Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) in Kaiserslautern, Germany, are developing an intelligent home automation system that collects detailed environment information through a network of sensors that analyze and respond to specific situations.
"Using many hidden sensors, the system monitors the daily routine of the occupants," says Martin Becker, head of IESE's Ambient Assisted Living research department. "Risks can be detected and it is possible to assess whether the situation appears to be deteriorating, or most importantly, whether an emergency exists." Sensors automatically report data to a control center somewhere in the house, and, if needed, the sensor's functions can be manually controlled. The system can tell if someone has fallen and send that information to a designated contact person. The Assistive Bathroom Environment has a toilet that recognizes the user and adjusts to the proper height, a light that turns on and off automatically, and a tap that turns itself off to save water. The bathroom contains a mirror with illuminated pictograms to help those who are easily confused remember what to do next, such as brush teeth, wash up, or shave, and also can also remind people when to take medication.
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