The main research areas of the Department are Internet Media Technology, Intelligent Human-Computer Interaction, and Digital Media Design and Communication, which include: Digital Image Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Games, Digital Learning, Interactive Devices, New Media Arts, Visual Design, Web Multimedia Design and Application, Film and Television Communication. Our research is integrated through Cloud Application Services and Mobile Device Application Development.
(a) Research Direction of Technology Group
The research themes of the Technology group can be categorized as: Augmented Reality and Media Protection; Mobile Devices and Cloud Applications; and Digital Games and Digital Learning, as described below:
Currently, Augmented Reality (AR) is widely applied to many areas such as advertising and marketing, navigation, game design, and digital learning. As the use of mobile devices such as smartphones becomes more common, the application of AR is gradually increased to new heights. Our core camera positioning technology which estimates the position of the camera through video images, can be utilized for developing AR applications such as the learning of 3-dimensional graphics library (which is the underlying technology for AR), AR using QR Code (2-dimensional barcode) (Figure 1), presentation of a virtual studio, and interactive modeling in AR environments.
Figure 1: Augmented Reality (AR) using QR Code (2-dimensional barcode)
2.Digital Media Protection
With the widespread transmission and sharing of digital media over the Web, mobile devices and social networks, it is increasingly important to prevent the illegal copying and unauthorized reproduction of digital content that is applicable in real life situations to increase security and usability. Our digital media processing and protection techniques can safeguard the security of digital content in different technical disciplines and life situations, such as QR code, AR, and mobile display devices to provide protection for heterogeneous media and platforms.
3. Digital Learning Games
Digital learning offers a learning skeleton to improve learning motivation and performance through Information Technology, while games are naturally a form of learning. Players actively use various skills, resources and strategies to achieve the goal of games. This process involves cognition, meta-cognition, behavior, and affection. Therefore, we utilize multimedia and digital gaming technologies to integrate Digital Games and Digital Learning for developing attractive Digital Learning Games and adding value to different application domains such as entertainment, learning, and communication. Below are designs of digital games for learning:
- Role-playing Games and Self-learning
We investigate how to use role-playing games to enhance the self-learning of students. For example, avatars can help in the absorption of learning, while interactive roles can promote interactive learning, thus how to develop a highly motivated and interactive learning environment through character roles so as to promote the self-learning and social interaction of students (Figure 2). In addition, we can use the characteristics of development games to strengthen the interest of students in their learning situations and guide them in self-reflection, self-planning, and self-control (Figure 3).
Figure 2: Role-playing games and self-learning
Figure 3: Development games and self-learning
- Adventure Games and English Learning
3D adventure games provide a goal-oriented learning environment in which the learner can experience and learn. Hence this environment helps contextual learning, such as creating a fantasy adventure environment that the student can be placed in to learn English (Figure 4) and using analysis and diagnosis mechanisms to further provide personalized or adaptive learning assistance.
Figure 4: 3D adventure games and English learning
- Visual Storybook Search Games
We investigate how to design a visual search interface for children. Since traditional keyword search requires children to recall keywords and limit the opportunity to read independently, visual storybook search tools assists children to develop effective search strategies and enhances the opportunity to read independently through the visualization and analysis of story characters and scenes (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Children’s storybook search interface
- Visual Programming Games
We investigate how to design a visual programming game. Through the completion of game missions, the learner cultivates the ability to analyze, design, implement, and evaluate to solve problems and build abstract programming concepts in the problem-solving process. In the game, the learner must plan the execution of instructions to complete the mission of collecting flowers and computing the statistics (Figure 6).
Figure 6: Programming strategy games
(b) Research Direction of Design Group
The research themes of the Design group can be categorized as: New Media and Technology Law; Painting and Digital Learning; Previsualization; Innovative Game Development; New Media Arts and Interaction Design, as described below:
1.New Media and Technology Law
The progress of 21st century Information Technology results in many new social issues. In particular, there is an urgent need to study the impact of new media. Hence, our research theme investigates new media, such as QR Code mobile advertising, and its technology law and intellectual property rights. Current research development is as follows:
- New Media
We investigate the advertising effect of using QR Code mobile advertising to present information. QR Code has cross-media characteristics. Traditional media can use QR Code to integrate traditional and digital advertising (Figure 7) so that users can more easily be in contact with the graphic or video advertisements. However, is the advertising effect of using QR Code mobile advertising to present information similar to web advertising, or can the multimedia advertisement produce better advertising effect?
Figure 7: QR Code integrating traditional and digital advertising
- Communication Policy and Technology Law
Technology law and personal privacy protection are becoming more and more important for recent information technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Internet of Things. We investigate the industrial revolution and regulations of communication, so students can understand industry regulations and economic shifts. By gradually introducing the impact of recent technological developments on communication policy, industrial development, and the change in user behavior with in-depth discussions of how legal regulations can be abided, students can understand the interaction between the industry and society to uncover feasible solutions.
2.Painting and Digital Learning
Computers have become the most commonly used tools for modern students to paint. Taking advantage of technology for creation to improve learning outcomes has become an important issue for learning modern painting. To understand the effects of digital technology on learning painting and investigate the change in creative thinking, behavior and attitude of the learner, we specially study the impact of using computer graphic for creation on the learner to learn painting. This include the application of traditional and digital medium of illustration for similar and different effects on critical thinking, and the design of a Comic Composition System for teaching painting to primary school students (Figure 8). In this way, we can understand the change in creative thinking and learning outcomes of learners using computers for painting and thus has the opportunity to use appropriate teaching methods to improve the self-confidence and learning outcomes of students for painting.
Figure 8: Comic composition interface
The development of digital technology has enabled work that is difficult in the past to be conveniently completed so as to improve difficult ways of working or strengthen the affinity to increase the willingness of users to use.
Before the shooting of a film, Previs (Previsualization) uses low-resolution 3D animation to produce the film once so that the director and production crew can instantly view the simulated visual effects of camera shooting on the computer for prior evaluation and adjustment of shooting plans based on new ideas (Figure 9). We focus on the integration of visual storytelling, 3D animation, and motion capture to improve the efficiency and quality of Previs production for achieving the simulated visual effects of camera shooting on the computer before filmmaking.
Figure 9: Sketch and 3D storyboard
4.Innovative Board Games
The proposed theme of “Cochess” games expands the context of cultural exchange, game theory, and artificial intelligence by exploring the relationship between game rules, player’s mind, and behavioral decision-marking to develop a variety of innovative board games. Cochess can be developed into a multiplayer game to study the actions taken by a player in a community when making decisions, such as forming alliances during competition and competing situations in alliances. Therefore, this game theory can be a potential reference for enterprise strategy planning.
Figure 10: Representative Cochess visual interface
Figure 11: Cochess multiplayer platform
5.New Media Arts and Interaction Design
In the fields of Art and Design, the application of digital technology generates various innovative possibilities between Art, Design and Technology. The creative energy produced by the integration of Art and Technology shall be the future trend with the combined characteristics of Science, Art, and Design to design practical works and further understand the design process and industry convergence through the actual production process to produce meaningful works of Art and Design (Figure 12).
An important issue is how to process digital images instead of just superficial digital composition of images. This is because image processing is not only about using technology, but also understanding our society. Students are the recipients of the information from the image processing at the same time and therefore they can understand what poor image processing is through samples (Figure 13) to become creators who know how to think.
Figure 12: Interactive works of students
Figure 13: Evident samples of digital image processing