Lovely film on touch and feeling as communication keys for persons with deafblindness
What does it mean neither to hear nor see, to be able to rely only on touch and feeling to understand and communicate with one’s environment? A new documentary from the project SUITCEYES describes it.
In the film, which was produced by one of the partner universities in the Horizon 2020 project SUITCEYES, carers, researchers, developers, and a man with deafblindness inform about how the senses of touch and feeling are the keys to communication with the outside world. At the centre of the film is 63-year-old Franz Pirker, who has been deaf since childhood and who lost his sight in an accident 40 years ago.
Reaches those with deafblindness
One of the interviewees in the film is Nils-Krister Persson, a researcher at Smart Textiles at Science Park Borås and the University of Borås.
“At Smart Textiles, we develop products where we combine textile materials with electronics. The textiles lie close to the skin. We activate the textiles to be able to communicate,” he said.
“At the University of Offenburg in Germany, they work a lot with “gamification,” i.e. to develop games, for example for health care, to awaken the gaming interest and playfulness of care recipients. They have extensive experience in working with people with various disabilities. One of the main participants in SUITCEYES is active there and he suggested making a film as a degree project for students in a film education programme, and we jumped on the idea. The film shows that we really reach people with deafblindness and it gives an insight into their living conditions,” he continued.
The SUITCEYES project is coordinated by the University of Borås, where the focus is on integrating textiles with electronic sensors in a technology called HIPI, Haptic Intelligent Personalized Interface. In the project, a vest has been developed with which the wearer can sense and interpret the environment through a camera and sensors that trigger the senses of touch and feeling.
The film interviews project participants from seven different European universities. From Smart Textiles and the University of Borås, in addition to Nils-Krister Persson, project coordinator Nasrine Olson, researcher Li Guo and research assistant Amelie Olesen participate.
The film also presents the various areas of expertise that the participating universities contribute when it comes to the development of this smart textile vest.
About the SUITCEYES project
SUITCEYES is an EU project that runs until June 2021.
The University of Borås coordinates this project and has the overarching responsibility, through the Swedish School of Library and Information Science as well as Smart Textiles, for the development of the haptic communication and the smart interface via smart textiles.
Contact information for the participating researchers at Smart Textiles and the University of Borås:
Text by: Solveig Klug
Translated by: Eva Medin
Published: 22 March, 2021