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DEC
29

Farewell message from VERITAS co-ordinator

After four years of extensive and intensive research the VERITAS project terminates. The consortium designed innovative tools for product development in many industrial areas from construction to computer games. And we could prove that the implemented simulation and design experience methods are valuable and appropriate tools for designing better and more inclusive products. These are good achievements. There is, however, still a way to go to implement an inclusive design culture in European industry. Further projects and endeavours are needed to convince stakeholders and to implement the tools in industrial processes. We thank our newsletter readers and followers for their interest in VERITAS and for accompanying us on our steps towards a more accessible world.
Dr. Manfred Dangelmaier
VERITAS project coordinator
Head of Business Unit Engineering Systems
Fraunhofer IAO

FEB
20

3rd VERITAS Beneficiaries’ Forum

The 3rd VERITAS Beneficiaries’ Forum “Accessibility design at the service of age-friendly environments” will place on 16 May 2013 hosted at the HUSA President Park, in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting will target older people and people with disabilities, the beneficiaries of the VERITAS-designed tools and applications to discuss about the project approach to Design-for-All from the end-users’ perspectives. It will be hosted as a workshop within AGE Platform Europe’s General Assembly and annual Conference “Towards an age-friendly EU by 2020”, and will focus in particular on senior citizens, with AGE members ensuring the representation of older people in the meeting.

The event "Accessibility design at the service of age-friendly environments - The VERITAS approach to Design-for-all" will target users of accessible products and services as well as stakeholders involved in policy and practice related to ageing, disability and accessibility. This highly participative event will discuss the VERITAS paradigm as a concrete case study of how ICT technologies can contribute to design-for-all. Furthermore, by sharing the project outcomes and evaluating the usability and impact of the VERITAS technology, it will showcase how the VERITAS tools can levy obstacles to independent living of older people and people with disabilities and contribute age-friendly environments. Finally, discussions with participants will be held on exploitation plans and business opportunities, as well as necessary links with relevant EU policies and initiatives.

Nov
07

VUMS workshop at the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, organised on July 11-13, 2012 (Pre-Conference July 09-10, 2012) at the University of Linz, Altenbergerstraße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria

This workshop at ICCHP 2012, organised by four EU-funded projects VICON, VERITAS, GUIDE and MyUI building the VUMS cluster VUMS (Virtual User Modelling and Simulation Cluster), presents prototypes and discusses concepts of generic interoperable user models that describe the relevant characteristics of users, who will interact with products and user interfaces. These include physical cognitive, and sensory attributes, habits, preferences and accessibility capabilities. With such a model designers can define as many user interaction profiles as needed to address the whole range of requirements from a target population. It will also help designers and developers to maximize the level of accessibility of products and services by providing a comprehensive set of Human Factors design guidelines, which could be used in virtual spaces to visualize accessibility and usability issues.

All user models depend heavily on their specific use cases. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • A complete model of the user, meaning a model that includes facets according to the state of the art would be rather complex and inefficient in use for both simulation purposes and even more for implementation in a product’s user interface.
  • Existing devices might not be able to handle complicated user models.
  • Not all facets are needed for the specific use case. E.g. modelling some severe visual impairment is not relevant when designing a car.
  • Specific requirements might require modifications in existing user models.
  • Ways of measuring variables might differ among use cases.

New findings may result in changes and updates of models.

Workshop Chairs: Dr. Dimitris Tzovaras, Dr. Konstantinos Moustakas, CERTH/ITI
Background, Experiences:
Dr. Dimitrios Tzovaras is a Senior Researcher A’ (Full Professor) at CERTH/ITI. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Imperial College London. His research activity has led to the coauthoring of more than 250 papers in refereed journals and international conferences. He has been very active in the field of accessibility serving as the coordinator of the ACCESSIBLE project and the Technical Coordinator of VERITAS, while being also the Principal Investigator in AEGIS, OASIS, APSIS4ALL, ATIS4ALL, CLOUD4ALL.
Dr. Konstantinos Moustakas is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CERTH/ITI. During the latest years, he has been the (co)author of more than 75 papers in refereed journals, edited books, and international conferences, many of them in the field of accessibility. He has been also involved in ten research projects funded by the EC and the Greek secretariat of Research and Technology, among them VERITAS, AEGIS, OASIS.

