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Project info

Making software intensive products empathic requires a new arsenal of affective technologies currently predominantly in the research domain. Harnessing these technologies to become easy-to-integrate, validated and well-documented components for existing and future products is crucial for integrating them into main stream software intensive products. An empathic product design methodology addressing user needs and business potential will also facilitate their rapid adoption.

The domain of empathic products is by definition focussing on people, either a single user (Me), or a Group. The empathic product design methodology aims to make future products more aware of their userís intentions and emotions (Services, systems & software creation). Intelligent interaction technologies capture the intentions and emotions of people in semantic structures (Acquisition & processing, representation), draws on research in context awareness, affective computing and multimodal interaction (New multimodal & multi-device), and can be used to provide appropriate interaction with possible emotional or supportive feedback (Intelligent systems). The empathic product design methodology will affect engineering of future products (Engineering and development). Inherent to the research is also the cross-over between user research, psychology and business development (Technologies of the future). The landscape of Empathic is broad, only limited by their focus on people.

The goal of the project is to achieve better user experience by applying affective computing technologies to understand user intentions and emotions. To achieve this, the project will:

  • Define scenarios and case studies covering a great variety of possibilities for empathic products
  • Develop a toolbox with validated and packaged components for intention and emotion awareness as well as empathic feedback provision
  • Integrate a number of empathic applications and services
  • Evaluate and validate the empathic products in pilots with real users
  • Study the business potential for the various empathic products
  • DeDevelop a design methodology for empathic products

The business relevance of this project should be understood through the importance of UX. Difficulties to use complex products may lead to a worse UX and user satisfaction, raise the barriers for adopting new technologies, as well as negatively affect the brand image. Empathic products will provide possibilities for superior UX by truly taking their user into account and therewith improving their market position. Understanding customer value creation and embracing user-driven innovation in software intensive products will help to design for UX. In spite of the accepted importance of UX as a factor determining the success of products, few products currently include means to measure or affect user experience at the time of use. The innovation in this project can be found in the technologies needed to enable empathic interaction and the methods used to design these types of products.

The expected results of the project include:

  • Methodology to create empathic (intentional , emotion enabled) applications and services
  • Toolbox of validated emotion & intention enabling technologies including UX measurement
  • A huge number of validated proofs of concept
  • New business models for exploiting intention and emotion awareness