Demographic development shows that today people in Germany are growing older. Even at an old age they want to live independently as long as possible and to stay in contact with their family and friends. In the future, smartwatches can support elderly people in their daily routine. The watches remind them for example of taking their medicine via vibration alarm or speech function. Relatives or care personnel can set up and manage these services easily on an internet platform. In the joint project Home Interaction Service (HIS) experts investigate and develop supportive technologies for home environment.
Today electronic devices such as mobile phones or computers are part of almost every household and important means of communication in daily (work) life. In many cases, however, these modern means of communication, like smartwatches or tablets – providing an enormous amount of services – just seem to be made for the younger generation. Elderly people often struggle with their complicated applications. The aim of the project HIS is to change this situation and to provide a new kind of assistance to the elderly.
In the project Fraunhofer IGD develops user-friendly and practicable interaction solutions for elderly people within their homes. These solutions enable them to communicate with relatives and friends but also to interactively handle automations such as heating, light or window blinds. The intelligent services can be easily used via gestures or at the push of a button, and are adaptable to the respective situation of the user.
In the sub-project HIS-AIF »anomaly recognition and information flow« Fraunhofer IGD researchers develop methods to automatically detect distinctive features or anomalies in the user’s behaviour with the help of intelligent and unobtrusive sensors, and to take appropriate measures. An information management system transfers the data to multiple displays and manages the interactions on a cloud-based platform.
Recognition of anomalies through physical activity
Just like a normal watch the smartwatch can be worn at the wrist. It is waterproof and contains various sensors. New algorithms enable sensors for acceleration and position to record and analyse each movement of the user as well as its duration. The data allow conclusions on the kind of physical activity, like for example running, walking or sleeping. Each activity results in special patterns. These are recognised, analysed and then stored. In case of abnormal activity patterns anomalies might indicate a downfall or unconsciousness. Radio sensors, such as GSM, bluetooth or WLAN, immediately transfer the information to the internet platform or directly to relatives and care