Co-Chairs: Fraunhofer FIT: Manfred Dangelmaier, Matthias Peissner, Carlos Velasco; Pradipta Biswas

Participation: open

Duration: 3 hours

Time: to be announced

Room: to be announced

Link to ICCHP workshop page: http://www.icchp.org/node/348

Nov
07

VUMS STS at the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, organised on July 11-13, 2012 (Pre-Conference July 09-10, 2012) at the University of Linz, Altenbergerstraße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria.

This STS, organised by four EU-funded projects VICON, VERITAS, GUIDE and MyUI building the VUMS cluster VUMS (Virtual User Modelling and Simulation Cluster) , calls for papers and presentations of:

  • research and development work
  • prototypes and products
  • concepts and
  • evaluation of usability and applicability

of generic interoperable user models that describe the relevant characteristics of users, who will interact with products and user interfaces. These include physical cognitive, and sensory attributes, habits, preferences and accessibility capabilities.

With such a model designers can define as many user interaction profiles as needed to address the whole range of requirements from a target population. It will also help designers and developers to maximize the level of accessibility of products and services by providing a comprehensive set of Human Factors design guidelines, which could be used in virtual spaces to visualize accessibility and usability issues. All user models depend heavily on their specific use cases. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • A complete model of the user, meaning a model that includes facets according to the state of the art would be rather complex and inefficient in use for both simulation purposes and even more for implementation in a product’s user interface.
  • Existing devices might not be able to handle complicated user models.
  • Not all facets are needed for the specific use case. E.g. modelling some severe visual impairment is not relevant when designing a car.
  • Specific requirements might require modifications in existing user models.
  • Ways of measuring variables might differ among use cases.

New findings may result in changes and updates of models.

STS Chair: Fraunhofer FIT: Yehya Mohamad, Manfred Dangelmaier, Matthias Peissner, Carlos Velasco;
Pradipta Biswas

Submission: Contributions to a STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP. When submitting your contribution please make sure to select this STS under “STS/Session”.
Contributions to a STS are evaluated by the Programme Commitee of ICCHP and by the chair(s) of the STS.
Please get in contact with the STS chairs for discussing your involvement and pre-evaluation of your contribution.

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2012

Link to STS page: http://www.icchp.org/node/349

Jul
06

The next VERITAS User Forum entitled “Defining simulation task models for everyday solutions, designed for all”, takes place on Tuesday 20th September from 13h00 till 17h00, hosted at Crown Plaza in Nottingham.

This workshop is intended to attract:

  • End-users (people with disabilities, older people);
  • Designers from the automotive, home and working environment, ehealth, and infotainment area;
  • Representatives from end-user organizations;
  • Policy makers.

During this highly participative workshop you will be introduced to the VERITAS project, followed by a first demonstration of how accessible design can be simulated in the automotive, working and home environment. You will as such co-influence the project development and, through your input, expertise and feedback as users and designers of accessible solutions, ensure that the developed applications respond to real user needs

Main issues that will be addressed:

  • The VERITAS project at a glance
  • Outcomes of the 1st User Forum
  • Introducing to the VERITAS task models – Demonstration users/task models simulation environment.
  • Discussion in groups per application area on the task models
  • Presentations in plenary on outcome of group discussions

The full agenda can be downloaded here (accessible pdf).

You are kindly invited to take part in this event. While access is free, places are limited. We therefore kindly ask you to register, using the below form.

Registration is now closed.

Jul
04

VERITAS’ 2nd workshop “Accessibility Engineering with User Models, Simulation and VR” is organized in the context of the 2011 Joint Virtual Reality Conference on 20-21 September 2011, Nottingham UK.

