Help mark is used by people who have disabilities or illnesses but are not easily recognized from the outside. However, its popularity is not high due to problems such as “concern about the reaction of people around me when I use it” and “not being noticed even if I wear it”. In this study, we propose and implement a smartphone application to connect people who need support with people who are willing to support them in public transportation. We conducted an experiment to determine whether the proposed application was easy to use or not. The results showed that the size of the buttons was almost appropriate, the color scheme of the screen was fine, the button icons were easy to understand, and the free descriptions indicated that the system was easy to use. In addition, 10 out of 12 participants answered that they would like to use it on a real train. Among the problems found in the experiment, we fixed the problem of not knowing when the connection was established without notification. We also fixed the problem that the supporters had to keep looking at the screen while waiting for the connection.
A Japanese software keyboard for game consoles has a problem with the entry speed and widget size. In this article, we show JoyFlick that is a text entry method for an improved Japanese software keyboard. We evaluated the text entry speed and accuracy of JoyFlick. Also, we conducted an analysis of the user’s operations to study the tendency of the operations and verify the design of JoyFlick. The results showed the following tendencies: the user tends to tilt the stick to select the keys on the outer edge;the user tends to restore the stick to the neutral position between selections; the user tends to restore both sticks to the neutral position at the same time (M = 15.5 × 10−2s) at the entry of a character. Also, the results showed that the design of JoyFlick, which restricts the order of consonant and vowel selection prevents a part of mistaken entries. Moreover, we show the outlook of the application and the necessity of study in actual and several environments.
With the globalization of the field of activity, it is an ongoing challenge to improve the English language skills of engineers and researchers. In this study, we propose a method for estimating English language ability using self-organizing maps with the gaze and EEG while reading English. 26 participants with different TOEIC L&R Test scores were used as the samples, and the validity was tested with 8 new participants. The participants read English texts on a PC display for one minute and rested for one minute with the eyes closed, meanwhile their gaze and EEG were recorded. In terms of gaze information, we analyzed pauses, regressions, reading speed, pupil diameter, and blinks during English reading. For the EEG, we focused on the frequency bands classified as the α wave, analyzed them with the frequency spectrum area. The characteristics of each cluster on the self-organizing map were analyzed by focusing on the listening score and reading score of the TOEIC L&R Test as the major strengths and weaknesses in English language proficiency. It was concluded that it is possible to estimate the strengths and weaknesses from the clusters classified on the self-organizing map and to suggest learning methods to improve the scores.
We propose a plant-based ambient display called PlanT, which represents information by growing up themselves. Utilizing the difference in growth rate depending on the type of plant and how to grow, PlanT visualizes information with the property of gradually accumulating over time in the medium to long term span of several days to several years. In addition to visualizing information, growing itself can bring positive effects to people, which can be applicable to motivating people’s steady efforts towards a faraway goal. To demonstrate our concept, we implemented a proof-of-prototype of PlanT using radish sprouts and showed the degree of subjective growth can be determined by controlling growth stimuli such as water and light. We then conducted a user study to investigate how our system can motivate the user’s continuous task (for a week) compared with a baseline method using on-screen representation. Results show that our system provided higher subjective motivation to perform the task compared to the baseline.
The word ”Kemonomimi” refers to the dog or cat like ears of humanoid characters, or to the animal ears themselves. And it is said that the posture of the ears expresses emotion. This study focuses on the emotional expression ability of Kemonomimi, and aims to apply this ability to the emotional expression interface. The interface to be developed consists of two parts: an internal mechanic part and an external decorative part. The former is designed to reproduce various postures of the animal ears, and the latter is designed to reproduce the ear shapes of various animal species. Before developing the interface, we verified the ability of emotional expression by the posture of the animal ears. The results showed that it is highly possible to express surprise by tilting the ears backward and negative emotions by tilting the ears forward. It was also suggested that the parameters of pleasure and arousal in the PAD model of emotion could be controlled by postural changes in the left-right and the rotation direction of the animal ears.
