SELF-TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES

Several sensors are currently available with smart watches, bracelets, smartphones and other widely spread devices. Wearable devices and smartphones enable us to collect data that, when processed and analysed, can describe the person’s behaviour and activities. The “Quantified Self” concept describes the individual self-tracking of personal physical, biological, behavioural, medical, and environmental data. These solutions may support the acquisition of implicit parameters, without interfering with the person’s daily life, providing at the same time an estimation of her physiological and mental state.

Tons of data can be collected in one single day. However, they are completely useless if they are not related to the person’s lifestyle or behavior. Indeed, one key issue in wearable devices is the contextualization of the provided information.

These devices can assist people with mental illnesses or chronic diseases, as well as older people, making them more aware about their condition. At the same time, these tools can also detect specific behavioral patterns providing valuable information for the medical research and policy makers.

Ab.Acus’ mission is to translate robust and reliable technologies to the clinical environments, implementing them in the rehabilitative and assistive space. We have gained an extensive experience in collecting and contextualising data from wearable sensors to depict the full picture of a person’ lifestyle. Our team comprises experts in self-track technologies, with background in biomedicine, electronics, and informatics. We know how to provide new solutions to challenging problems, contributing to the advancement of the understanding of human behavior in real life settings.

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    PERSON OBJECT INTERACTION

    We are surrounded by objects which drive and influence our behavior. An effective interaction with our external world play a key role in rehabilitation, a concept well known to behavioral sciences. The person-object interaction develops in an ecological environment where technology is fully transparent to the involved actors using smart objects.

    Ab.Acus developed strong skills in the fields of wireless identification and sensing technologies, especially for rehabilitation application. Furthermore, Ab.Acus develops ad-hoc software packages for motion analysis in free environments. These applications range from the investigation of animals such as monkeys and dolphins in the field, to the study of babies in the womb and children with autism. We start by processing video images, and then we move to the computation of specific parameters, so as to get the full picture of some specific gestures which depict the individual and his/her social behaviors.

    Our competencies in wireless identification and sensing technologies, video analysis and biomechanics, go hand in hand, yielding to a quantitative analysis of behavioral tasks.

    These competencies play a key role in neuropsychology, rehabilitation, and assistive technologies, making it possible to quantify the patient’s behaviors and improvements individually.

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    TRANSPARENT TECHNOLOGY

    A current vision in the area of ICT is the system integration approach between robotics devices, intelligent living environments, which can support novel service delivery models, including the integration of robots and home (indoor) sensor networks, as well as handling big data and data from Internet-of-Things (IoT) in the cloud.

    With IoT and smart connected objects, Ab.Acus has a leading role in studying and solving some of issues related to future applications, to fully unlock their economic and societal value.

    The new engine of economic and social value creation is the application of technologies and tools developed in real working scenario so far need to be demonstrated in controlled environments with the ultimate goal of validation.

    Ab.Acus aims at validating IoT approaches to specific socio-economic challenges in real-life settings. In our studies, we always consider the user acceptability, the technology assessment and its optimisation, working in a close cooperation with users.

    Our work is currently focused on the integration of smart objects, sensors, and platforms in home environment, with the aim of improving the quality of person’s life.

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    HUMAN INTERFACE TECHNOLOGY

    The human interface approach studies the design and use of computer technology, focusing in particular on the interfaces between people (users) and computers. This field of studies focus on the ways humans interact with computers and on the design of technologies that enable us to interact with computers in novel ways. This approach brings forward the concept of usability, applying it to complex tools that need to be moved out of scientific labs, to make them suitable for their full use in daily management and administration, paving the way to the innovative concept of “science usability”.

    This approach works to translate complex mathematical and scientific methods and concepts to human-driven applications. Simulation and modelization techniques are needed to make multifaceted phenomena understandable by stakeholders and citizens. In turn, this helps overcoming the boundaries between erudite investigation techniques, characterised by not easily “accessible” methods and tools, and the citizens.

    Ab.Acus is strongly oriented to improve accessibility and usability of the most common devices, searching for the effective integration of customized interfaces. Our aim is to exploit mainstream technologies, tailoring them on the specific requests of users.

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    TRANSVERSAL SKILLS

    Ab.Acus’ vocation includes the role as bridge-builder among STEMM and SSH disciplines (“Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine” and “Social Sciences and Humanities”, respectively).

    The advent of new technologies should be driven by a responsible ICT research and innovation.

    Education is a key element in this cultural journey. The relationship between new technologies and learning is a key element in many of the latest research projects Ab.Acus

    The advent of new digital technology and social media is fundamentally reshaping the way we live and learn: their combination with technologies such as 3D printers, Do-It-Yourself electronics (such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi or Galileo) can create physical outputs with huge consequences on education.

    Ab.Acus’ staff comprises a variety of expertise, from electronic engineering to educational science, to communication science and gender studies, able to describe current and future trends in order to develop a research driven by SSH disciplines.

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