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New advances in ICT research for autonomy and social inclusion
04 October 2010
Barcelona Digital Centre Tecnològic
BDigital, a Spanish research centre specialized in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), presented in the “ICT 2010-Digitally Driven” event in Brussels the R&D project BrainAble, whose objective is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, implementing an ICT-based human computer interface, composed of BNCI sensors combined with affective computing and virtual environments. This project is aligned with the key objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe and with the major themes of the ICT 2010, like Future Internet, Smart Systems and Digital Society (ICT for better ageing and health). BDigital is leading the project and coordinates a consortium with prestigious partners like the Technische Universitaet Graz (Austria), AbilityNet (UK) or the Institute Guttmann – Neurorehabilitation Hospital (Spain).
The combination of Brain-Computer Interface sensors with affective computing and virtual environments will dramatically improve the quality of life of disabled, by overcoming the two shortcomings they suffer – exclusion from home and social activities. It represents two innovative and capital purposes to overcome barriers as a result of disability: first, the management of accessible networks of devices which will improve dramatically the quality of life of disabled within their home; and second, access to computer-based social networks for social inclusion.
BrainAble will provide tools that will allow people to control inner and outer environments, like a Smart Home that could be managed through the interface. Furthermore, the system will be complemented by an intelligent Virtual Reality-based user interface with avatars and scenarios that will help disabled people interact with avatars, communicate online and offline with other people, play games and get trained in new functionalities and tasks.
BrainAble will deliver a commercial product which combines a set of technologies, providing attractive assets for the biomedical and assistive equipment market, as well as the Smart Home market.