In recent studies of a gaze tracking system using 3D model-based methods, the optical axis of the eye is estimated without user calibration. The remaining problem for achieving implicit user calibration is to estimate the difference between the optical axis and visual axis of the eye (angle kappa). In this paper, we propose an implicit user calibration method using saliency maps around the optical axis of the eye. We assume that the peak of the average of a sequence of saliency maps indicates the visual axis of the eye in the eye coordinate system. The angle kappa is estimated as the difference between the optical axis of the eye and the peak of the average of saliency maps. We developed a prototype system with two cameras and two IR-LEDs. The experimental result showed that an accuracy of 1.5 degrees was achieved using the deep learning-based saliency maps.
It is important for graphic designers to give the intended impression through graphic design. The purpose of this study is to examine appropriate parameters for basic of design education and graphic design beginners to express the intended impressions by referring to Wassily Kandinsky's concept of “dots/lines/surfaces”. First, the impression expression parameters were investigated and organized from several previous studies including Kandinsky. 12 figures corresponding to Russell's Circumplex Model were created using the parameters selected based on the investigation. And the degree of emotional transmission intended was evaluated by experiments, and the figures that needed improvement was modified. The result of the 2nd experiment has shown that emotional transmissions were correctly placed in the four quadrants of Russell's Circumplex Model. This study revealed that the intended emotions can be transmitted by effectively changing the parameters such as lightness and the compositions.
This paper describes a new visualization method that helps research participants of “The Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health: Malformation, Development and Allergy” (“The Hokkaido Study”) understand the relationship between environmental chemicals and children's health and development in a meaningful way. The Hokkaido Study has been investigating the relationship between chemicals and children’s health and development since 2001. Although many results have been obtained, it is difficult for the research participants to understand them using only a conventional visualization method because they are specialized. Therefore, this research developed a new visualization method that uses a support-vector machine and generates a new graph to help the research participants deeply and practically understand The Hokkaido Study’s outcomes by utilizing the traceable data of each participant. Moreover, an experiment was conducted with 17 participants of university students to clarify the usefulness of the proposed graph model. The results verified that the participants felt the proposed graph helped them understand graph information better than the conventional graph did.
Towards enabling game AIs to behave human-like especially in Othello, this paper searches exhaustively for the Humanization factors of Othello game AIs that can humanize them, by surveying various real games and video games of Othello in terms of Human Interface, while our previous paper discussed only two Humanization factors, thinking time (required for a thinking process) and the way of placing a game piece (called disk) on the board (as the result of the thinking process). In addition, this paper more deeply examines not only how (whether or not) several of the Humanization factors of Othello game AIs can humanize them, but also the relationships between “Human-likeness” and/or “Strength” of game AI(s) and “Entertainment” of a video game using the game AI(s) especially in Othello, by prototyping a video game of Othello using devised game AIs which are introduced the Humanization factors to and are configured variously and by conducting two kinds of user questionnaire investigations: 1) after viewing movies of a human vs. a human or a human vs. a game AI (virtually playing the prototype) and 2)after really playing the prototype.
This paper summarizes an association analysis of shop owners’ mental factors for introducing mobile payment systems. The association analysis was conducted for supporting promotion strategies on shop owners’ introduction of the systems by investigating the effect of feeling of worries about system reliability on their mental factors. First, data were collected by conducting a questionnaire survey for asking shop owners’ attitudes on mobile payment systems and the decision of introducing the systems. Second, an association analysis was conducted by using the data of all samples and those who have the worries about system reliability. Then, association rules were extracted and discussed. As a result, it is clarified that the worries have effects on shop owners’ mental factors for introducing the systems. The extracted rules indicate that the perceived high costs of introduction and operation are not decisive inhibitors for introducing the systems, even shop owners have the feeling of worries about the reliability of the systems. Meanwhile, some mental factors were found to be helpful for making effective promotion strategies: (1) local community’s positive attitudes towards introducing the systems, (2) active introduction of business competitor, (3) technical user-friendliness, and (4) service quality of providers of the systems.
When you are approached at a fund-raising event or tissue distribution, you may feel anxious, nervous, stressed, or otherwise emotionally burdened. In addition, there is the mental burden of worrying about the content of the speech of the person who calls out to them and the eyes of the people around them. This phenomenon is defined by the authors as the "physical social anxiety accumulation effect. " In this study, we propose a method to reduce the physical social anxiety accumulation effect of the person being approached by using an anthropomorphic agent of digital signage as the one who calls out to the person. In this paper, we report the results of subjective and objective analysis of the effects of watching a video of a human or anthropomorphic agent handing out tissues on the person being approached.
