The Lab's main research focus is the potential of Full-Body Interaction (FuBInt) from the standpoint of interaction design. We aim to understand its potential as a communication medium that can generate specific types of interactive experiences.
As a result, we centre our interest on the theoretical aspects that seem to provide support for the mediation of such experiences through the users' body. Namely, we focus on theories of embodied cognition, psycopedagogy, and physiology.
On the other hand, we also study the application of these experiences in real world contexts. We work mainly with children due to our interest on the developmental impact that FuBInt experiences may have. Therefore, we study:
- How FuBInt may contribute to strategies in non-formal and informal learning in schools, museums, cultural heritage sites, and many other related contexts.
- How FuBInt may contribute to the evolution of playgrounds and play activities both as leisure and as developmental spaces for children.
- The potential of FuBInt to help children with special needs achieve a better integration in our society; specifically we have worked with Autism Spectrum Disorder and with Sedentarism and lack of physical activity.
However, we do not restrict our work to children only since we believe in the potential of FuBInt in many aspects of everybody's life.
Autism Spectrum Condition
The group has been working in projects for ASC since 2001, starting with the pioneer EU-funded project "MEDIATE: A Multisensory Environment Design for an Interface between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness", which was the first playful multimodal space built for "low functioning" ASC children, collaborating with UK researchers Francesca Happe (King’s College) and Pamela Heaton (Goldsmiths, U. of London). During these years we have collaborated with the “Multimodal Unit for ASC” of the child’s Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona, supporting our research with expert guidance and contact with the ASC community in the Barcelona area.
Within this branch our team is currently addressing how to help ASC children to adopt social initiation behaviours (SIBs). For the past six years, a permanently installed mixed reality (MR) system that provides full-body interaction provides support to provide children with ASC with a practice ground to help them improve in their SIBs. This technified playground provides serious games where children with ASC can understand the mechanisms and benefits of SIBs by playing with a non-ASC peer. No technological devices such as smartphones, tablets, or head-mounted displays get in the way of the children, who can play face-to-face, looking, talking, and gesturing at each other. The serious game is displayed on a large 18 feet circular floor projection using mixed reality (MR) technology and the advantages of full-body interaction. The environment allows them to navigate and explore both physical and virtual space simultaneously during their play experience.
(to be detailed)