The workshop chaired by Manfred Dangelmaier (Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart, Germany), and which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon 21 September 2011, will gather a wide array of experts and users in the area of Simulation and Virtual Reality, and showcase relevant projects and initiatives in the area of accessible design and simulation in the areas of automotive, home, working environment, infotainment and ehealth design.

Oct
22

Ve dnech 29.-30. listopadu se na Fakultě elektrotechnické Českého vysokého učení technického v Praze bude konat První celoevropský workshop a Uživatelské fórum projektu VERITAS.
Cílem projektu VERITAS je podpora vývoje uživatelsky přístupných produktů z různých aplikačních oblastí pomocí virtuálních modelů uživatelů a využití těchto modelů pro testování vyvíjených produktů pomocí simulací ve virtuálním prostředí. Za použití nástrojů vytvářených v projektu VERITAS bude možné odhalit v počátečních fázích vývoje různé překážky, které snižují přístupnost produktů pro různé skupiny uživatelů (zejména postižené a seniory), což dovoluje návrhářům vylepšit a upravit jejich původní návrh tak, aby žádné skupiny uživatelů nevylučoval. Konkrétní aplikační oblasti, na které se projekt zaměřuje, zahrnují automobilový průmysl, inteligentní domácnost, zdravotní péči a oblast elektronické zábavy. Projekt VERITAS je podporován ze 7. rámcového programu Evropské unie a sdružuje 34 univerzit, výzkumných institucí a firem z různých zemí Evropské unie.
Uživatelské fórum projektu má za cíl umožnit setkání vývojářů a návrhářů na straně jedné a budoucích uživatelů na straně druhé. Workshop poskytne podněty zejména vývojářům a výkonným pracovníkům ze zmíněných aplikačních oblastí. Obě události představí již vyvinuté modely virtuálních uživatelů a první funkční prototyp.
Program obou událostí je dostupný na webové stránce projektu VERITAS. Již nyní je možné se bezplatně zaregistrovat na níže uvedené adrese. Termín pro registraci je 22. listopad 2010.
Potenciální návrháři, výrobci a uživatelé aplikací VERITAS se také mohou připojit k online uživatelskému fóru, kde se mohou zúčastnit diskuse. V případě potřeby dalších informací nebo dotazů prosím kontaktujte: info@www.veritas-project.eu (komunikace v anglickém jazyce).
Stránka pro online registraci.

Oct
13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – October 13 20, 2010: VERITAS (Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS) announced today its first Pan-European VERITAS User Forum and Workshop which will take place on 29-30 November 2010. The events will be hosted at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic).
Ensuring that all products developed in the car, home, work, healthcare and entertainment industry are accessible and designed for all, lies at the core of the VERITAS project. Through the development of virtual user models that can be inserted in simulation environments, any design elements that cause barriers for the beneficiaries (people with disabilities and older people) can be detected at the very beginning, thus allowing the designers to improve their initial design and make it inclusive.
The User Forum aims to bring together on the one hand the developers and designers, and on the other hand the beneficiaries of the developed products and services. The Workshop aims to gain momentum among all affected stakeholders from the aforementioned industries, while offering equally a stage for all involved designers and beneficiaries to discuss their needs with the industry.
These events will also introduce already developed virtual user models, and demonstrate a first working prototype.
The agenda of the two events are available on the VERITAS website. Free registration is already possible using the online registration form. The deadline for registration is 22 November 2010.
Designers, developers and beneficiaries of the VERITAS applications are also welcome to join the project’s online User forum where they can engage in relevant discussions.
For further information or queries please contact info@www.veritas-project.eu.

Project number: 247765
Project acronym: VERITAS
Project full title: Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS
Starting date: 1 January 2010
Duration: 48 Months

VERITAS is an Integrated Project (IP) within the 7th Framework Programme, Theme FP7-ICT-2009.7.2, Accessible and Assistive ICT

www.www.veritas-project.eu
twitter.com/VeritasProj

You can also download the VERITAS press release – for immediate release (pdf file).

