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Year: 2011-
Asaki Miura
Kenji Suzuki
- NPO (Smile Club)
- Private Company
(Tele- communication)
- Cybernics
- Augmented Human

Enhanced Rearch
A Wearable Device for Supporting Social Interaction based on the Relative Positions


Social interaction among children plays a significant role in their social development. Some children, however, find it difficult to initiate interaction and there are only few tools that can create opportunities for children to interact with others.
This study presents a small wireless device that can measure and visualize geometric relationships in a gymnasium or playground. The estimation of geometric relationships is proposed based on signal strength of wireless communication, bodily orientation and statistical geometric consistency. A light-emitting visualization method is used in real-time according to geometric relationships among devices. Several wearable interfaces were developed to facilitate communication and social interaction of children by using the developed wireless device. Several experiments were done with typically developing children and children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) to evaluate the proposed technology.

This study presents a novel work on a lightweight, wireless device called ER (Enhanced Reach), which not only observes and influence group dynamics, but also facilitates social interaction of children. It is developed as a social playware, which is designed to support and improve social interaction. In contrast to typical sports equipment and assistive tools, social playware aims to naturally generate interest or encourage approach towards the others.

Physical position relation, body postures, and actions are results of social behavior of people. Getting closer, separating, and facing each other can be seen at every scene in daily life. Functional aspects such as turning towards the partner or changing body posture to represents one’s interest are indicators of social relationship, and these are significantly related to cognition and emotions of people. If a particular playware could measure positions of each other as illustrated in Fig. 1, we consider that it is possible to encourage people to interact with them and eventually create opportunities to initiate social interaction by appropriately making visualizations based on those spacial positions.




JSTThis work is partly supported by JST PRESTO program.

This work is done in collaboration with a private company (tele-communication) and NPO (sports and exercise for children with special needs)

  • Miura, A., Jayatilake, D., and Suzuki, K., "Enhanced Reach: Assisting Social Interaction Based on Geometric Relationships," Persuasive 2013, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 7822, pp. 149-154, 2013.
  • Miura, A., Isezaki,T., and Suzuki, K., "Social Playware with an Enhanced Reach for Facilitating Group Interaction," Proc. of CHI '13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1155-1160, 2013.
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