Narcis Pares

Narcis Pares
University Pompeu Fabra | UPF · Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC)

PhD

About

93
Publications
19,509
Reads
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1,640
Citations
Introduction
I have an interest in the possibilities of Full-Body Interaction based on current Embodied Cognition theories in areas such as Learning, Play and Special Needs. This research is undertaken from the standpoint of Interaction Design, Interactive Communication and Interactive Playgrounds, focusing attention mainly on interaction for children and using non-invasive technologies. The three main application areas are: 1) Play, 2) Non-formal Learning, and 3) Special Needs: Autism / Sedentary Behaviours
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Position
  • Tenure Associate Professor and Researcher
Education
February 2001 - February 2001
University Pompeu Fabra
Field of study
  • Audiovisual Communication Specialising in Interactive Communication (especially Virtual Reality)

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
This study extends the previous research in which it has been shown that a mixed reality (MR) system fosters social interaction behaviours (SIBs) in children with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). When comparing this system to a LEGO-based non-digital intervention, it has been observed that an MR system effectively mediates a face-to-face play sessi...
Article
Research in Full-Body Interaction suggests the benefits of activities based on using embodied resources to strengthen the sensorimotor, cognitive and socio-emotional aspects of the user experience. However, scholars in this field have been often primarily concerned with the comprehension of and design for the user's mind. Little attention has been...
Article
Background: Game-based interventions that involve the use of technology have shown to facilitate motivation and learning processes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The purpose of this observational study project was to conduct a feasibility study to compare the amount of social initiation conducts performed during a full-body inter...
Article
Despite a proliferation in digital intervention tools for autism, many studies lack comparison with standard intervention tools, and are not evaluated with objective and standardized measures. In this article, we present research on the potential of mixed reality (MR) experiences using full-body interaction to foster social initiation behaviors in...
Article
In this paper, we present the FUBImethod, a method based on six stages to co-design interactive experiences based on Full-Body Interaction. The FUBImethod aims specifically to engage children in co-design processes and to benefit from their natural playfulness and expertise in movement. This approach allows designers to go beyond the surface level...
Article
Background Collaboration is an interpersonal process which builds upon social skills and mutual understanding. Due to characteristic social challenges, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders may benefit from structured collaborative virtual environments that offer adequate conditions to practice communication and social behaviors with other users...
Article
Over the past years an increasing number of digital learning environments based on Full-Body Interaction have been developed. Research in this field is often based on Designer-Driven approaches and is only recently employing Participatory Design techniques. However, these participatory approaches have reported relevant challenges related to includi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Interpersonal distance is defined as the area which we choose to keep between ourselves and others, revealed through observation and cultural components. Although previous studies have suggested the possibility of alterations in perception of interpersonal distance in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it remains unknown whether these differen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When players enter into an interactive game setting, they undertake a process of discovery and subsequent distinguishing of the rules and goals which will prevail in the play context. However, this process of forming understanding is often altered by the subtle expectations which prevail upon the interaction setting. In this paper, we argue that us...
Conference Paper
Augmented and Mixed Reality mobile technologies are becoming an emerging trend in the development of play and learning experiences for children. This tendency requires a deeper understanding of their specificities to adequately inform design. To this end, we ran a study with 36 elementary school children to compare two AR/MR interaction paradigms f...
Article
The design of interactive experiences for archaeological sites entails the consideration of the particular characteristics and constraints of the exhibition space. Our aim is to address these challenges by exploring the potential of a recently emerging interaction paradigm called World-as-Support, which is based on projective Augmented Reality (AR)...
Chapter
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by social and communication difficulties, which can result in challenges forming relationships with peers and taking part in imaginative play. Play Therapy creates recreational spaces where children can learn social skills in an exploratory and creative manner. As children with ASD have a unique aff...
Article
The roles that children are allowed to play in the co-design of an interactive experience are strongly influenced and determined by the views of designers and other adult stakeholders on childhood, as well as by their expectations of children’s skills and cognitive capacities. In this paper, we contrast these assumptions in the design of a Virtual...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a brief overview of the design and evaluation process of a Virtual Heritage (VH) experience for children in the context of Refugi 307, a bomb shelter built during the Spanish Civil War. The shelter currently belongs to the History Museum of Barcelona, which provides guided tours through the cultural heritage site for schools and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The goal of this study is to address the challenges of archaeological sites by exploring the potential of a recently emerging projective AR approach, namely the World-as-Support interaction paradigm. We present the initial design stage of a Virtual Heritage experience for the guided visit of a Spanish bomb shelter, called Refugi 307, which currentl...
