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Virtual Worlds for Wellbeing

Project Number: P04
Project Manager: Prof. dr. Dirk Heylen
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Tel.: +31-53-4893745
Email: d.k.j.heylen@utwente.nl


Virtual worlds play an increasingly important role in our lives as places where you meet and make friends, and they affect the way we live, learn, communicate, heal, and entertain. When designed and applied appropriately they will have a strong positive influence on our wellbeing. However, current virtual worlds exhibit poor affect and, therefore, do not offer a rich, emotional experience. New technology is required to cash in on the potential to increase physical and emotional well being in virtual worlds. In particular we need to increase the affect of virtual characters and provide enhanced interfaces between the real and virtual world with which users can steer their avatars and express their emotions. As demonstrators we will encourage and coach users to dance, play, and exercise targeting both on physical and mental wellbeing.

Wellbeing is a large and quickly expanding market, both for elderly and the young. Life’s speed is ever increasing, disconnecting us from other people, ignoring our physical wellbeing and fitness and giving us too little time to experience and be amazed. Virtual worlds that help people to connect and exercise will play an important role in solving these social problems. For the Dutch creative industry there are ample opportunities to contribute to and profit from the increasing importance of virtual worlds, especially in the area of wellbeing. However, to achieve this they need to have access to the most modern technology in this domain and must be at the forefront of new developments. In close collaboration with the Dutch universities this project will enable them to achieve this position.

Project duration: 1-9-2011 / 1-9-2015
Project budget: 6.2 M-€ / 2.8 M-€ funding
Number of person/months: 668 person months
Project Coordinator: Logica
Participants: UT, UU, UvA, Waag Society, Motek, Logica, Philips
Project budget CTIT: 405 k-€ / 182.25 k-€ funding
Number of person/months CTIT: 55 person/months
Involved groups: Human Media Interaction (HMI)