Persuasive Tech

CURRENT Research PROJECTS in the persuasive tech track

Moments of connection: Combining interactive ambient technology and narrative technology to promote connectedness in older adults

People are growing older, but more and more with chronic illnesses. Political strategies mainly focus on self-management and autonomy, but this comes with a risk of social isolation and loneliness. Currently, loneliness is at an all-time high, affecting approximately 50% of all older adults. This is particularly troublesome as it also increases the risk of both physical and cognitive decline. Importantly, exposure to nature enhances feelings of connectedness. However, older persons often have limited or no access to nature because of mobility constraints. For them, developments in interactive ambient technology hold great promise as exposure to designed nature scenes can provide a substitute for actual nature. Furthermore, nature can be an effective prompt for communication and storytelling amongst older adults in everyday social interactions. In this project, we seek to combine the design science of interactive ambient technologies with the technology-mediated analysis of everyday social interactions in order to develop and test prototypes(s) of interactive ambient landscapes in long-term care.

BMS Faculty University of Twente
Contact: Thomas van Rompay

Growing Roots: Connecting Elderly through Digital Nature

Loneliness amongst frail elderly is a growing societal problem, which not only has its origins in a decrease of social contacts, but also in a sense of disconnectedness from the world at large. Research indicates that contact with nature can inspire feelings of connectedness. However, insights specifying which particular nature features are essential, and how nature can be made

accessible to elderly via ambient technology, are lacking. Therefore, this research project aims to increase feelings of social connectedness amongst lonely elderly via an interactive and social digital nature environment. Research is targeted at investigating which nature features can trigger feelings of connectedness. On a more concrete, social level, we study means for creating a multi-person experience in a digital nature environment which allows elderly to interact. This project contributes to wellbeing of elderly, and lays the foundation for a community-based approach to healthy and active ageing supported by innovative technology. 

Contact: Thomas van Rompay

Reduction of noise disturbance in nightlife areas

In many Dutch cities the lively nightlife comes with noise disturbance for people living in the city center. This noise pollution may cause severe health effects for local residents and nightlife employees. There is also a correlation with other nightlife related nuisances, i.e., unwanted behaviors such as violence, littering and public urination. The coming years this problem will only increase, because legislation prohibits indoor smoking in the near future. In order to reduce noise production and to absorb noise, a two-track intervention is in development and will be tested in the project. In the first place, in collaboration with the UT spin-off 4Silence, environmental  interventions are designed that absorb sound making use of anechoic materials. Depending on the specific situation in the city center, and the local soundscape, these interventions may be placed on the wall or in open space. The materials allow us to be creative and work three dimensional. Second, a behavior change intervention is developed in which nightlife visitors are ‘primed’ with anti-arousal interventions. These interventions are multi-sensory and affect the mood state of nightlife visitors. To put is simple, people become more relaxed and we expect them to make less noise after being exposed to the behavioral intervention. Scientific research will measure the effects of both intervention strategies.

Sponsors: WODC, Ministry of Justice & Safety (JenV) and various municipalities
Contact person: Mirjam Galetzka or Joris van Hoof
Collaboration: UT BMS department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, & Safety (Dr. Peter de Vries), 4Silence, DSP-groep

Nudging and Improved Form Design (NIFOD)

The aim of this study is to improve information quality on manure that farmers provide to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, via a so called ‘Aanvullende gegevens’ digital form. In the present study we propose a client-centred approach that focuses on prevention. It has two broad objectives: 1. Simplification and improvement of the form. The ‘Aanvullende gegevens’ digital form is somewhat complicated. A set of studies on how the form is filled out by farmers will lead to suggestions for form improvement. 2. Improvement of information quality. In a second part of the project we aim to improve the quality and veracity of the information. To increase honest behavior by farmers (or their representatives) when filling in the form, we will develop persuasive nudges (primes) that will increase honest reporting and decrease intentional fraud.

Sponsors: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, RVO.
Contact: Joris van Hoof
Collaboration: UT BMS department Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS) (Prof dr Marianne Junger, Luka Koning MSc.) and UT Faculty EEEMS Services and CyberSecurity department (Dr Erik Tews)

Digital nature: Enhancing patient care and control

Delirium is the most common mental complication in critically ill patients, and is characterized by pain, stress, anxiety, and a disrupted sleep-wake cycle. It severely affects not only recovery time, but also leads to cognitive long-term impairment, posttraumatic stress disorders, and reduced quality of life. To prevent delirium, environmental design strategies can be effective. To this end, the Philips VitalMinds venture has developed a luminous ceiling called VitalSky that provides not only circadian-effective lighting to support the sleep-wake cycle of patients in the IC environment, but also allows for presentation of nature-based scenes facilitating patient recovery. The project aims are 1) acquiring fundamental knowledge on specific nature features and their effects on patient experience, 2) investigating how physiological patient data can be used to steer device functioning, and 3) developing the interaction protocols via which patients and other stakeholders in the IC context can communicate with device and contents. By contributing to patient health and wellbeing, our project stimulates quick recovery after treatment and a rapid return to normal daily activities.

Philips Research
Contact: Thomas van Rompay

The Augmented Welder

The Augmented Welder (TAW) is a project sponsored by EIT Digital in which an industrial training tool has been designed dedicated to welding companies or welding training centers. It combines virtual and augmented reality, advanced digital technologies with welding parameters acquisition and gesture capture to increase speed up training and practice improvement. The departments of Communication Science at the University of Twente have worked on the development of dashboards based on sensor data to provide insight into the training performance of the welders. Educators and instructors can use these insights for targeted intervention in the development of certain knowledge and skills. We are also involved in designing a data-driven accelerated adaptive learning module for skill acquiring in the welding domain. We use advanced deep-learning techniques to predict the optimal learning route for welding trainees.  

Sponsor: EIT Digital
Contact: Robert Muster and Sjoerd de Vries