New ITU lab examines the emotional aspects of technology
Technology has become such a substantial part of our lives that it affects our experience of ourselves and our surroundings. AIR Lab is a new interdisciplinary meeting place at ITU that takes the emotional aspects of technology seriously.
In ITU's new Affective Interactions & Relations (AIR) Lab, students and researchers will explore the emotional aspects of living with digital technologies and how the interaction with these technologies can change our relations to each other, ourselves and our environment.
At the launch of the lab on Friday, March 1, students and researchers displayed projects connecting technology and emotions, including a Virtual Reality solution for treating fear of flying and a thesis project on creating engaging nature experiences with interactive sound design.
VIDEO FROM THE LAUNCH OF AIR LAB:
According to Jonas Fritsch, Associate Professor in the Department of Digital Design and Head of AIR Lab, technology's entry into everyday life demands that we start examining how it affects our emotions.
"Technology has become such a big part of our lives that it changes the way we spend time together and the way we relate to ourselves and the world. So ensuring that the technology is usable and user-friendly is not enough. We need to look more deeply and examine what it means for our understanding of ourselves and our feelings,” he says.
AIR Lab will work with biometric and emotional tracking – using technology to measure emotions. According to Jonas Fritsch, this can be useful in the health sector, among other domains.
“We find it interesting to look at how affective data can be used in the course of a disease. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be distressing, but not much work is being done to collect the emotional dimensions of a diagnosing process. If we can take the emotional aspect seriously, we may also be able to give a better treatment,” he says.
In addition, students and researchers can embark on experiments with affective robots, Augmented Reality, Sonic Interaction Design (audio design) and interactive installations.
AIR Lab is also open to external partners who are interested in project collaborations with researchers and students.
Jonas Fritsch, Associate Professor, email email@example.com
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