MIT Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Faculty Mentor: Pattie Maes
Research Supervisors: Mina Khan, Neo Mohsenvand
Ivan (Alex) Herrero is an undergraduate student from the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Visual Arts. He is a MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) intern working at the Fluid Interfaces Group of the MIT Media Lab. He works alongside Mina Khan and her team creating wearables for memory augmentation. His role in the project included product design and user interaction. Using surveys, sketches, and prototypes, he helped create a wearable camera using a human centered design approach. The modular wearable camera uses facial recognition and real time audio feedback, and aims to reduce social isolation caused by not knowing the names of people. Alex is an undergraduate researcher at the Human Centered Design Lab of UPRM. Additionally, he has interned at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. Additionally, he started his own student community for immersive media research and learning, Visionary.
2018 Research Abstract
No Need to Remember what was Never Forgotten Thanks to a Wearable Camera
Ivan Herrero1, Mina Khan2, Dr. Pattie Maes3
1 University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez
2, 3 MIT Media Lab: Fluid Interfaces Group
For any social interaction, being able to put names to faces is an important mental task that usually takes time, and if not done correctly can have social consequences. This is especially true for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, in which case the inability to remember people can cause social isolation. To solve this problem, the goal for this project was to make a wearable camera capable of facial recognition with real time audio feedback. Since public perception of cameras is negative, a human centered approach was used in the design and creation of the wearable camera. Participants (n = 40) were surveyed on topics regarding their memorization ability and experience with wearables and cameras. Subjects desired to place the wearable near the ear and valued a modular and flexible design that could be worn in different ways. Taking these results into consideration, the research team began designing and prototyping different devices and their user interactions. In future work, the hardware will be modified to make a more compact and sleek device, and a mobile application will be developed to aid in memory augmentation.