The research focus of RISE is on interactive media. Interactive media have become an integral part of our lives, changing the way that information is conveyed to the user and the ways users interact with devices, with other people, and with the world around them. Such technologies provide versatile means for communication, information management, education and entertainment, with applications in almost any aspect of life and discipline. Interactive media rely highly on Visual Sciences, including Computer Graphics, Computer Vision and Imaging, which will be at the core of the research focus of the Centre.
Aiming to get technology mature enough to move outside the confines of the research lab and into the real world, where it is used by users under real conditions, the Centre will adopt a more holistic research approach (see Figure 1). RISE’s approach explicitly acknowledges the role of human factors in designing and developing interactive media applications that adapt more effectively to their users, by representing their cognitive preferences and by better anticipating their behaviour. Thus, studies with human participants will be undertaken to inform the development of adaptive and more effective applications, such as embodied agents, spoken dialog systems, autonomous navigation systems, GPS navigational devices, online tutoring systems, interfaces for interacting with digital media (e.g., museum artefacts), etc. Taking into account the central role of humans, research at RISE will go beyond the technological challenges of interactive media, to also investigate the cognitive and psychological aspects of interactive media applications (e.g., perception, memory, emotions, individual differences, environmental conditions, and contextual and cultural limitations of users).
With this goal in mind, RISE will strive for an interdisciplinary approach to the study and extension of interactive media technologies; an approach that spans both across multiple disciplines, but also across multiple users, uses, and contexts. A key investment of the Centre will be on the development of a unified User-Centred Design (UCD) approach, where issues surrounding human factors will guide the focus and characteristics of the designed technologies, leading to technologies that maximize efficiency, effectiveness, applicability in unconstrained environments, and user satisfaction. Beyond the aforementioned desiderata, the UCD approach will also provide the Centre’s output with a sense of universality, in that the emphasis on human factors will allow the easier transferability of the scientific and technological solutions to other application areas that might be the focus of Cyprus’ Smart Specialisation Strategy in the future, beyond the current ones. RISE will bring together diverse and complementary expertise, creating synergies and the potential momentum to identify and tackle problems that go beyond any single participant’s abilities. The research fields of virtual environments, visual computing, and computer graphics have matured to the point that many challenges lie in the capitalization of existing knowhow and technologies to enable advances in many diverse application areas, such as health, tourism, energy, agriculture, environment. Therefore, consolidating the research and applications together can only benefit both the development of technology and its application.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 664584.