Mar
10

Fraunhofer leads an International Consortium Winning the Grant For Research and Development Project On Introducing Simulation-Based and Virtual Reality Testing to Support Accessible Product design and Development.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STUTTGART, GERMANY – March 10, 2010 – The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft announces that they are leading the VERITAS project (Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS). VERITAS is an integrated project under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission on accessible and assistive ICT. The €12M accessibility research and development effort brings together 32 European companies and organisations that collaborate on the VERITAS Project.

VERITAS logo
It aims to develop, validate and assess tools for built-in accessibility support at all stages of ICT and non-ICT product development, including specification, design, development and testing. Motivated by the clear lack of systematic accessibility assessment frameworks and the need to involve real disabled users, the goal of VERITAS is to introduce simulation-based and virtual reality testing, utilizing virtual users, at all stages of assistive technologies product design and development into the automotive, smart living spaces, buildings & construction, domotics), workplace, e-health and infotainment applications areas. VERITAS aims to ensure that future products and services are being systematically designed for all people including those with disabilities and functional limitations as well as older people. Furthermore, VERITAS plans to promote its results to the appropriate standards organisations for consideration and potential adoption and also to make them available through an open framework. More information can be found at: http://www.veritas-project.eu.

Participants in the VERITAS Project include:  Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Germany, Coordinator), Centre for Research & Technology Hellas / Informatics & Telematics Institute (Greece); Centre for Research & Technology Hellas / Hellenic Institute of Transport (Greece), FIMI s.r.l. (Italy), Instituto de Aplicaciones de las Tecnologías de la Información y de las Comunicaciones Avanzadas (Spain), Centro Ricerche Fiat Società Consortile per Azioni (Italy), Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), Continental Automotive France SAS (France), University of Newcastle (UK), Scuola Superiore Di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna (Italy), La Plateforme Europeenne Des Personnes Agees et Retraitees (Belgium), BYTE COMPUTER S.A. (Greece), RE:Lab (Italy), Università degli studi di Trento (Italy), Virtual Reality & Multi Media Park S.p.A. (Italy), Marie Curie Association (Bulgaria), Ceske Vysoke Uceni Technicke v Praze (Czech Republic), Universität Basel (Switzerland), Indesit Company S.p.A (Italy), DOMOLOGIC Home Automation GmbH (Germany), LMS International NV (Belgium), ATOS Origin Sociedad Anónima Española (Spain), Asociación de Investigación de la Industria de juguete, conexas y afines (Spain), Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (Italy), Smartex s.r.l. (Italy), Human Solutions GmbH (Germany), Bauunion 1905 GmbH (Germany), Hypertech S.A. (Greece), I+ srl (Italy), University of Salzburg (Austria), Brunel University (UK), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid / Life Supporting Technologies (Spain), Universität Stuttgart (Germany).

The VERITAS project is supported by a distinguished scientific advisory board comprised of worldwide leaders in the field of design and accessibility.

“Accessibility should be deeply embedded from the very beginning, that is, in the design concept of products” says Dr. Dimitris Tzovaras, VERITAS Technical Coordinator and Research Director at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas. “The VERITAS project aims to establish this new paradigm for design at all stages of assistive technologies product design and development into the automotive, smart living spaces, (buildings & construction, domotics), workplace, e-health and infotainment applications areas.”

“Designing accessible products means a better design for all of us. In particular disabled people and the aging part of our society will benefit from our innovations in the engineering process” says Dr. Manfred Dangelmaier, the co-ordinator of VERITAS and director of the Business Area Engineering Systems at Fraunhofer IAO. “Using VERITAS results will enable designers and engineers to make most products better usable for everybody.”

The VERITAS Project will involve research and prototypes that address a broad range of impairments related to vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive resources, as well as the needs of older people (independent and dependent).

Project number: 247765
Project acronym: VERITAS
Project full title: Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS
Starting date: 1 January 2010
Duration: 48 Months

VERITAS is an Integrated Project (IP) within the 7th Framework Programme, Theme FP7-ICT-2009.7.2, Accessible and Assistive ICT

www.www.veritas-project.eu
twitter.com/VeritasProj

You can also download the VERITAS press release – for immediate release (pdf file).