This year, the Best NIAA Presentation Award was granted to students Kai Obendrauf (Artificial Intelligence) and Elena Maan (Communication Science), for the project “Designing Biofeedback & VR Technology for Supporting Relaxation“, and their supervisors Lars Lischke and Miguel Barreda-Ángeles. The award was voted for by all members of the current NIAA projects and all attendeed of the end-of-the-year event we had on July 7.
The project aims to integrate a virtual reality environment and respiratory biofeedback to help users relax and manage their stress. The Academy Assistants presented an accessible program that measures users breathing with only their mobile phone and integrates this information in a VR environment. The final goal is to help users visualize their own respiratory pace, and adjust it to foster relaxation. After conducting a successful pilot study, the researchers intend to run further experiments with the system during the next academic year, and publish the results in academic venues. Besides, the system will be made publicly available to boost research on this topic.