Social interaction and the feeling of relatedness are decisively set up by us communicating with fellow humans. Today, explicit communication, like direct conversation, the exchange via email or social networks, is already supported by information and communication technology. Nevertheless, at least as important is the implied, non- verbal communication, f. e. the incidental perception of the emotional state, a performed activity, the environment or the presence of other people. So far and unfortunately, there is no technical support whatsoever for implied communication between spatially separated persons. This is disadvantageous to people who are terminally ill, for social interaction and communication mean a lot regarding quality of life.
The project, which is funded by the BMBF, aims to develop an assistive system to stimulate social interaction of palliative patients who live alone in order to promote the implied communication and the exchange of non-verbal situations (emotions and activities) between patients, relatives and friends. In addition, human-machine-interactions are formed multimodal, affectively and all pervasively for the home environment which adapt to the person and the situation. For example, a lamp might inform relatives about the patient´s emotional state by changing its color or brightness. Furthermore, picture frames, which are equipped with sound, may indicate that the people on the pictures are thinking about the patient, and the coffeemaker or toaster being used shows that breakfast is being prepared. Accordingly, these devices will light up and, thus, generate a feeling of emotional closeness.
On this project, OFFIS e. V. is working with the Institute for Palliative Care (ipac), ProSyst, Siemens, YOUSE and datenschutz nord.