Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research to make GPS technology more accessible for older people

01.08.2007
A Social Sciences research project at Swansea University will investigate how older people use unfamiliar space.

The £300,000 project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will study groups of older people, who will be guided as pedestrians, passengers or drivers through an unfamiliar town projected in the University’s state-of-the-art Virtual Reality CAVE facility.

Researchers will then discuss the subjects’ responses to what they have experienced, and will ascertain their impressions of the town. One of the key factors to be explored is what prompts, signs and signals the subjects rely on to find their way about the unfamiliar environment.

The subjects will be asked to repeat the exercise in real life, in the same town used for the virtual reality experiment, and the responses will be measured again.

It is hoped that findings from the research will enable refinements to be made to current Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies, making navigational aids more accessible and user-friendly to older people.

And the research should also lead to the development of a toolkit for spatial planners, aiding the design of towns and cities with the needs of older people in mind.

The project is led by Professor Judith Phillips, Professor of Gerontology and Social Work and Head of the University’s School of Human Sciences.

Professor Phillips also directs the new Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ageing, and is co-director of the Older People and Ageing Research and Development Network (OPAN Cymru), which aims to enhance the quality of research into gerontology and strengthen collaboration between researchers, policy-makers and service providers.

Dr Phillips said: “In many respects, Wales already leads the rest of the world in its adoption of policies and strategies to improve the well-being of older people. Wales was the first country in Europe to have a national Strategy for Older People, not to mention a Commissioner for Older People.

“Wales has an ageing population and, whilst ageing is undoubtedly an immensely positive experience, it does raise issues surrounding how we care for older people, particularly those who are dependent, and it of course has an impact on the economy. We also live in a society that isn’t particularly tolerant of ageing or older people.

“Clearly there is much more research to be done to understand how we can improve on this position. I am confident that this new ESRC-funded project will make a real difference to our understanding of how older people familiarise themselves in unfamiliar towns and cities, which in turn should lead to measurable enhancements to existing technologies and spatial planning strategies.”

The project encompasses a range of partners from the Welsh Assembly Government, local authorities, the voluntary and commercial sectors, including Castleoak, Age Concern, the University of the Third Age, and the 50+ Network.

The Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ageing has established links with Canada, Sweden, Australia and Germany. The international reputation of Swansea’s research in this field was strengthened earlier this month, with Professor Phillips, Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby and Andrew Dunning giving presentations at the Sixth European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, held in St Petersburg, Russia.

Professor Phillips was also recently elected Secretary of the Association’s European Region, with responsibility for its Social Science and Behavioural section.

For further information about the School of Human Sciences at Swansea University visit http://www.swansea.ac.uk/human_sciences/.

Bethan Evans | alfa
Further information:
http://www.swansea.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>