In the NWO programme Data-driven research on Sports & Healthy Living three proposals have been granted. Consortia from Dutch and Brazilian researchers will collaborate in the field of sports and healthy living.

One of the subsidized projects is ‘Playful Data-driven Active Urban Living’ (PAUL). In this project the Digital Life Centre collaborates with University of Amsterdam, University of Utrecht and Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP).

In this proposal the applicants want to understand in more detail how physical activity of city dwellers can be increased by using personalized app technology. What type of app works, is highly individual and this means that the right type of app may depend on the person’s  current physical activity level, health, personality and residential context. How to make the optimal match between app and user is unclear.

The applicants aim to gain insight into the effectiveness of elements within an exercise app (motivational feedback, goal setting, individualized messages, gaming elements) for making people more physically active, and how the effectiveness depends on characteristics of the individual and the urban setting.  The sensors on the mobile phone, together with sensors (beacons) in public spaces, combined with sociodemographic and land use information will generate a massive amount of data.

The implementation of the app in São Paulo and Amsterdam will provide the applicants with (big) data on use of functionalities, physical activity, motivation etc. allowing them to investigate in detail the effects of personalized technology on lifestyle in different geographical and cultural contexts.


The Ubicomp conference, held this year in Seattle, USA, presents research in the field of ubiquitous (pervasive) computing; ICT that has penetrated into all aspects of our daily lives, smart environments, sensors, activity recognition, data analysis, interaction techniques, design and communication and privacy. This year the conference was combined with the ISWC, the International Symposium on Wearable Computing so there was a lot of mobile and smart fashion.

Saskia Robben and Ahmed Nait Aicha gave a presentation on their research in the workshop ‘Smart Health Systems’ and prof. Ben Kröse gave a plenary lecture at the beginning of the workshop.

If you want to see future developments in computer science, design, interaction and smart wearables; look at the program (and publications) on the website.

Dutch newsradio BNR interviews students working on an interactive wall for elderly with dementia

Laurean Serne is interviewed by BNR Newsradio

A group of students who, during the minor ‘healthcare technology’, developed an ‘interactive wall’ for elderly with dementia has started a bachelors project where they set up their own company. Because there was so much demand for the interactive wall, particularly from nursing homes, the students investigate whether they can start a successful business with this product. Today BNR news radio was visiting the HvA to interview the students. More information about the company: The interview will be broadcast on BNR eye openers.

Later this week the wall will be shipped to nursing home Naarderheem where it will be tested. Then the wall will be used as a Golden Demo for national ICT program COMMIT/.

Kick off Care 4 Balance project

Monday March 11 we met for the kick-off of the Care 4 Balance project. In this AAL project, coordinated by iMinds Belgium we cooperate within a European consortium on a system that supports informal carers to give assistance to elderly, and to cooperate with formal carers in this. We will design an innovative and reciprocal service design based on dashboard systems representing the status & context of the actors involved.

kick-off Care 4 Balance at HvA in Amsterdam
kick-off Care 4 Balance at HvA in Amsterdam

Kick-off project ‘Balance-IT’

March 16. 2012, we had the kick-off meeting of the ‘Balance-IT’ project in which we work on intelligent camera surveillance systems for care applications, in particular fall detection, fall prevention and wandering detection. We collaborate with 10 SME’s in the field of computer vision and care technology.

Closing conference ‘Zorgen voor Morgen’

Saskia Robben interviewing Ton, one of the inhabitants of the sensor homes

In the project ‘Zorgen voor morgen‘ (Taking care of tomorrow), ICT innovations in caregiving are studied. The Hogeschool and University of Amsterdam studied activity monitoring of elderly using sensor networks. We mounted simple sensors in 6 assisted living apartments in Naarderheem. The activities of the inhabitants are automatically recognized with a Hidden Markov model. We compare the performance of the system with the ADL scores of a professional occupational therapist.We presented the system at the closing conference of the project.

Marije Kanis explaining the methodology for the co-creation.

In the project we also carried out user studies to investigate the needs and requirements by the end users; both inhabitants and caregivers. A novel methodology was developed by Marije Kanis in the form of a tangible maquette of the elderly home, equipped with sensors. Using this maquette the (future) users of the system could express their ideas about what sort of activities were relevant to be measured, and which persons (caregivers, family, ..) were allowed to see the information.