Article
This article addresses the design and study of novel interaction settings and systems supporting collocated interaction. More specifically, we aim to analyze the implications of two different interaction approaches, namely first-person and third-person interaction paradigms, and the corresponding theoretical approaches when designing and developing...
Conference Paper
Full-Body Interaction Learning Environments (FUBILEs) are interactive experiences aimed at facilitating the use of the body and physical space as sources to help in children's construction of knowledge. The increasing importance of the field demands going beyond the initial novelty factor to better understand the specificities of this medium. In pa...
Conference Paper
This SIG will provide child-computer interaction researchers and practitioners an opportunity to discuss topics related to ethical challenges in the design, and use of interactive technologies for children. Topics include the role of big data, the impact of technology in children's social and physical ecosystem, and the consideration of ethics in c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current technical capabilities of mobile technologies are consolidating the interest in developing context-aware Augmented/Mixed Reality applications. Most of these applications are designed based on the Window-on-the- World (WoW) interaction paradigm. A significant decrease in cost of projection technology and advances in pico-sized projectors hav...
Conference Paper
We present the initial design stage of a Virtual Heritage experience for a bomb shelter built during the Spanish Civil War, namely Refugi 307. The shelter currently belongs to the History Museum of Barcelona which provides guided tours through the cultural heritage site for schools and the general public. The aim of the study was to define the requ...
Article
Participatory Design (PD) methods have become a widespread practice in the development of digital technologies. Even if PD is grounded on a critical and reflective tradition, often the presence of implicit assumptions may have relevant methodological and ethical consequences, since they may unintentionally shape our way of considering or behaving w...
Article
We present the full-body interaction system Lands of Fog, a multi-user experience designed with and for children with ASD to foster social initiation and collaborative behaviors. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which negatively impacts social communication abilities, resulting in significant problems forming and main...
Article
Exergames are videogames based on full-body interaction that foster physical exercise during gameplay. Much research has focused on whether exergames foster sufficient physical activity and with which intensity they do so. This is usually measured through energy expenditure and compared to traditional physical activities such as sports or physical...
Article
The development of learning environments based on full-body interaction has become an increasingly important field of research in recent years. However, the design and evaluation strategies currently used present some significant limitations. Two major shortcomings are: the inadequate involvement of children in the design process and a lack of rese...
Conference Paper
Research based on the embodied cognition framework proposes the use of physicality and spatiality to promote learning. Nevertheless, methods to include children in the design of Full-Body Interaction Learning Environments often neglect to properly integrate the notion of body and space. In this paper, we describe a participatory design process in w...
Conference Paper
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by impaired social communication capacities which can prevent the formation of social relationships with peers. In recent years, potential programs for people with ASD have increasingly used Information and Communication Technologies mainly motivated by the affinity that people with ASD show towards technol...
Conference Paper
This SIG will provide child-computer interaction researchers and practitioners an opportunity to discuss four topics that represent new challenges and opportunities for the community. The four areas are: interactive technologies for children under the age of five, technology for inclusion, privacy and information security in the age of the quantifi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Technologies designed for people with autism are often focused on their particular functional limitations. We argue that this ignores a rich design space in which technologies could play more meaningful and multi-faceted roles in the complex life-worlds of people with autism. This one-day workshop will explore how to go beyond technologies that nar...
Article
Full-text available
Participatory Design (PD) has been proposed as a useful strategy to address pitfalls in the design of serious games for children with special needs. Nonetheless, methodological weaknesses in the analysis of the results of PD workshops may hinder its effectiveness in providing useful and robust design contributions and facilitating communication in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a qualitative, idiographic study aimed at exploring how children create bridges between embodied experience and meaning construction while interacting with a Full-Body Interaction Learning Environment. Starting from the analysis of four case studies, we illustrate different possible paths through which children can transform embodied exp...
Article
The efficacy of therapeutic treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder is mainly associated with the treatment's intensity in terms of weekly hours. This has led mental health professionals to explore the use of video games to complement traditional treatments. However, major weaknesses have been found due to poor game design, which has failed to fulf...
Conference Paper
Despite the increasing interest in embodied interaction for learning, research has not yet provided strong proof of its advantages with respect to other types of interaction, or with respect to other types of pedagogical approaches. In this paper we present two studies aimed at comparing how a collaborative interactive experience based on two diffe...
Conference Paper
The aim of this paper is to explore techniques to design specific gestures with children to improve the interaction design of a Full-Body Interaction Learning Environment. This exploratory case study is part of the EcoSystem Project, a learning environment aimed at supporting children’s understanding of environmental issues related to air-pollution...
