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Multimodal, mobile assistance in the working process

Fraunhofer FIT presents its current solutions in the area of nomadic assistance systems with multimodal interaction on the Mobile World Congress on the 11. - 14. February 2008 in Barcelona. Among other things FIT will exhibit a continuous mobile health solution and a hands-free assistance system for warehouse workers. Visit us at the booth of North Rhine-Westphalia in hall 7, G25.

In our business area Mobile Knowledge we develop systems and technologies for knowledge and information transfer in the users' normal work or leisure time settings. For industry, Fraunhofer FIT has developed nomadic systems that provide location-aware services and proactive assistance. Applications range from assistance in maintenance and warehouse jobs to mobile guides for tourists or visitors to fairs and museums. Furthermore Fraunhofer FIT offers usability proven mobile healthcare applications.

In this field, we present our mobile health monitoring system senSAVE that improves diagnostics and treatment of hypertension patients. The senSAVE system continuously monitors the patient's vital data wherever s/he may be. Miniature sensors, attached to the patient's body or garment, use a Body Area Network to transmit their data to a small processing and communicating device - the demonstrator uses a standard MDA-Pro available from T-Mobile. This device also acts as the user interface for the patient, providing information on the current physiological data.

"We specially focused on the user-oriented design, in particular the presentation of the medical data to the patient and his interaction with the system," comments Dr. Markus Eisenhauer, head of the business area Mobile Knowledge of the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Information Technology FIT.

That's also true for MICA, an application for a mid-size warehouse where unskilled workers get hands-free support while picking goods. The system enables these workers to work efficiently without extended training.

MICA provides unobtrusive assistance in situations where the warehouseman might need it. Crucial for such kind of help is not to interrupt the current task and to provide more than one alternative. Therefore modern tracking technologies (WLAN, UWB and RFID) are used to track the workers' moving and handling with goods.

Optimal, adaptive, multimodal support of workers in their jobs requires specialized system architecture. In MICA, novel system architecture has been developed with specialized layers for sensing, acting, modeling and dialogue management.

Alex Deeg | alfa
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