19 October 2007

Status and goals

Researcher focusing on the satisfaction of human needs at 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) in Japan since 2006, I investigate designs of ubiquitous systems to improve the general public's quality of life based on medical, psychological and social knowledge. I am motivated by the possibility to better the everyday life of acquaintances as well as strangers, by the potential of the technologies, by their likely emergence in the next twenty years, and by the lack of humanistic approaches in current developments.

I would like to teach, research into and participate to the development of cyberspace, intelligent environments, robotics, and wearable computers before 2015 because these complementary tasks are far-reaching. Ideally, I would be involved in projects significantly beneficial to well-being and human environments worldwide.

04 October 2007

Invited talk at 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) about user needs in wearable computing

I gave a talk about user needs in wearable computing at 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) on 04 October 2007 during the 10th Horizons for Information Societies seminar, which was dedicated to ubiquitous computing.

My 45-minutes talk entitled "Needs in Wearable Computing: a User-centred Approach" was a subset of the talk I gave at 연세대학교 (Yonsei university) in 서울 (Seoul, South Korea) on 07 September 2007, which was about the general public's needs in ubiquitous computing.

Several questions from attendees dealt with the universality and completeness of Maslow's theories as a base for my work. Maslow's hierarchical organization of basic needs (physhiology, safety, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualisation) has been investigated in several cultures, which hinted at a certain universality of his theories. However, people's priorities may not match his model, for example when a person's salient needs are related to belongingness whereas safety needs have not yet been gratified, or when a person gives her life willingly due to value choices (e.g. martyrdom). In the first case, the person is recognized as mentally ill, and in the second case as somebody potentially exceptional. Finally, Maslow did not consider in details what he called unmotivated needs, related to e.g. aesthetics and entertainment. For this, complementary models are required.

Finally, one attendee asked about the industrial impact of my findings. I explained that so far I had taken few successful contacts with Japanese researchers and industrials. However, my worked seemed useful to some Korean researchers interested in the creation of smart clothes, who may select the services to create and their design based on my findings.

One remark about my presentation was that I had not shown clearly that my conclusions particularly apply to wearables. One solution is to make similar analyses applied to intelligent environments, and highlight the differences, which are bound to exist because (1) wearables are used by only one user, (2) wearables can potentially acquire physiological information through direct contact with the body, (3) wearables have limited resources, notably in energy.