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Augmented Technology Topic Of Recent Conference

April 5, 2010

The engineers and scientists behind innovations such as a robotic suit designed to add touch to online communication and visual combat data overlays met over the weekend during the first ever Augmented Human International Conference in Megeve, France.

One of the projects featured during the show, and highlighted in an April 5 article by Marlowe Hood of the AFP, was the wearable robotic suit designed to help people communicate emotionally while chatting online.

According to Hood’s report, the device was designed by a husband and wife team at universities in Japan and “aims to inject a little physicality into online chatter, boosting the emotional quotient of virtual exchanges between flesh-and-blood people.”

Dzmitry Tsetserukou, an assistant professor at the Toyohashi University of Technology and co-designer of the device, told Hood, “We are steeped in computer-mediated communication — SMS, e-mail, Twitter, Instant Messaging, 3-D virtual worlds — but many people don’t connect emotionally,” he said in an interview”¦ I am looking to create a deep immersive experience, not just a vibration in your shirt triggered by an SMS. Emotion is what gives communication life.”

The Augmented Human International Conference was held on April 2 and 3, and according to the event’s official website, the summit “focuses on scientific contributions towards augmenting humans capabilities through technology for increased well-being and enjoyable human experience.”

Among the topics discussed were the use of augmentation for games, sports, health, and tourism, as well as wearable computing devices, bionics and biomechanics, exoskeletons, and brain wave/computer interfaces. Furthermore, the safety, security, ethical, legal, and privacy aspects of the science were discussed during the landmark technological conference.

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