In this paper, presence display systems utilizing human body information that promoted by the authors are described as followings; (1) a stereoscopic display using dynamic optical correction, (2) a body-image display using an illusion.
It is sometimes stressful for human beings to live in Today's society. There are more demand to be relaxed and feel safe, comfortable by use of some devices and equipments, currently controlled by electronics and even by robot technologies in near future possibly. The new role of "Robot Technology" in the 21st century, is to develop the robots in new category, supporting people directly. The concept of a bio-feedback system by use of "Snoezelen (Feel good and enjoy relaxed, mild time in the comfortable space)" devices and robots, is derived from the market analysis in the working group of Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, to make business plan, and several contacts to potential users and related officers of cooperating municipalities/institutes in a few countries. The basic system of robot and "Snoezelen" devices, main functions of robots as Interface for users, an example of business style with related possibility of business expansion, the method to measure a stress level of users (Off-line measurement as preliminary study), a preliminary measurement result, are described. The further step of this bio-feedback system, to measure more vital data of users by specific sensors and integrate with robots and Snoezelen devices - stimulating tool, is also mentioned. This study is a united research of multiple group, consist of Architecture Engineering, Robot Engineering, and Medicine, supported by ASMeW (Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care, Waseda University) and and has possibilities to explore the new combined area of Human Environment Control, Medicine and Robotics.
According to the database of MEDLINE, the number of published English paper on biofeedback decreased during 1980's and 1990's, but it has been increasing since 2000. To validate the effectiveness of biofeedback treatment, it is important to show evidence of biofeedback treatment on medical conditions explicitly from the perspectives of evidence-based medicine. For example, recent technical improvements in blood pressure monitoring and data processing make biofeedback more reliable and comfortable to apply for the treatment of hypertension. Thus a meta-analysis was conducted to examine treatment effects of biofeedback on lowering blood pressure of essential hypertension in the present study. A total of 22 randomized controlled studies with 905 essential hypertensive patients were selected for review. When biofeedback intervention was compared with sham or non-specific behavioral control intervention, the net reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 3.9 [95% confident interval, -0.3 to 8.2] and 3.5 [-0.1, 7.0] mmHg, respectively. Compared with clinical visits or self-monitoring of blood pressure (non-intervention control), the degrees of reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly greater in the biofeedback intervention by 7.3 [2.6, 12.0] and 5.8 [2.9, 8.6] mmHg, respectively. When biofeedback intervention types were classified into the simple biofeedback group and relaxation-assisted biofeedback group, only the relaxation-assisted biofeedback group showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, compared with sham or non-specific behavioral control trials (P<0.05). The results suggested that biofeedback was superior to sham or non-specific behavioral intervention when combined with other relaxation therapies in essential hypertension, whereas biofeedback alone was more effective in reducing blood pressure than no intervention control. At the present stage, it is still inconclusive that biofeedback itself has anti-hypertensive effect beyond the placebo effect or "remembered wellness". Future studies are needed to clarify the specific psychological and physiological mechanisms of biofeedback treatment.
Clinical application of biofeedback can be attained within the framework based on biopsychosocial model. Basic research of biofeedback has been studied in the controlled conditions. These studies are conducted by the scientific method based on biomedical model. However, health and illness are influenced by psychosocial factors. In reality, all therapy, whether conventional or alternative, is holistic in the sense that whole person always responds. Biofeedback as behavioral medicine is a multimodal approach in which the treatment protocol is tailored to the individual needs of patient, self-responsibility is encouraged, and a successful outcome depends on the patient's use of self-regulation skills and strategies. In recent years, biofeedback was categorized one of the mind-body therapies as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Historically, it was difficult to accept biofeedback as conventional medicine. However, biofeedback as CAM will be accepted for a different domain into the community of conventional medicine. In Japan, we don't have any educational system and adequate biofeedback instrument for clinical psychophysiology. It is important how the new medical system which can use biofeedback effectively can be proposed and put into practice.
Recently, Japanese teachers have been aware of the need for education on stress management and have developed classroom programs for children. Although biofeedback-assisted relaxation has the great advantage of providing a real-time quantitative measure of performance in comparison with other relaxation techniques, few studies have examined biofeedback-based stress management in an educational setting in Japan. Therefore, this article discusses strategies for bringing biofeedback into the classroom, and focuses on teaching breathing relaxation to children, using respiratory biofeedback. According to a task force of the Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research, the following are needed to realize biofeedback-based stress management in a school setting: (1) the development of educational biofeedback equipment that children can handle easily, (2) the development of teaching programs for children using biofeedback, (3) workshops on biofeedback methods for teachers, and (4) collaborative studies with a school on the educational use of biofeedback.