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Virtual Coach

The wise friend that will guide the user towards the healthiest pathways, the NESTORE Virtual Coach, is the main interface between the users and the whole NESTORE system.

The Virtual Coach recommendations comes from the cloud-based decision-making system, which are orchestrated and proposed to the user through different digital and physical interfaces.

Here you are the overview of the various models building NESTORE.

The psychological model behind NESTORE (Task 5.1)

Figure 10: The Health Action Process Approach Model: Mapping of Study and System Phases.

Changing daily habits is not an easy task.

This is the reason why the NESTORE recommendations and the several modules implemented in the Virtual Coach are grounded on a psychological model of behaviour change (the Health Action Process Approach), which defines different phases of behaviour change and different recommendations that should be given at each phase.

The virtual coach interface has been designed in collaboration with psychologists in order to include state of the art behaviour change techniques (e.g., scheduling activities in a calendar, providing reminders, reviewing activities, etc.).

Contact Person: Christina Röcke, University of Zurich, Switzerland Further Reading: D5.1: Definition of Intervention Techniques

Virtual Coach conversational and emotional skills (Task 5.2)


As a true friend, NESTORE is able to understand the user and to chat in a natural way.

In order to do so, the Virtual Coach integrates a conversational agent that is able to converse with the user in both written and oral form. A chatbot interface was integrated in the NESTORE Coach app, so the system can text from time to time to the user to provide suggestions about the activities that can help improving the well-being and can continuously check on the well-being progress, always ready with some suggestions to keep the motivation up.

Although the NESTORE Virtual Coach is not providing any mental psychological support, it is actually able to understand the emotions reported by the user, and it provides the user with a history of the detected emotions in the NESTORE Coach App, to reflect on.

Contact Persons: Leonardo Angelini, HES-SO, Switzerland & Martin Sykora, Loughborough University, UK

Further Reading:   D5.2: Advanced Coach Interaction Design

An embodied companion to talk with (Task 5.3)


The co-design studies conducted in NESTORE showed the importance to develop a coach that is able to talk with user. The NESTORE Virtual Coach takes the shape of a tangible vocal assistant (see picture) that the user can carry in different rooms, and that can physically wake up by turning the device upside-down. The user can talk with the Virtual Coach about the activities to be done and the progress in the different well-being domain.

Contact Person: Leonardo Angelini, HES-SO, Switzerland

Further Reading:  D5.3: Tangible Interfaces

Can we play? Seriously? (Task 5.5)


A serious game has been developed in NESTORE to provide guidance in particular NESTORE domains.

Pocket Odyssey proposes to the user a playful journey to personalize a boat by getting points in the physical and cognitive domains. In the game, an avatar shows to the user how to perform the physical exercises recommended by the experts, while a submarine mini-game allows training at once multiple brain functions.

Contact Person: Isabelle Kniestedt, Technology University Delft, The Netherlands

Further Reading: D5.5: Serious Games for Continuous Engagement

A portal towards activities in the real world (Task 5.4)


The goal of the NESTORE Virtual Coach is to allow the user to find new daily healthier routines. Pushing users to discover new activities in their surrounding is the main role of the NESTORE Social Platform. At the same time, the Social Platform can provide social and technical support to the user, thanks to a forum and tutorials for the setup and use of NESTORE devices.

Contact Person: Ciprian Candea, ROPARDO, Romania

Further Reading:  D5.4: Social Platform

A journey towards well-being with the best User Experience (Task 5.6)


The NESTORE Virtual Coach proposes a multidimensional intervention across 4 domains of well-being: physical, cognitive, nutritional and social.

Focusing contemporarily an all the domains is a non-trivial challenge and the Virtual Coach has the role to empower the users to understand the importance of each domain and to make informed choices during their well-being pathway.

The NESTORE Coach app is the main interface and tool for supporting the user throughout this behaviour change process, thanks to the many tools for scheduling new activities in the calendar and reflecting on their progress and well-being, with charts and insights that are available for each of the four domains.

Contact Persons: Elena Bianchi, NEOSPERIENCE, Italy, & Leonardo Angelini, HES-SO, Switzerland

Further Reading:  D5.6: NESTORE Pathways and Supporting Apps