Person-Centered Smart Multimedia: Serving People with Disabilities to the General Population
Person-Centered Multimedia Computing: A New Paradigm Inspired by Assistive and Rehabilitative Applications
Human-centered multimedia computing (HCMC) focuses on a tight engagement of humans in
the design, development and deployment of multimedia solutions. Today’s multimedia
technologies largely cater to the needs of the “able” population, resulting in HCMC solutions
that mostly meet the needs of that community. However, individuals with disabilities have
specific requirements that necessitate a personalized, adaptive approach toward smart
multimedia computing. In addition, individuals with disabilities have largely been absent in the
design process, and have to adapt themselves (often unsuccessfully) to available solutions. To
address this challenge, we recently introduced the concept of person-centered multimedia
computing (PCMC), where the emphasis is on understanding the individual user’s needs,
expectations and adaptations towards designing, developing and deploying effective and smart
multimedia solutions. In this talk, PCMC will be discussed from two application viewpoints: (i)
social assistive aids to enrich the interaction experience of individuals with visual impairments
and (ii) cyber-physical systems for stroke rehabilitation. Both these applications embody person-
centeredness as the underlying methodology. Our research not only demonstrates the significant
potential in using person centered multimedia solutions to enrich the lives of individuals with
disabilities, but also the criticality of using a person centered approach to effectively address
complex smart multimedia challenges in designing real-world solutions.
Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan
Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development
Chief Research and Innovation Officer
Director, Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing
Foundation Chair in Computing and Informatics
Panchanathan was the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics and was
instrumental in founding the Biomedical Informatics Department at ASU. He also served as the
chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department. He founded the Center for
Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) at ASU. CUbiC’s flagship project iCARE, for
individuals who are blind and visually impaired, won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year-
Academia Award in November 2004.
In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science
Board (NSB) and is Chair of the Committee on Strategy. He was appointed by former U.S.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and
Panchanathan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Canadian Academy of
Engineering. He is also Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE),
and the Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE). He is currently serving as the Chair of the
Council on Research within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Panchanathan was the editor-in- chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and is also an
editor/associate editor of many other journals and transactions.
Panchanathan’s research interests are in the areas of human-centered multimedia computing,
haptic user interfaces, person-centered tools and ubiquitous computing technologies for
enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, machine learning for multimedia
applications, medical image processing, and media processor designs. Panchanathan has
published over 440 papers in refereed journals and conferences and has mentored over 100
graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and research scientists who occupy leading
positions in academia and industry.