Pflegerl, J. Weissenböck, W. Gruber, P. Judmaier, and J. Doppler, "Mediengestützte Kommunikation für ältere Menschen", 9. Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen, 2015.
Sommer, S., J. Doppler, G. Rottermanner, P. Judmaier, and J. Pflegerl, "BRELOMATE - Ein Second Screen Spiele- und Kommunikationsportal für ältere Menschen", Mensch und Computer 2015 – Workshopband, Berlin, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, pp. 605-609, 2015.
Judmaier, P., G. Rottermanner, S. Sommer, L. Schöffer, and J. Pflegerl, "Probleme mit Tangible Interfaces im Ambient Assisted Living", Mensch & Computer 2014 - Online Workshopband, 08/2014.
Doppler, J., G. Rottermanner, P. Judmaier, K. Auer, J. Pflegerl, J. Weissenböck, and L. Schöffer, "BRELOMATE - Breaking Loneliness With Mobile Assistive Technologies for Elderly", uDay XII , Vorarlberg, FH Vorarlberg, 2014.
Pflegerl, J., G. Rottermanner, P. Judmaier, S. Sommer, J. Doppler, W. Gruber, J. Weissenböck, L. Schöffer, L. Mayerhuber, L. Gringl, et al., "Multiscreen als Mittel gegen soziale Isolation älterer Menschen am Beispiel des benefit-Projekts BRELOMATE", Forum Medientechnik - Next Generation, New Ideas: Beiträge der Tagung 2014 an der Fachhochschule St. Pölten, Auflage: 1, Glückstadt, vwh Verlag, pp. 283–296, 2014.

Press articles