An expected rise of people in need of health care – in part due to demographic change and an ageing society – results in numerous challenges within the health care sector. One approach to meet these challenges will be the increased use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) as part of health care environments for the elderly. Rather than being driven solely by technology, the research project CLOSER proposes a user-centered approach which is assisted by technology and explores the need for tactile communication in health care environments.

From this starting point, CLOSER seeks to explore new applications for health care and therapeutic treatment, which play on the symbiotic relationship between physical computing and the sense of touch.

CLOSER overcomes conventional interfaces, investigates the meaning of interpersonal touch and experiments with forms of tactile communication in health care. Application scenarios are explored in order to examine the functionality and potential of skin as a means of embodied interaction in health care.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).

Closer – Documentary, 7:28 min