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Introduction to the special thematic session: Human-computer interaction and usability for elderly (HCI4AGING)

: Holzinger, Andreas; Mukasa, Kizito Ssamula; Nischelwitzer, Alexander K.


Miesenberger, K.:
Computers helping people with special needs. 11th international conference, ICCHP 2008 : Linz, Austria, July 9-11, 2008; Proceedings
Berlin: Springer, 2008 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5105)
ISBN: 3-540-70539-2
ISBN: 978-3-540-70539-0
International Conferene on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) <11, 2008, Linz>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
human-computer interaction; user interface; usability engineering; elderly people

Industrialized countries are faced with severe demographical and social changes. Consequently, areas including Ambient Assisted Living are of increasing importance. The vision is to provide technologies for supporting (elderly) people in their daily lives, allowing them to stay longer within their own home aiming at living independent and self-determined. User Interfaces in such systems are mostly multimodal, because standard interfaces have limited accessibility. Multimodal user interfaces combine various input and output modalities (including seeing/vision, hearing/audition, haptic/tactile, taste/gustation, smell/olfaction etc) which are classical research areas in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Usability Engineering (UE). One of the advantages of multiple modalities is increased usability: the weaknesses of one modality are offset by the strengths of another. For example, on a mobile device with a small visual interface and keypad, a word may be quite difficult to read/type, however very easy to say/listen. Such interfaces, in combination with mobile technologies, can have tremendous implications for accessibility and can be a benefit for people. An important issue is that interfaces must be accessible, useful and usable. Traditionally, HCI bridges Psychology/Pedagogy and Informatics, while UE is anchored in software technology. Together, HCI&UE provide the emerging potential to assist the daily workflows in the realm of AAL. This special thematic session is devoted to promote a closer collaboration between Psychologists, Pedagogues and Computer Scientists.