image transmission for social communications
Can we only socialise with people with whom we are in close daily
contact in the real, as opposed to virtual, world? How can technology be used to connect
such dynamic social networks? Is the telephone the right medium for informal communication
or are there other solutions that may be less intrusive and more appropriate? These
questions define the area for the MAYPOLE project.
Most existing communication devices used by the extended family are designed for things
such as sharing knowledge, making appointments and decision making. MAYPOLE chose to take
a different approach and to develop communication concepts based on informal interaction.
The project is developing concepts that facilitate social interactions like joking,
keeping in touch, and other forms of bonding that help to keep families healthy.
The wider availability of mobile wireless communications devices means that sending
digital images by these channels is a key area of research. This technology is expected to
have a major impact on the way social communication in a non-work-related environment
takes shape in the future. Thus two prototype portable terminals have been produced both
of which have been used in field trials with families participating in the project. A
prototype online World Wide Web version has also been developed.
The two prototype communications terminals and the online web system, capable of
managing and transmitting digital images, are on the MAYPOLE stand. Video presentations
showing user testing is also on display, along with the results of extensive user research
and expert opinion on the subject.