Technische Universität Darmstadt
Founded in 1877, the Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUDA) is one of the best-known technical universities in Germany, in particular in the engineering disciplines. TUDA is a founding member of the TU9, an association of Germany’s largest technical universities. The chair for “Multimedia Communications” (KOM) at TUDA, headed by Prof. Dr. Ralf Steinmetz, was founded in 1996. KOM is active in the communication and multimedia systems/technologies research areas and closely co-operates with various industry R&D laboratories. KOM has currently more than 35 research staff members. Research areas include Multimedia Technologies & Serious Gaming, Knowledge & Educational Technologies, Mobile Systems & Sensor Networking and Service-oriented Computing.
The relevant research for ALFRED includes RTD work carried out by the Serious Gaming group at KOM under the direction of Dr. Stefan Göbel. This group has been set up late 2008 and originates of the former Digital Storytelling group at the Computer Graphics Center in Darmstadt with a long-term experience in Interactive Digital Storytelling and various projects in the interdisciplinary field of storytelling-based edutainment applications and Serious Games. The research focus of the Serious Gaming group tackles the creation (authoring), control and evaluation (measurement of effects) of Serious Games. Team members actively contributing to ALFRED among others include Tim Dutz, Sandro Hardy, Dr. Florian Mehm, Viktor Wendel, Laila Shoukry, Stefan Krepp and Stefan Göbel.
Application domains primarily address training and education as well as Games for Health, but also tackle the use of Serious Games as for e-participation, city marketing, tourism or urban planning.
Specific contributions for AFRED include developed frameworks, prototypes and models of Exergames (Serious Games for Sport, Health and Rehabilitation) especially for elderly people. In cooperation with physical therapists, clinics and senior residential homes these prototypes are tested continuously in field to improve adaptation, effectiveness and parameters for caretakers. Additionally, the Serious Gaming group at KOM has developed prototypes for the interconnection of Serious Games with Social Media applications for knowledge exchange and peer matching among users to improve experience of flow and social interaction.