We are now faced with the wall of the diversity of values. We are often required to consider or respect the values of other people though, it is not easy to sense them since we tend to think within our scope of knowledge, experience, and imagination. We have worked on how to exchange values and achieve a synergetic effect among people. In this paper, we are presenting our prototype system, called AIR-VAS, aiming to support becoming aware of values in group discussion. AIR-VAS has been developed as the system which recognizes characteristic opinions of a group and shares them among all engaging groups on the discussion. The recognized and shared opinion is based on the values of the people of the group. Through the sharing of opinion, people can know the different viewpoints on the issue of the current discussion, so that AIR-VAS can provide stimulation to people for idea generation. We have developed AIR-VAS on the approach that visualizing statements, which are presented during a discussion, as the word co-occurrence network. We implemented opinion sharing as the process of the network re-construction including presented sub-network as an opinion of a certain group. According to the experimental usage of the developed system, we analyzed the relationship between discussion and visualized information, and discuss what information gives awareness.
Smartphones are beneficial in various situations, such as searching for information, taking photographs, listening to music, and socializing. However, various problems related to smartphone overuse have also emerged. This study proposes a system that encourages users not to overuse their smartphones without forcibly restraining their behavior with usage restrictions and warnings. The proposed system notifies the user through an anthropomorphic character installed in the user’s smartphone, which sends messages to discourage excessive use of the smartphone. To imbue the character with personality, messages which encourage moderate use of the smartphone are complemented with messages of sympathy for the situation, suggestions for other actions, reprimands for overuse, and utterances about the character itself. The system was experimentally evaluated on 25 college students. The results showed that message notification by an anthropomorphic character can improve users’ motivation to reduce their smartphone use.
We analyzed the effect of supplying scents to drivers with low arousal on their ability to avoid collisions and the changes in their biological signals. In this study, we conducted driving simulator experiments on ten male drivers per each condition and set three scent conditions: Alpha-Pinene supply, Limonene supply, and scent-free. In the experiments, we investigated driver behavior such as inter-vehicle distance, and physiological indicators such as EEG and PERCLOS. From the result of driving simulator experiments, we found that the fluctuation of inter-vehicle distance significantly reduced, and arousal level significantly improved by supplying Limonene that participants prefer. From the result of EEG, we clarified that the power spectrum in the HighBeta band significantly reduced by the supply of Limonene with high palatability than supplying Alpha-Pinene with low palatability. The study revealed that the supply of scents, especially high palatable scent, is effective in improving arousal level of driver and driving behavior and reducing stress.
This paper presents the scrapbook mobile app for families, resulting from a user-centered research through design project. This app is intended to be used by family members to embed a variety of content related to family events on its interface which combines features of a calendar and a photo album. The app takes as its premise the generative potential when parents and children plan, share, and recollect family events together. This paper also presents the design process of the app and proposes the main design concept of complementing family communication in a time-series relation among the past, current, and the future. Reflecting on the overall design process, we discuss the app and our design activities, particularly, in terms of the relevance of our concept, impacts on family communication, and the relation to other design examples. We suggest that this work has implications not only for the design of mobile apps such as that in this case study, but also for the design of all interventions aimed at supporting family communication.
In this study, temporary stimulus to restore the arousal level and performance of office workers was examined. From the results of the preliminary experiment, two kinds of airflow were selected. Then, an experiment was conducted to verify the effects of these airflows. The number of the participant was nine in the experiment. They conducted cognitive tasks in the experiment and the work efficiency of the participants was measured from the work results. The participants answered a questionnaire at the end of the task, and subjective assessment of airflow was examined. During the cognitive task, the physiological index was measured, and the airflow was exposed by detecting the decrease in the arousal level of participants. Based on the experiment, the measured results for the six participants were analyzed. Comparing between before and after exposing the airflow, the performance recovery effect due to the proposed airflows’ exposure would continue for 15 seconds. As a limitation of this study, the results were based on the experimental results of 6 participants. In the future, in order to further sustain the recovery effect by airflow, the proposed airflow stimulus will be improved. Then, it is conceivable to study an experimental design that exposes the airflow before the arousal level decreases. By improving the duration of recovery effect of airflow stimulation, the greater performance recovery effect will be expected.