INESC TEC promotes autonomy of senior citizens
By the end of June INESC TEC’s Telecommunications and Multimedia Unit (UTM) will be concluding the project Living Usability Lab (LUL) – Living Laboratory for the Use of Innovative Technologies in Next Generation Networks, a collaborative R&D project between academia and industry in Portugal. The project aimed to develop technologies that allow senior citizens to become more healthy and active.
The LUL adopted the principles of universal design and natural user interfaces (such as speech and gestures), taking advantage of the benefits of Next Generation Networks and distributed computing. The goal was to develop technologies and services that would allow senior citizens to become more autonomous, always paying special attention to the specifics of usability.
The services provided as part of this project include multimedia access to information and exchange of personal data, tele-health and automatic delivery of medication, as well as support to the daily social, civic and community activities, and automatic management of the environment. The aim is to improve not only the quality of life of citizens, but also their safety.
Also as part of this project a new Laboratory was built in the new facilities of the in the School of Health Sciences, University of Aveiro. In this new Laboratory it will be possible to create living laboratories in order to simulate environments and scenarios where these technologies and services could be used in a real environment. Ultimately these technologies and services will be experienced by end users (senior citizens, people with special needs and the general public).
Other than INESC TEC, the project, which began in January 2010, featured a group of co-promoters which included Microsoft, the Institute of Electronics and Telematics Engineering of Aveiro (IEETA), the University of Aveiro, and the companies Plux and Micro and I/O - Serviços de Microelectrónica, Lda. The INESC TEC members working on this project were Luís Corte-Real (team leader) and researchers João Santos, Lucian Ciobanu and Pedro Carvalho.