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February 21, 2014

YoooM Focuses on Eliminating Impersonal Nature of Technology

No matter how strong your aversion to technology is, the benefits it provides is undeniable. As with anything manmade, there always seems to be a positive and negative component to it, and the technology most of us use today is no exception. While bad news gets most of the coverage in the many forms of media we can digest, some great innovations in IT with very beneficial applications often times escape the headlines. YoooM is one of those innovations that can definitely make a difference in the lives of many people around the world.

The biggest complaint about the Internet and many of the solutions it has introduced is the detachment it has created between people. Even though people are communicating using the technology, the impersonal nature of how we are communicating is having a negative effect on what makes us human.

The concept of YoooM is to bring us closer using the same technology that has alienated us to simulate a person sitting across from you while you are interacting with them. The solution was invented by Robert Smit, and it uses a two-screen folding device with touchscreen capabilities so both parties can interact with each other.

The platform uses readily available technology to remove the incompatibility issues associated with different software and hardware. By incorporating WebRTC, YoooM ensures anyone with an Internet connection and a browser will be able to use the technology with audio and video capability.

The possible applications for this technology are truly almost too numerous to count; this includes healthcare, education, business, gaming and personal interaction. This new form of telepresence provides one-to-one contact with a double camera system delivering a real lifelike view of the other person with an intuitive touch interface that can be used by anyone.

The European ConnectedVitality project used YoooM to bring seniors, who are often alone, to interact socially with this platform according to their abilities and needs. Limited interaction with others and isolation in the elderly is one of the biggest causes of depression and other health-related issues. The goal of Smit and the project he started, The ConnectedVitality Network (CVN) project, was to reconnect this group of individuals with an easy to use device.

This was part of a research that started in 2010 with a European consortium of universities and end user organizations along with the coordination by Smit. The end result was the development of Yooom in September of 2013, when it was made available to the world.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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