RITA – Responsive InTeractive Advocate The University of Kent led and project managed this exciting ground-breaking project to support the UK’s aging population through the use of responsive and interactive avatars. The University of Portsmouth focused on developing the interactive avatar, while Winchester-based company Affective State worked on sensing and forecasting emotional well-being and Glasgow-based We Are Snook focused on the user experience design. The development of RITA in the form of a humanised avatar could revolutionise how an individual’s personal, social emotional and intellectual needs are met in the future; RITA would exist as a digital champion, an advocate in the form of an avatar, providing a friendly interface between the individual, family, friends, professions and services. The avatar might appear as a figure on a television screen or a tablet computer or could even be a holographic display. It could monitor heart rate and blood pressure, remind people to take medication and would know if they had fallen over or were in pain and alert the doctor or the emergency services. It would be able to analyse the subject’s speech, movement and facial expression to detect their mood and respond accordingly. The system would not require computer literacy and would be no more challenging to operate than switching on a television.
The project secured funding the Long Term Care Revolution funding competition. The competition is funded through the Small Business Research Initiative scheme, which connects public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry. The RITA project was awarded £500K
For project overview: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=971386
Kent Academic Repository reference: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/47242/