Skip to content


Archive for February, 2010

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and its key copyright committee is currently considering a draft treaty that would create an enabling environment to address exceptions and limitations to international copyright law. See more at
WIPO also organised a workshop from February 2 to 5, 2010, to promote awareness about accessibility for people with disabilities and to encourage webmasters within the United Nations system and other organizations to implement principles of accessibility in their daily work. The WIPO launched in 2008 the visually impaired persons (VIP) initiative to explore ways to facilitate and enhance access to literary, artistic and scientific works for the VIP community. WIPO member states have acknowledged the special needs of the blind, visually impaired and other print-disabled persons. The Organization’s key copyright committee, the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), is currently considering a draft treaty that would create an enabling legal environment to address exceptions and limitations to international copyright law.

The IADIS Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction (IHCI) 2010 conference will take place in Freiburg, Germany, on 28–30 July 2010. It is part of the IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2010) which takes place in Freiburg on 26–31 July 2010. The event aims to address the main issues of concern within Interface Culture and Design with a particular emphasis on the affective aspects of design, development and implementation of interfaces and the generational implications for design of human and technology interaction. This conference aims to explore and discuss innovative studies of technology and its application in interfaces and welcomes research in progress, case studies, practical demonstrations and workshops in addition to the traditional submission categories.
The conference will comprise of invited talks and oral presentations. Topics related to Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction are of interest. These include, but are not limited to the following areas:
– Affective User-centred analysis, design and evaluation
– The value of Affective Interfaces/ Systems/Application/ Interaction
– Generational differences and technology design
– Measurement of success of emotional technology/interfaces
– Supporting user populations from difference generations
– Supporting user populations with Physical Disabilities
– Supporting user populations with Intellectual Disabilities
– Creativity Support Systems
– Emotional Design issues/methods/experiences for novel interfaces including tangible, mixed reality interfaces and multi-modal interfaces
– Emotional Design issues/methods/experiences for mobile and ubiquitous computing
– Usability
– User studies and fieldwork
– Methodological implications of emotional user studies.
– Participatory design and cooperative design techniques
– Ethical issues in emotional design
– HCI education and design education
– Eliciting User Requirements

Important Dates:
– Submission Deadline: 19 February 2010
– Notification to Authors: 19 March 2010
– Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration: Until 12 April 2010
– Late Registration: After 12 April 2010

More information on the website:

As appeared on PlatformOnline:

After taking in some sessions on technologies designed to improve health and education, we took a moment to speak David Brown, professor of interactive systems for social inclusion at NTU, and Penny Standen, professor of health, psychology and learning disabilities at the University of Nottingham, about their research into ‘serious games’.

What’s the difference between serious games and commercial games?

David Brown: Commercial games can be serious games, but it just means that, unlike commercial games with an entertainment purpose, serious games usually have some kind of learning or rehabilitation focus rather than purely entertainment.

At today’s conference, you presented several games designed to rehabilitate people with disabilities and health problems. Can you describe how one of those games would be used?

DB: One of the games that we develop is a 3D introduction to work. [It] uses the [Source] engine that’s used to produce [Half-Life 2]. Except we produce a new level of the game – it is modded. And instead of running around killing everybody, we strip all the weapons out, and we just use the characters the environments, the settings, the buildings, to simulate what it might be like for a person with a disability on their first day. Because they might have more extreme fear or trepidation about their first day. And there might be some really particular information about what a person with a disability must know on their first day – we use the game, and that engine, to simulate their first day at work.

Why did you decide to pursue this research?

DB: Really it was about 20 years ago. I started working with Penny [Standen] and the Sheppard school 20 years ago, because people with a learning disability don’t particularly work [well] with abstract ways of learning, such as learning English to describe something or mathematics. They work very well with being shown or interacting with three dimensional, interactive environments – where you can learn by doing, learn experientially rather than learning something like English then reading a book about it, because it is an abstract [way] to learn about a real world system. So, we simulate the real world system.
Penny Standen: You can also do it over and over again. You can practice things as many times as you like without really getting your teachers fed up. And it’s a safe environment in which to practice in.

The possibility to repeat tasks is a key advantage for serious games, then…

DB: Yeah. [Users] can interact, they can get consistent feedback. It is your interaction at drives the learning process, so you’re fully engaged in the system. We started with the development of virtual environments way back in the day. But what we find more recently is, we can do the same kind of simulations, but the games’ engines give us all of the environments and the characters already developed up to a really high [level] of fidelity. That’s what our young gamers have come to expect. So, if we were developing those characters ourselves we [would] have to invest huge amounts of time and energy to produce that kind of level of system. Whereas, games’ engines do half that work for us. We just then have to embed the narrative in there, rather than developing the environment and characters as well.

What sort of limitations are there for serious games?

DB: The limitations would be whether we’ve actually embedded the learning objectives in them. Sometimes with serious games, we put lots of learning objectives in and that detracts from the game playing element. But with pure games, there isn’t the learning embedded in it either. It’s about finding that middle ground between the two, so you’re maximising the engagement from a computer game, but also getting the advantages of having learning objectives. That’s a really fine line to balance between. Sometimes you achieve it and sometimes you don’t.

Where do think your research will take you in the future?

DB: Well, there are lots of things we want to do, like a lot of the stuff we’ve been showing tonight, such as stroke rehabilitation. What I want it to be now. We’ve had lots of ideas for the last 20 years, but, perhaps over the last five or six years, we’ve been proving that serious games and virtual environments do have a real clinical effect – as Penny’s proved – on people’s choice reaction time or their independent decision making or in some of the other studies on memory. So, these games and environments do have a real educational or clinical effect and we need to go on proving that. Once we [establish] that, they’ll be embedded into real educational and rehabilitation [institutions].
PS: [Building] something that’s more acceptable to a wide range of age groups as well. I think people have been saying that some of the [users] are too old and they may not want to do it. But I think they’ve got to be acceptable to everybody, so that people use them as a natural form of learning or treatment.

To find out more about serious games research in Nottingham see

Although music has been transcribed into Braille for nearly two centuries, it has been difficult for blind musicians to access scores because of national differences, lack of good teachers, and the intrinsic limitations of the format. A new European system promises to make music for the blind far more accessible and useful.
It’s estimated that less than 15 percent of printed music has ever been transcribed into Braille, and much of that is only locally available. The Contrapunctus project used digital technology to create an enriched and standardised digital format to make it easier to transcribe music into Braille and make musical scores for the blind universally available and more useful.
Blind and visually impaired musicians worldwide can download enriched, multimedia scores from a growing digital library, study them with greatly enhanced flexibility, and add new scores to the library as well. It’s a revolution.
Source: ICT Results e-bulletin

ÆGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) is organising a satellite event in the context of ETAPS 2010 (European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software ‐March 20‐28, 2010, Paphos, Cyprus). The satellite event FOSS‐AMA (Free and Open Source Software for Accessible Mainstream Applications) will take place on 27‐28 March 2010 and is inspired by the FP7 ÆGIS IP initiative (http://www.aegis‐
FOSS‐AMA will aim to bring together recent achievements and renowned experts from the Open Source Community and Accessibility. 3rd generation access techniques and their potential for more accessible mainstream ICT for end‐users and relevant toolkits for developers will be explored. Interactive demos will embellish the presentations sessions.
The event is spread over 2 days, will be chaired by Karel Van Isacker (Marie Curie Association) and will have the outline as presented in this pdf.
Registration details will be available from 25 January 2010 on via