After five years, info.nl LABS and the Digital Life Centre at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUA also known as the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) have extended their research partnership for an additional three years. LABS has been supporting the Digital Life Centre's mission to understand and create digital solutions for public wellbeing in an urban context since 2013 when we welcomed a student team into our LABS space for our first research assignment. Our involvement extends from mentoring students with applied assignments in emerging technology as well as participating in design driven research projects focused on improving the lives of Amsterdammers through technology.
Working with HvA gives LABS a favourable position: together we can leverage each others' learnings, to build upon on our knowledge bases and competencies and extending the boundaries further. Through our partnership we have pushed forward experiments in haptics, beacon technology, and Internet of Things (IoT). Each semester we welcome a student group into the lab to work on an assignment from class subjects ranging from IoT, Interactive Environments, to Emerging Technology. Spring 2017's project prototyped a vest embedded with haptic motors and controlled by an app for fitness coaches to give feedback to improve the motivation of their exercise participants.
The partnership has extended to involve additional research projects involving LABS as a partner. Currently, LABS is participating in two projects: Playful Data-driven Active Urban Living (PAUL) and Eyebeacons. PAUL uses big data mining to determine the optimal physical activity app for urban users in an aim to encourage more active lifestyles among city dwellers. Eyebeacons proposes a new form of wayfinding utilising beacon technology and navigation apps to assist the visually impaired in transiting the city of Amsterdam. Both projects aim to increase wellness levels in an urban setting using technology.