A Smart Home With Cyber Crumbs - Bradbury's Happylife Home?
In his 1951 short story collection The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury wrote about the Happylife Home:
"They walked down the hall of their soundproofed Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them." (More)
Researchers today are also working on a smart home that takes care of us. At Accenture, they are working on the problems that will come with an aging population; by 2050 about 33% of the people in developed countries will be 60 or older. Ideally, the home environment itself would be able to both support occupants when they are in trouble, diagnose their medical problems and help them maintain a positive outlook.
(From Smart homes offer a helping hand)
Five main projects are underway at Accenture:
The persuasive mirror project is a great idea; it is able to manipulate the image of a person in real time to show the outcome of the day's activites. If the house knows that the person is sedentary, with many trips to the refrigerator and pantry, the person could be shown the logical result - morbid obesity. (Fans of the Bradbury story may recall that the inhabitants of the Happylife Home learned unpleasant things about themselves and their children as well!)
- Persuasive mirrors
- Connective tables
- Shared scrap books
- Interactive pictures
- Activity monitoring
Information gathered by video monitors and activity sensors could be used by health care professionals to design care plans for the individuals without relying on verbal histories. The home itself could keep them connected with their families, showing pictures and emails from children and grandchildren to keep the residents more involved in their daily lives.
Vision problems are more common as we age; a smart home would be able to give us the help we need. One interesting project that seeks to use technology to help people with failing sight is the Cyber Crumbs project, developed by David Ross of the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Center. People need to have good spatial orientation (a sense of where they are in the home) as well as good wayfinding abilities (the ability to follow a planned route to a particular destination). The ability to do this normally depends on good eyesight and good memory, as well as proprioceptive (the ability to sense your body and its parts) and vestibular (the ability to maintain balance) senses. All of these abilities decline with age.
Cyber Crumbs are like breadcrumbs left to find your way; they make use of special tags worn by the user, and readers that are able to sense the location of the user. The reader is then able to feed back this information verbally through headphones or speaker, helping the user orient themselves within the home. It can also provide guidance with typical routes through the home.
Extensive testing has been done with Cyber Crumbs implemented using specially designed badges created by Charmed Technology. The badges use infrared technology to communicate with readers throughout the home, and a speech synthesizer to provide feedback on position and movement. As the user moves through the home, the system gives location and directions for standard routes.
For more information, see Cyber Crumbs for Successful Aging with Vision Loss (pdf) and Smart homes offer a helping hand.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/26/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.' - Murray Leinster, 1945.
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?' - Jane Webb Loudon, 1828.
Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Personalized Masks Appear
'The tiger stripes on Jim's mask... made the young people easy to identify.'
Foiling Facial Recognition, Fighting Coaster Viruses, Harlan Ellison-Style
I have no mouth and I must scream.
Ford Uses Obedient Robot Dogs To Update Facilities Maps
'If he sent out two or three of the small tele-operated devices... [he] could see machinery and construction details in real time from both above and below.'
AirTouch Panels Means No More Dirty Touchscreens!
Useful interfaces now appear in thin air.
EllipticaRunner Robot Is Fast, Amazing, Slightly Worrisome
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi...'
SPECTER Electroshock Round Fireable From Shotgun
'...the balls sent by this gun are not ordinary balls, but little
cases of glass.'
100 Terabyte Exadrive SSD Also Has Biggest Price
'A man could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres in a Schrön loop.'
Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
'They call 'em culture tanks. They have bugs -- germs -- growing in them.'
Feel Virtual Reality In Mid-Air!
'...a pressure on the lips - warm and soft, moist and sweet.'
Electric Lasso Gives Police Options
'The blast of silver threads enveloped her...'
TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'
Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'
Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories