The ReJAM project started in 2015 with the first prototypes of music applications for elderly, which were evaluated in terms of engagement and usability during formative studies with the target group. In 2016 we developed the second generation of prototypes, which were evaluated in the summer of 2016.
The prototypes in 2015 consisted of an interface for the caregivers to create playlists based on life events or periods. The playlists could be accessed through a virtual picture album; when the picture was touched, the corresponding music started playing. The pictures were obtained from the caregivers and added to the life events. If no pictures were available, generic pictures were obtained from the internet (e.g. a picture of the artist or the album, or a picture that presented a characteristic image of that specific period of time). Another way to access the playlist was through a picture slideshow. Upon touching the event, a slideshow started while the music played. This particular design included more visual stimuli compared to the music album, and required for more pictures to be added to the application. This can be challenging as pictures of the early to mid 1900s aren't easily available. In the future, we expect this particular design to become more relevant as more and more digital photographic material from people's early life will be available.
The prototypes in 2016 included the development of two music-based games: one game designed for individual and/or dyadic experience sharing, the other for group-based experience sharing under the guidance of a professional caregiver. In addition, we developed robot behaviours for the NAO: these behaviours included music bingo, physical upper-body exercises, and guided reminiscence. These prototypes were evaluated in the summer of 2016. Subsequently, these activities were included into human-robot activities, aiming at improved Quality of Life:
Listening to music with a Social Robot at a Care Center
Peeters, M.M.M., Psychoula, I., Oertel, C. Kreynen, B., and Neerincx, M.A. (to appear). The Design and Evaluation of a Robotic e-Partner Engaging People with Dementia in Joint Activities with Music.