Karen Tang, Ian Smith, Annie Ha, Lalatendu Satpathy, and Jason Hong


International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI)


January 2007


Episodic memory exercises such as reminiscing and storytelling have been shown to provide therapeutic benefits for older adults by prolonging their ability to lead an independent lifestyle. In this paper, we describe a mobile reminiscence tool called Memory Karaoke, which facilitates episodic memory exercise through contextualized storytelling of meaningful experiences by using contextual cues such as location, time, and photos. We present results from two studies we conducted with Memory Karaoke to explore which contextual cues contribute to best exercising a person's episodic memory. Our findings suggest that while viewing photos do exercise episodic memory to some extent, additional contextual cues (e.g. location and time) can solicit a greater amount of episodic memory exercise. This suggests that Memory Karaoke's selective capture process and its ability to contextualize memories while users retell stories are two effective features which help it to support episodic memory use. These results, together with positive qualitative feedback, provide promising evidence for Memory Karaoke as a viable mobile alternative for helping older adults to exercise their episodic memory and, in turn, assist them in successfully "aging in place".