João Duarte Pereira Sardo, a finalist student in the Master of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, received the prize for the best article for young researchers presented at the 21st century engineering and sustainability congress, INCREASE 2017, with a paper entitled: “Portable Device for Touch , Taste and Smell Sensations in Augmented Reality Experiences ”. The objective of the award-winning work is to present a portable device capable of providing sensations of touch, taste and smell, to an experience of augmented reality. The prize was financed by Águas do Algarve - Águas de Portugal Group.
This work is part of a research project developed in a partnership between the company SPIC and the University of Algarve, the project Mobile Five Senses Augmented Reality System for Museums (M5SAR). This project aims to develop an augmented reality system to be a guide in cultural, historical events and visits to museums, complementing or replacing the traditional guidance given by guides, directional signs or maps. The complete system consists of a smartphone application and a physical device (the work awarded at the congress), to be integrated into the smartphone in order to explore the 5 human senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Traditional augmented reality systems provide sensory feedback to just two of our senses, vision and hearing. However, multisensory multimedia focuses on providing immersive communications and improving the quality of the users' experience. Thus, the development of a new portable device, which connects and adapts to the smartphone, allows the user to feel touch, smell and taste (in addition to the sight and hearing already provided by the smartphone), expanding the typical digital experience for all five senses .
The conference on engineering and sustainability in the 21st century, INCREaSE 2017, organized by the Instituto Superior de Engenharia, had as main objective to contribute to sustainable development in a multi-disciplinary perspective. To achieve this goal, the event brings together several areas of engineering, to which are added other topics also considered relevant. The congress featured about 90 scientific papers and technical presentations.