ABC News online, 18 March 2018
Virtual reality helping older 'explorers' connect and share memories
An article by Michael Mackenzie.
Promoting healthy ageing through the use of cutting edge technology.
In today’s ageing society, innovation that promotes the social participation of older adults is vitally important. It is well known that older people who have access to meaningful social networks and who actively participate in community or group activities benefit from enhanced wellbeing that enables them to live a full and active life for longer. However, as people approach advanced old age their opportunities to engage in these activities often diminish. Increasing frailty and deteriorating health can impair mobility, keeping people confined to their homes.
This project will investigate how full-bodied gesture-based interactions and avatars can be used to create a sense of virtual presence between older people who are unable to meet together face-to-face.
Using cutting edge virtual and augmented reality technologies (VR/AR), the research team will analyse how older people represent themselves using virtual avatars in social virtual environments.
The project builds on previous research including the Growing old and staying connected project that examined the role of technology in improving older people’s experience of social isolation.
This project aims to identify how natural user interface (NUI) technologies can be designed and used to facilitate active social participation for older people constrained by limited mobility.
This project was funded by the University of Melbourne’s Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces (SocialNUI), and an ARC Discovery grant (Project ID: DP160101368).
This is a multidisciplinary project involving researchers working in the fields of human-computer interaction, computer science, social work, gerontology, and aged care policies and practice. The project team comprises:
Baker, S., Waycott, J., Robertson, E., Carrasco, R., Neves, B. B., Hampson, R., & Vetere, F. (2019). Evaluating the use of interactive virtual reality technology with older adults living in residential aged care. Information Processing & Management, 102105.
Baker, S., Waycott, J., Carrasco, R., Hoang, T., & Vetere, F. (2019). Exploring the Design of Social VR Experiences with Older Adults. Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 303–315. New York, New York, USA: ACM.
Baker, S., Waycott, J., Vetere, F., & Hoang, T. (2019). The Technology Explorers: Partnering with Older Adults to Engage with Virtual Reality and Virtual Avatars. In B. B. Neves & F. Vetere (Eds.), Ageing and Digital Technology: Designing and Evaluating Emerging Technologies for Older Adults (pp. 231–246). Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Baker, S., Warburton, J., Waycott, J., Batchelor, F., Hoang, T., Dow, B., Ozanne, E., Vetere, F. (2018). Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence. Australasian Journal on Ageing. DOI: 10.1111/ajag.12572
Waycott, J., Wadley, G., Baker, S., Ferdous, H., Hoang, T., Gerling, K., Headleand, C, & Simeone, A. (2018). Manipulating Reality? Designing and Deploying Virtual Reality in Sensitive Settings. Workshop, Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Conference 2018. [PDF]
Carrasco, R., Waycott, J., Baker, S., & Vetere, F. (2018) Designing the Lost Self: Older Adults’ Self-representations in Online Games. In Proceedings of the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Conference 2018, pp. 441–452). DOI: 10.1145/3196709.3196773
Carrasco Zuffi, R. (2018) Older Adults Designing Avatars for Socializing. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), pp. 379–382. DOI: 10.1145/3197391.3205387
Carrasco, R., Baker, S., Waycott, J. & Vetere, F. (2017) Negotiating Stereotypes of Older Adults through Avatars. In Proceedings of the 29th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI 2017), 28 Nov – 1 Dec, Brisbane, Australia. [DOI: 10.1145/3152771.3152795]
Puri, A., Baker, S., Hoang, T. & Carrasco, R. (2017) To be (ME) or Not To Be?: Photorealistic Avatars and Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 29th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI 2017), 28 Nov – 1 Dec, Brisbane, Australia. [DOI: 10.1145/3152771.3156166]
Baker, S.; Warburton, J.; Hodgkin, S.; Pascal, J. (2017) The supportive network: rural disadvantaged older people and ICT Ageing and Society CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS. Pg: 1291–1309. [DOI:10.1017/S0144686X16000350]
Cyarto, E., Batchelor, F., Baker, S. & Dow, B. (2016) Active Ageing with Avatars. In Proceedings of the 28th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI 2016), Launceston, Tasmania. [DOI:10.1145/3010915.3010944]
Carrasco, R. (2017) Designing Virtual Avatars to Empower Social Participation among Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Denver, USA. [DOI: 10.1145/3027063.3027133]
Baker, S., Waycott, J., Pedell, S., Hoang, T., & Ozanne, E. (2016). Older People and Social Participation: From Touch-Screens to Virtual Realities. In Proceedings of the 2016 ITAP Conference, Kochi, Japan [PDF]
Waycott, J, & Baker, S. (2016). Older Adults and Digital Participation: Challenges, Opportunities and Future Directions. Digital Participation: Engaging Diverse and Marginalised Communities workshop, OzCHI 2016.
Baker, S., & Warburton, J. (2015). ICT and Vulnerable People: Incorporating an Ethical Decision Making Model. Ethical Encounters in HCI workshop, OzCHI 2015.
ABC News online, 18 March 2018
An article by Michael Mackenzie.
ABC Radio Life Matters, 15 March 2018
Project leader Dr Steven Baker guides participants, Trevor, Zofia and Tony to sit at a virtual table and exchange stories.
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Newsletter, 28 September 2017
What will the future of ageing look like?
Radio Adelaide, July 2017
Interview on Radio Adelaide Breakfast Program
ABC radio, 16 July 2017
Seniors Newspapers, July 2017
Radio 6PR, 2 August 2017
Featured on Perth Tonight with Chris Ilsley. Would you be open to using virtual reality (VR) to combat social isolation? A chat with research fellow, Dr Steven Baker about how VR can help the lonely.
Seniors Newspaper, 18 July 2017
Pro Bono Australia, 11 July 2017
Pursuit, 6 July 2017
Bendigo Weekly, 16 December 2016
Aged Care Guide, November 2016