Becoming a parent is an exciting time, but it also brings many challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. BU’s PATH project team has produced a comic book to point pregnant women and their families to a collection of trusted online resources. The interactive version of the book is here
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This is a worrying time, and not how pregnant women and families had planned to start their parenting journey. Women and families may have concerns about their pregnancy and their children. They may be wanting to access helpful parenting information. The PATH project consortium has been carefully putting together links and resources from trusted organisations and websites to support them over the coming months, during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond. These links and resources are reviewed by iHV, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and in discussion with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
PATH is an EU Interreg 2Seas funded project led by the Europe Health Centre aiming to enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and successfully manage mild and moderate perinatal mental health issues. The project runs from February 2019 to September 2022. The PATH project supports the emotional and mental health of expectant and new parents. It receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund, has a budget of over £7.3 million and involves partners from the four partner countries.
The PATH team at BU, Dr Ricardo Colasanti, Dr Zequn Li, Mr Nicholas Lindfield, Mr Karsten Pedersen and Professor Wen Tang are based in the Department of Creative Technology in FST. The Team is focusing on technological innovations to support both online and offline healthcare and social care innovations through creative digital technology (VR, digital games and interactive digital learning).
Paper titled ” Context-aware Mixed Reality: A Learning-based Framework for Semantic-level Interaction” has been accepted for publication in the leading journal Computer Graphics Forum.
Dr Long Chen, the first author, was a matched-funded PhD student graduated in April 2019. He was under the supervision of Professor Wen Tang, Professor Jian Jun Zhang at BU, Dr Tao Ruan Wan at the University of Bradford and Professor Nigel John at the University of Chester as the matched-funder.
Mixed Reality is a powerful interactive technology for new types of user experience. This paper presents a semantic-based interactive
MR framework that is beyond the current geometry-based approaches, offering a step-change in generating high-level
context-aware interactions. The key insight described in this paper is that semantic understanding in Mixed Reality not only greatly enhances user experience through context-aware object behaviours, but also paves the way for solving complex interaction design challenges. The proposed computational framework generates semantic properties of the real-world environment for Mixed Reality, through a dense 3D scene reconstruction and deep image understanding scheme. A simple MR game has been developed to evaluate the proposed concept and the efficacy of the framework.
The team is invited to give an oral presentation at the premier conference Eurographics or Pacific Graphics, depending on presentation slot arrangement.
The EU has countersigned the grant agreement for a BU led H2020-MSCA-RISE-2008 project on the development of a gamification toolkit for eHealth and mHealth product. The project consortium comprises six partners, including BU, the University of Malaga, a large hospital network in Spain, and three leading SMEs in the EU specialising in IoT, data science and mobile apps. The project team will investigate evidence-based gamification techniques to enhance the efficacy of eHealth and mHealth products, lower the cost of the innovation process and reduce the risk to people from adverse consequences.
Professor Wen Tang, Director of Centre for Games and Music Technologies based in the department of Creative Technology Faculty of Science and Technology, will lead the consortium and her team at BU with a total of 837,2000 euros grant support from EU, of which 197,800 euros to BU.
The Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) and the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research (CGMTR) have been successful in their second H2020 ERASMUS PLUS funding application.
The project, led by Dr Ben Hicks from Psychology and supported by Professors Wen Tang (CGMTR) and Jan Wiener (Psychology), aims to work in collaboration with European partners to develop an online training toolkit that promotes the use of Assistive Technology for people with dementia and their care partners. In addition to this, it will also explore the use of VR technology as a tool for educating the public on dementia awareness. The project will begin in September 2017 and run for two years. This work follows closely on from their first ERASMUS project (awarded in September 2016 and on-going until August 2018), which sought to develop an e-training package for the use of Serious Games amongst people with dementia and their care partners.
The quick-fire successes for the project team demonstrates the growing interest across Europe in the use of technology as a means to enhance Quality of Life and well-being in people with dementia. As technology evolves, and awareness increases amongst researchers and practitioners of the benefits it can have for this population, it is likely that this field will expand at a rapid rate. Hopefully the ADRC and the CGMTR, with their growing expertise in this area, will be well positioned to take full advantage of this in the future!
For further details of the projects please contact Ben Hicks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedagogy and the way children learn are changing rapidly with the introduction of widely accessible computer technologies, from mobile apps to interactive educational games. Digital games have the direct impact on how children learn. By embedding learning supports through the widely accredited visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic (VARK) model, digital games can offer a flexible learning environment for large-scale education that is beyond classrooms.
Professor Wen Tang and her team at the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research have developed three fun maths games to test your maths skills in the magic game land.
