Empowerment Informatics

THU September 8, 2016 - MON September 12, 2016, 10 AM - 7:30 PM
First Floor/Gallery
Campus ExhibitionCredit: Credit: Alberto Boem

PhD Program in Empowerment Informatics, University of Tsukuba

Future societies are expected to demand engineering systems capable of improving quality of life in terms of safety, convenience, a sense of fulfillment, etc. To this end, this program establishes “Empowerment Informatics” as a new branch of informatics that supplements and extends human functions and enables technology to work in harmony with people.


Alberto Boem (IT), Shori Kano (JP), Kai Sasaki (JP)

Vital+Morph is a prototype of an organic interface that proposes an unusual viewpoint of the relations between bodies, clinical data and future computational materials. Vital+Morph is intended to be used as a medium for remote physical connection and emotional awareness between people hospitalized in an intensive care unit and their relatives. How to physically engage with clinical data? How can we make them alive again?

Signals coming from a vita—signs monitoring station are physicalized into a series reactive tangible objects. Through them a person can feel the internal state of a hospitalized patient, as a new form of co-monitoring. These elements are surrounded by a moldable interface that helps remote persons to share their physical presence. By using today’s available technologies we wanted to create a perceptual equivalent of novel computational materials and explore their social impact in complex contexts such as healthcare.

Pitter Pata Pata

John Brumley (US), Joana Lobo (PT), Rintaro Takashima (JP)


Pitter Pata Pata is a system that synthesizes external physical activity and internal biosignals into localized haptics and kinetic wearables. As our contemporary bodies become increasingly hybridized, with mobile, wearable and implanted technologies playing major roles in how we identify ourselves, existing methods and tools for biological awareness must expand to include device awareness. Likewise, personal devices need to better integrate with our own somatosensory feedback loops. Pitter Pata Pata seeks to create a tighter coupling between the biological and mechanical systems of blood flow

(pitter patter) and air-powered haptic/kinetic exercise apparel (pa-ta pa-ta) by increasing the wearer’s agency in how the device provides haptic and visual feedback.