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Hidden System Makes It Easier For Elderly People to Live at Home

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Accessing a tablet computer embedded in the wall

A new assistive system for seniors embeds a tablet computer right in the wall for easy access.

Credit: U. Benz/TUM

Technical University of Munich (TUM) researchers, in collaboration with business partners, have designed an assistive system for helping senior citizens live at home by embedding a tablet computer in the wall. The tablet provides a central location where users can access all of the information they need, such as weather forecasts, bus schedules, and family phone numbers.

The wall panel is designed for an entrance hall area and can alert occupants if they forget to take the front door key when they open the front door. It also can keep track of other items that are frequently misplaced.

When residents feel poorly, biosensors can measure vital signs so the system can recommend exercise or medication, or alert a physician or mobile nursing service if the health problem is critical. Building automation functions such as air conditioning also can be managed by the system, which would maintain the circulation of fresh air if the occupant forgets to air the living space.

The researchers plan to develop similar wall panels for every room in a house, and TUM professor Thomas Bock stresses that "we want people to retain as much of their independence as possible."

From Technical University Munich 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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