Come join our math game competitions with other families and children of similar age on Saturday 8th July, 11am-4pm to indulge your gaming skills.
1 MathRun is an infinite runner game to challenge your skills in dodging pumpkins, navigating rivers, collecting treasures and earning virtual currency. With the ‘money’ in hand, you can dress up your character and make her your favorite avatar. 2 Magic Land is a farming game that gives you chances to sell your magic potions brewed from your own fruits and vegetables to the wizard of oz. You must be clever, resourceful, and most of all BE PATIENT.
3 Game number three is our mystery game to keep you in suspense.
All images are creations of the Centre for Games and Music Technology & copyright to BU.
The BU Game Analytics Platform (BUAP) is now made available for researchers and developers, teams or companies to use (https://bu-games.bmth.ac.uk/home).
BUAP is an analytics platform for digital games, gamification, virtual reality (VR) and augmented applications (AR) or indeed any interactive multi-modal applications . It is the first platform specifically designed to address the need of inter-disciplinary projects, which gives researchers and developers an easy access to powerful analytics tools without the learning curve. BUAP has been evolved from the beginning as a research project into a fully-fledged research led service product.
BUAP offers researchers and developers an intuitive, flexible and powerful framework to evaluate various design and research aspects of their projects using a data-driven approach. BUAP is applicable to a wider range of application:
- Using BUAP in games and gamification apps to track users usage and engagement, effectiveness of the game structure and game mechanics
- Using BUAP in VR and AR applications to assess Human Computer Interaction (HCI) design and evaluate the human aspect of HCI
- AR developers can use BUAP to collect physical geolocation data
- Research teams can use BUAP for user studies and evaluations to collect, analytics and generate comprehensive report.
BUAP has been developed by Professor Wen Tang, Victor Leach and Karsten Pedersen in the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research at Bournemouth University. Developed by researchers for researchers, BUAP’s innovation lies in bridging powerful analytic tools to everybody including all the industries.
There are a set of unique features that separate BUAP from commercial and mainstream analytics tools.
- BUAP allows uploading of schema-less and nest-able documents for complex data structures to be represented without hassle. Adding additional document fields at a later date is also seamless and requires no back end changes
- BUAP has no restrictions on data types, which mean a great flexibility for various types of projects in different disciplines
- With all the heavy lifting being taken care of by the BUAP framework, research teams and independent developers can forget about network communication, database management and sever hosting. Data is always encrypted while traveling across the internet and researchers can be sure it stays private
- The end user orientated design of the BUAP platform means that researchers can run experiments with ease and test different gameplay variables in no time. All developers need to do is to conduct experiments and watch the data appear on BUAP’s web interface
- BUAP allows data exporting for people who wish to use other data visualization tools.
BUAP has been used in a number of research projects led by Professor Tang .
- PLUS is a scenario based training system for police. We have used BUAP to collect data on playtime sessions, dialogue interactions, player actions and many more.
- MathRun is a 3D runner game designed for 7-11 years old children to practice mental arithmetic. We are using BUAP to evaluate procedural generated math questions with children’s play experience and leaning engagement.
- Magic Land is a 3D farming game for children to learn algebra. It is a fully functional game that implements the National Key Stage 2, Year 3 maths curriculum in England. We use BUAP to analysis the effectiveness of motivational game design patterns to engage children with algebra concepts in a fun way.
Research teams, individual developers and companies can use BUAP via different models:
- Analytics System Only Model: If your team already has digital game or VR expertise or existing games, BUAP team can work with you on the design of game data types or even implement the data types in your applications using the BUAP API.
- Game, VR and AR Research Collaboration Model: If your research projects require digital game and VR expertise, the BUAP team can help with the game and VR development as well as the data analytics design and the integration with the BUAP platform.
- Game Analytics Training Course: You can sign up our short training module to gain in depth knowledge and practical skills on how to use BUAP in your projects and the general knowledge of game analytics
For more details on research collaborations with the BUAP team, please visit https://bu-games.bmth.ac.uk/home/apply.
On Monday the 14th of March 2016, Dr Wen Tang of Creative Technology Department, Faculty of Science and Technology has given an interview on Radio Wimborne talking about Virtual Reality and Games. The interview was a featured programme in Tammy and Ben’s Wimborne Magazine programme featuring ‘Geek Week’.
The 18 minutes interview discussed the impact of virtual reality and games technologies to our everyday life. The fast advent of technological development in computer graphics hardware and software technologies has led the rapid expansion and acceptance of virtual reality and computer games into our everyday lives. Dr Tang has also discussed the use of digital gaming in non-leisure contexts such as military training and education.