School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

Smart textiles for quality of life and cognitive assessment

Project Title:

Smart Textiles for Quality of Life and Cognitive Assessment

Supervisor(s):

Dr Giles Oatley (IT), Dr.Tanveer Choudhury (Engineering), Dr Gayan Appuhamallige (Engineering), Dr Danny Hills (Nursing)

Contact person and email address:

Dr Giles Oatley, g.oatley@federation.edu.au

A brief description of the project:

The project will investigate and develop Smart Textiles for the Aging Community, exploring the interface between Design, Engineering, Computer science and Aged Care use cases.

Sensory stimulation is an important tool for helping to improve quality of life and engagement for the aging population especially people living with dementia. The Smart Textiles being developed have a strong technological basis and can be put together as artefacts that are customised for each person.

These textiles can be covered with a selection of features, such as music players with fabric switches, games with LED's, flexible screens for reminder systems, even fur that vibrates (simulated animal), and many other forms of engagement. In addition, the textiles will employ a system of switches and coloured lights such that various “serious games” can also be played, facilitating gamified cognitive activities and appraisal tests related to memory, attention and so on. For instance, a variant of the Wisconsin card sorting test can be embedded as a challenging game. Interaction data is logged facilitating baseline assessment, model building and cognitive appraisal.

Each persons’ smart textile will be personalised with pockets according to a knowledge elicitation process. This will draw from the process employed by “Dignity Therapy” professionals, embedding key life experiences, likes/hobbies, ‘teachings’ from the person.

This PhD project represents cutting edge in design for aging community, cross-cutting the areas of IT, Engineering, Nursing and Psychology. The project team have already developed a prototype system in this area from which many lessons can be learned.