Dr Timothy Neate

Lecturer - King's College London

Total Communication Technologies

Human communication is complex. We do so much more than speak, listen, read and write. These modalities are often complemented by a nuanced range of body language, gestures, and myriad other means. These broader notions of expression are termed ‘Total Communication’ and are particularly important for people with communication impairments as they allow an alternative, or complementary means to engage. However, despite its importance, total communication is seldom considered in the design of technology. In this talk, I describe our ongoing work on Total Communication Technologies – i.e., technologies which support or enable total communication. I describe our investigations into understanding the impact of videoconferencing on total communication for people with language impairments, and detail challenges and opportunities for supporting diverse communication styles for remote contexts. Then, I discuss our ongoing work into discreet and wearable augmented communication devices – detailing how smartwatches, ‘earables’, badges and other unconventional form factor devices might support, and augment accessible communication in real-world contexts. Finally, I turn to the future, inviting your contributions towards communication technologies which enable a broader range of expression and inclusion.

About the speaker:

Timothy Neate is a Lecturer in the Department of Informatics at King’s College London, an Honorary Visiting Fellow at City, University of London. His work is highly user-focused and considers the development of novel interaction techniques and design approaches to make the most of the full range of human capability. He works in the areas of human-computer interaction (HCI) and accessibility, focusing on novel interaction techniques, multimodal interactions and content creation/consumption technologies to make technology more accessible to more people.