Conference Paper
The paper presents an exploratory study aimed toward including children in the design of an Interactive Learning Environment based on Full-Body Interaction. The study proposes a method based on using Participatory Design techniques to analyze core meanings and misconceptions of children. The aim is to identify appropriate learning goals and to defi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past ten years several learning environments based on novel interaction modalities have been developed. Within this field, Full-body Interaction Learning Environments open promising possibilities given their capacity to involve the users at different levels, such as sensorimotor experience, cognitive aspects and affective factors. Howev...
Conference Paper
The nanoscale, despite being something “present” in our everyday life, is actually an abstract concept given the impossibility of having a direct perception of it. This article presents the design process and analysis of an interactive exhibit called “NanoZoom” for a temporary exhibition for the science museum of Barcelona. The goal of the exhibit...
Conference Paper
In recent years there has been an increasing awareness about the importance of involving children with special needs in the process of designing technology. Starting from this perspective, the paper presents the participatory design process carried out with children with autistic spectrum disorder for the design of a Kinect motion-based game aimed...
Conference Paper
The nanoscale, despite being something "present" in our everyday life, is actually an abstract concept given the impossibility of having a direct perception of it. This article presents the design process and analysis of an interactive exhibit called "NanoZoom" for a temporary exhibition for the science museum of Barcelona. The goal of the exhibit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Integrating requirements from experts and children is a challenging task, especially when we design technology for children with special needs. This paper describes the use of the “narrative-based elicitation” as a method to facilitate the process of requirements’ elicitation for the design of a Kinect game for children with Autistic Spectrum Disor...
Article
Full-text available
Many children face significant challenges communicating, expressing themselves, and sharing their creative thoughts and ideas with others. Interactive technologies are playing an increasing role in addressing these challenges. This workshop will be an opportunity to discuss design, implementation, and evaluation methods, the needs of specific commu...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood health issues related to sedentary behavior have risen dramatically over the last 20 years. One of the key factors in this rise is that children are increasingly spending more time on sedentary leisure activities such as game consoles and the Internet. Research turned to interactive exertion interfaces, or exergames, to try to compensate...
Chapter
In the past half century, educational technology has generally been closely associated with computers - so much so that other forms of educational technology are rarely considered. No doubt, over these past 50 years, what we think of as a computer has evolved quite a bit - from the classroom-wide instructional systems pioneered by researchers such...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A rich variety of videogames promoting physical activity has followed the emergence of new full-body interfaces. Known as exergames, these active videogames are often presented in the market as a ludic substitute to traditional sport. Although they present the benefit of being engaging, to date, the content and modality of interaction of these game...
Article
Full-text available
In Artificial Reality experiences, i.e. interactive, unencumbered, full-body, 2D vision-based virtual reality (VR) experiences (heirs of the seminal Videoplace by Myron Krueger) there are two possible interaction paradigms, namely: first-person and third-person –which differ significantly from the classic VR first- and third-person notions. Up unti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is a growing interest in learning studies about the use of interaction models that involve sensorimotor activities and affordances within an educational experience. This paper explores how concrete experiences, in this case an educational application designed for an Interactive Slide, can make concepts of buoyancy and Archimedes' principle un...
Article
Full-text available
We propose an adaptation of Participatory Design (PD) specifically conceived for full-body interaction design addressing the specificities that this entails. The idea is to include the preferences and points of view of children in the process of designing exergames allowing them to: (a) design activities that foster sufficient physical activity and...
Article
We present the empirical validation of a system that controls the amount of physical activity that children do while playing in a specific exertion interface called the Interactive Slide. The control of the amount of physical activity is done through a newly defined system variable we call the Interaction Tempo. Moreover, the detection of this phys...
Article
This paper presents a multi-user virtual heritage application that allows children to experience and learn the hunting strategies depicted in a cave painting from 6000 BC. The application is based on a multi-touch vertical screen that allows for full-body interaction through carefully defined gestures that search to provide sufficient ecological na...
Article
Full-text available
We present an exertion interface called the Interactive Slide (Soler, Ferrer, Parés, 2009), a large inflatable slide augmented with virtual reality technology that offers the possibility to children to move freely in a large and diverse spatial area. Diversity of motor skills actions that children do while playing were analyzed with observational m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we describe a work in progress of a mixed-reality framework based on tangible interface applied to a video game designed for children. This video game, called PIPLEX, lays on the ability of the users to solve a puzzle through modelling malleable materials (namely plasticine and cardboard). We explain the implementation of PIPLEX, its...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a multi-user virtual heritage application that allows children to experience and learn the hunting strategies depicted in a cave painting from 6000 B.C. The application is based on a multi-touch vertical screen that allows for full-body interaction through carefully defined gestures that provide sufficient ecological naturalness...
