September 23, 2023

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Improving the lives of older adults | Waterloo News

Improving the lives of older adults | Waterloo News

Cosmin Munteanu, a top multidisciplinary researcher in human-laptop conversation, has been appointed the new Schlegel Analysis Chair in Technology for Wholesome Getting older. Their investigation will work at the intersection of ageing and technological know-how, concentrating on facilitating meaningful and protected interactions in between older adults and electronic media devices.

Between their latest investigation projects is the participatory development of virtual worlds for seniors, making it possible for them to liked shared significant encounters with loved ones, and modifications to platforms and gadgets that bridge generational gaps to enable more mature adults to commit time with spouse and children and good friends on the net.

This posture is a partnership amongst the Department of Units Style Engineering (SYDE) at the University of Waterloo and the Schlegel-UW Investigation Institute for Aging (RIA). In this purpose, Munteanu will use almost three decades of investigate expertise to design and style intelligent apps and gadgets that improve obtain to data, support understanding, and lessen digital marginalization for older older people.

Improving the lives of older adults | Waterloo News

Cosmin Munteanu is the new Schegel Research Chair in Technological innovation for Wellbeing Agining.

“There is terrific opportunity for technology to lead to enhanced high-quality of lifetime and higher independence throughout the journey of aging,” reported Tina Mah, Executive Director at the RIA. “We are thrilled to welcome Cosmin to the RIA and assistance the improvement of new technologies to meet the demands of more mature grown ups.”

Munteanu earlier served as an Affiliate Professor at the Institute for Conversation, Culture, Data, and Technology at College of Toronto Mississauga and Director of the Technologies for Getting old Gracefully (TAG) lab. They will sign up for SYDE as an Affiliate Professor and continue on their get the job done with the TAG lab.

“Cosmin has an outstanding push to innovate engineering design procedures to be extra inclusive of person experience and diverse expertise,” said Lisa Aultman-Corridor, Professor and Chair of Units Style Engineering. “Their operate generates applicable and powerful alternatives to complex societal issues by a transdisciplinary solution that is grounded in the genuine-planet ordeals of older older people.” 

Munteanu’s area of expertise is voice and multimodal interaction, and usability of these interfaces for older grown ups. Voice interfaces, seen in Siri and Google Household, have great potential to advantage more mature adults due to the fact they could handle not only accessibility but also socio-technological and cultural barriers. Their investigate explores participatory strategies to planning voice interfaces that make these interactions more normal and empowering for older older people.

‘Inclusive, participatory investigate agenda’

“I am fired up to be part of the RIA and SYDE in this new position as Schlegel Chair,” claimed Munteanu. “The human and modern society-targeted innovation lifestyle nurtured inside the RIA and SYDE partnership, and the remarkable neighborhood embedded study carried out by the latest Schlegel Chairs, are one of a kind in their ability to drive meaningful transformations to the structure of age-tech. I seem ahead to even more contributing to increasing the lives of older adults, via an inclusive, participatory analysis agenda centred about emerging technologies these types of as voice or digital interactions.”

Munteanu will have lab place in the RIA creating at the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging on the north campus of the College. The centre integrates senior dwelling with analysis, education, and community solutions. It is dwelling to above 400 more mature adults who dwell in the onsite very long-expression treatment and retirement household operated by Schlegel Villages. This co-location offers alternatives for group-dependent research and the growth of new systems in collaboration with individuals who will benefit from them.

Munteanu’s appointment at the RIA and SYDE starts July 1.

Primary image by Matthias Zoomer from Pexels.