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Innovation: CLARA - the Telepresence Lantern

CLARA - the Telepresence Lantern
Final prototype

Socialization is a key element of living as well as aging happily and healthily. However, nearly half of the population aged 65 and older is living in either low-density or rural locations. This often provides a challenge for frequent social interactions with family and friends, living far away. Video communication is an established way to enhance social connectedness, but traditional approaches entail some technological barriers.

Meet Clara, the “Telepresence Lantern”. HRI-EU sees an opportunity to improve socialization of older adults through technology. Clara was developed by HRI-EU in collaboration with Sproutel, Inc.. Providing a new approach to video-mediated communication, Clara is designed to facilitate natural and ambient interactions with simplified call setup.

Through interactive sessions with older adult users, design and function prototypes were created to suit their needs and preferences. The main design features are its curved, wide field-of-view screen and the manageability, making it easily movable from room-to-room.

Clara Hri Telepresence Lantern
the design prototypes on the way to CLARA

The Clara technology prototypes are currently tested in several different settings and user groups both in the lab and the field, for example in collaboration with the “Experience and Interaction Design” group of Prof. Hassenzahl at the University of Siegen.

Clara is envisioned to act as a platform for many future research projects in the area of cooperative intelligence and embodied mediation. Stay tuned for upcoming publications.