Posted: July 19, 2010

Wear-a-BAN - Unobtrusive wearable human to machine wireless interface

(Nanowerk News) Communication between man and machine, also known as Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), could become more intuitive or natural by integrating motional and emotional information, parameters which are difficult to express with standard HMI devices. Indeed, in man to man communication, a large part of the information is transmitted naturally through non-verbal communication (body language, intonations, etc). Such a paradigm shift requires a move from classical computer peripherals towards natural interfaces that mimic the natural human interaction. With recent advances in microelectronics, embedded signal processing and software technologies, more natural HMI solutions are within reach, which will enable new gaming, medical rehabilitation and robotics interfacing paradigms and require very short and intuitive learning curves for anyone.
The objective of the Wear-a-BAN project(Unobtrusive wearable human to machine wireless interface) is to investigate and demonstrate ultra low-power wireless body-area-network technologies for enabling unobtrusive human to machine interfaces into market segments such as smart and interactive textiles, robotics for augmented reality assistance and rehabilitation and natural interfacing devices for video gaming.
The kick-off meeting of the Wear-a-BAN project was held on the 23-24th June in Limasol, Cyprus and the project was successfully launched with the active participation of the consortium members. The project will last for two years and the consortium consists of leading research organizations, universities, Associations of SMEs and SME participants from all over Europe, including the Robotics Society of Finland, Cap Digital Paris Region, Ateval, Playall Management, Ramon Espi S.L., Movea SA, Deltatron Oy, SignalGeneriX Ltd., Voxler, Aitex, CSEM SA, Technical University of Berlin, VTT, CEA-Leti and the coordinator RTD TALOS Ltd.
CEA-Leti will be responsible for the specification design and embedding of the communication protocol of the Wear-a-BAN integrated system, and on the management on the work package devoted to integration of the RTD partners innovations into transferable modules.
The Wear-a-BAN project is co-funded by the European Commission through the "Research for the benefit of specific groups" instrument in particular for the Associations of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). The project will generate strong societal impact by increasing the comfort, health and security for a wide category of users in the European population. Wear-a-BAN will contribute to enable EC policies such as eHealth for better healthcare in Europe, i2010 for fostering better inclusion of disabled people through ICT, eLearning for speeding up changes in education and training, and EU Health and Safety at work for enabling safer interaction for machine or robot operators.
Wear-a-BAN will enable major technological breakthroughs in the areas of ultra low-power radio system-on-chips and of textile-oriented system-in-package platforms for miniature wearable antennas, wireless and sensor electronics and digital signal processing, resulting in significantly increasing the competitiveness of the Associations and SMEs participating in the project.
Source: CEA-Leti