Conference Paper
We present an Interactive Learning Experience on Nanotechnology in which users learn that gold nanoparticles can help cure cancer. This informal learning experience is based on a vertical, rear-projected screen of 2x1.5m (6.56x4.92 feet) and an IR reflection multi-touch system. The application shows simplified visuals of a cancer tumor at one end o...
Conference Paper
The incipient research on interactive playgrounds is a promising field that can enhance in many ways growth, health and education of children and youngsters. In this paper, we present a novel approach to interactive playgrounds by describing the physical and interaction design of a new platform: the Interactive Slide. We concentrate on the main des...
Chapter
In this chapter we present the design process followed for an interactive experience in a museum installation for children of age 14 to 18. The experience wishes to communicate a set of abstract concepts through full-body interaction following the interaction-driven design strategy. We also present a design framework that we have derived from the d...
Conference Paper
We present a novel playground platform that will hopefully help in countering two important issues in children in the developed world: lack of physical activity and lack of socialization. The system underlying the platform will eventually adapt automatically to and modulate the amount of physical activity of children by applying a new notion in int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The discipline of Child Computer Interaction (CCI) has been steadily growing and it is now firmly established as a community in its own right, having the annual IDC (Interaction and Design for Children) conference and its own journal and also enjoying its role as a highly recognisable and vibrant contributor to the ACM CHI conference. Having recent...
Article
Resumen El uso de nuevas tecnologías en proyectos de educación informal se centra mayoritariamente en el desarrollo de aplicaciones interactivas que tratan conocimientos específicos del currículo escolar. Otras aplicaciones plantean fomentar capacidades concretas más transversales: ya sean sociales, cognitivas, físicas, etc. En este artículo propon...
Article
Full-text available
After analyzing how VR experiences are modeled within human computer interaction (CHI) we have found there is a deep theoretical gap. Similarly to how the scientific community has defined CHI models for multimedia applications, it would be very important to have such models for VR—obviously the standpoint cannot be the same because multimedia and V...
Article
Full-text available
On starting to think about interaction design for low-functioning persons in the autistic spectrum (PAS), especially children, one finds a number of questions that are difficult to answer: Can we typify the PAS user? Can we engage the user in interactive communication without generating frustrating or obsessive situations? What sort of visual stimu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent years have seen an increase in the design of outdoor interactive environments. In this SIG we want to discuss the key points in the design of an outdoor interactive environment, including interaction techniques, appropriate technologies, usage patterns, robustness, and safety. The SIG organizer and presenters are researchers from four univer...
Article
This paper presents an adaptive physical environment that allows children with severe autism to successfully interact with multimodal stimuli, giving them a sense of control of the interaction and, hence, providing them with a sense of agency. This has been an extremely important effort for two main reasons: 1) This user group cannot be typified, h...
Article
Full-text available
Resumen Juegos de Agua fue una instalación lúdica in-teractiva concebida para el Fórum Universal de la Culturas, Barcelona 2004. La instalación consigue una interacción robusta, natural, no intrusiva y con un gran ujo de usuarios gra-cias a una interfaz basada en un sistema de vi-sión articial. Todo ello unido a la adecuación de la actividad que lo...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents some of the properties and strategies of the VR medium that we have found to be important during our own process of discovery of the potentiality of VR, after working with artists since 1993. These properties are, in fact, of importance to all areas of VR applications, from simulation to entertainment and from training to educat...
Conference Paper
This paper identifies and contextualizes the limitations and problems found in interactive installations that require a massive flux of users. It then presents a set of solutions for these practical problems and shows how they have been applied to a real life installation with exceptionally good results. The application is an interactive water inst...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the steps followed in the conceptual design and interaction design of an interactive water installation for children to provide the game with some significance generating meaning through interaction itself. Interactivity has been widely applied in the world of sheer entertainment for children, especially in computer games, but a...
Article
Full-text available
Autism is a developmental disorder which presents disability in communication and socialisation and a lack of imagination. To promote creativity, exploration and enjoyment in low functioning autistic children that have no verbal communication, we propose MEDIATE, an interactive environment that generates real time visual, aural and vibrotactile sti...
Article
El equipo de investigación en Experimentación en Comunicación Interactiva (eIC) del IUA ha participado en la concepción, el planteamiento y el desarrollo del proyecto MEDIATE (A Multisensory Environment Design for an Interface between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness) 2001-2004, financiado por la Unión Europea en el IST, 5º Programa Marco. En es...