Lower Saxony Research Network Design of Environments for Ageing

Deutsche Fassung

Personal activity and household assistant

The aim of this scenario is the development of an electronic assistance system for the everyday activities and planning at home. The system is intended to be already used before the age associated function loss is progressed, and therefore offers a familiarization with the new support form of care. It is aimed at people already in middle adulthood and should assist the user through a long period. The focus of the assistance functionality is not the takeover of responsibilities or the technically assisted procedure of activities, but their organization, structuring and memorization. Therefore, it serves for the promotion of social participation as well as self-sufficiency and contributes to a longer independent life and an enhanced quality of life.

The assistance system allows the entry of new separate or periodically recurring tasks and appointments to which the residents want to be reminded. The reminders are represented dependent on the nature of the event, on the importance, and on the urgency, but they are also taking into account other present persons and are preserving the privacy. The tasks themselves should be executed as independently as possible. Additionally, events at home can be monitored and indicated, which require an action of the resident, for example, if it was forgotten to turn off the light in a room or if the TV is still running, even though the person is already asleep. A prior aim is the design of the electronic support in a way that is accepted by the users. Because the target group in this scenario consists of the elderly persons themselves and not of the relatives or care workers, the user interface has to be easily usable by the elderly. It should be integrated unobtrusively in the home environment and should allow for an as natural as possible, simple and ubiquitous interaction and communication. Such interaction techniques as well as their technical requirements will be developed according to the needs and will be evaluated in regard to their acceptance. A focus lies on the acoustic interaction with the user, because this kind of interaction is known as very natural and has a low threshold.

Another goal is the conceptual and tool-based support for the development of electronic systems for elderly people in home environments and thereby to ease the integration of "ambient assisted living" applications. The developments will be integrated in the GAL architecture and thus available for other applications within this project.

The work in this activity is managed by Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll and Dr. Jens-E. Appell.

The following partners are involved: FhG-AHSA, HörTech, OFFIS, Uni Oldenburg, Uni Osnabrück and  
ZAG.