Multisensory environments are spaces where tactile, visive, audible and olfactive stimuli combine to create immersive meaningfull engaging experiences. Such technologies can help children with NDD or other special education needs in learning through playing at their own pace with the mode they feel more comfortable. In particular, we developed the Magic Room, a room in which children can play, relax, and learn in an environment where lights, sounds, objects, images, smells contribute to create a unique experience.
Mixed, Virtual and Augmented Reality
I3Lab investigates how immersive technologies such as VR, AR, and MR can help people affected by Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD). In particular, we develop applications with a therapeutic aim, trying to improve their learning capabilities and their autonomy. Lately a particular attention has been given to Tangible Mixed Reality, in which AR applications interacts with tangible (smart) object, to further increase involvement and further extend the pervasiveness that this technology already has.
Conversational Agents are an artificial intelligence able to converse in natural language in a very simple way. I3lab researches Conversational Agents on 2 directions: Chatbot for Bioinformatics and Spoken Conversational Agents for people affected by NDD. In fact, we are trying to exploit the power of a natural language to abstract the complexity of programming languages, and consequently helping biologists with little/no computer science expertise in bioinformatic analysis. On the other hand, Emoty is a Spoken Conversational Agent whose greatest ability is to recognize the emotions of the interlocutor starting from the intonation of his voice and the content of the speechThese tools can be used by teachers, educators and therapists to support their regular activities. Users’ progress and improvements are automatically tracked by the system.
Smart Objects. Objects made interactive, designed and manufactured for people with disabilities. For example, soft toys with sensors that are activated when touched, sensors that perceive the movements of the puppet and sensors that recognize certain objects with which the soft toys are put into contact. These toys can be programmed to respond with different feedbacks (e.g., make happy sounds if the soft toy is caressed, and angry if it is pulled hard). The design idea is to have an instrument that vehicles physical contact and also supports proper education about the type and location of contact, using a facilitator element. (if you put your fingers in his eyes he gets angry etc.).