ACID's Digital Songlines recognised at prestigious AIIA iAwards

7th April 2006

For immediate release

ACID has been recognised for innovation excellence Australia's most prestigious information industry awards program, the 2006 Australian Information Industry Association iAwards.

ACID, the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, received an Award of Merit in the iAwards Education & Training category for the Digital Songlines virtual heritage tool.

"ACID's Digital Songlines project is an example of mobile digital technologies being taken into new areas to provide new ways to improve people's lives in the real world," said ACID CEO Professor Jeff Jones.

Digital Songlines is an immersive 3D experience that records the arts, culture, heritage and country of Indigenous Communities.

"Indigenous Communities traditionally transfer their cultural heritage from generation to generation through rituals, stories, dance and artworks in the context of the landscape and country," Prof. Jones said.

"Digital Songlines is based on digital platforms and simulation technologies that perfectly suit the non-linear, narrative-based, richly layered nature of Indigenous heritage and knowledge, so it's a great way to record this information for future generations."

Prof. Jones said Digital Songlines was a toolkit for registering cultural heritage that included a method to independently validate Indigenous knowledge and languages that were rapidly disappearing.

The first iteration of Digital Songlines was Irene's World, a record of the material culture and language of the Gunggari Community in the area around Mitchell in South-West Queensland, as told to Gunggari woman Irene Ryder by her family and community.

"Irene's World records the traditional knowledge of the Gunggari community, only a few of whom still speak Gunggari language," Prof Jones said. "It provides young people with an engaging digital tool for education in their own culture and language."

Prof Jones said Digital Songlines has gained interest of other Indigenous Communities across Australia and internationally. "It could also be of use to corporations working with Indigenous Communities when recording cultural heritage values in a property development zone."

Prof Jones said that winning an Award of Merit at the iAwards was thrilling for ACID. "We work hard to develop products and technologies that make a real difference for people and communities."

ACID was the only cooperative research centre to reach the finals of the iAwards.

ACID was also shortlisted for an iAward in the R & D Category for its Diversionary Therapy Technology which uses augmented reality, webcam technology and engaging storylines to help make burns treatment less painful for very young children.

"Kids use interactive devices to direct colourful, friendly characters through adventure stories, and it takes their minds off treatment that can otherwise be excrutiatingly painful and stressful," Prof. Jones said.

"The Royal Children's Hospital Brisbane asked us to design diversionary therapy devices specifically for kids aged under seven because their visual coordination isn't sufficiently developed at that age to use other devices already on the market," Prof Jones said.

Prof Jones said that formal clinical trials had shown the devices to significantly reduce pain scores, pulse and respiration rates in young patients, making burns treament less traumatic.

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For more information:
Jason Pickersgill, ACID. T: 07 3337 7929 or 0432 163 886. E:

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