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About CaMeLi | Motivation | Objectives

   Most elderly people prefer to live independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Needed support is delivered by someone else and/or using technology. Today, the predominant model of support for elders living alone at home is provided mainly by informal carers (close relatives, friends or neighbors, etc). The provided care and support provided includes assistance in enabling and sustaining management of activities of daily life and emotional support. Different efforts have been undertaken in the last years at an international level with regards to the development of technological solutions supporting the elderly at home. The main targets of current developments are:

  1. To propose technological solutions focusing on illness, impairments and limitations rather than wellness, convenience and comfort. Such isolated solutions aim at restoring the lost independent living, allowing the elderly to have a glimpse of independence in highly controlled and constrained environments, often without considering emotions or psychological state.
  2. To develop complex platforms, like automated smart houses. This approach is focused largely on technology for the consumer, often giving more attention on device control and technology push instead of helping the elderly to “do things themselves” in a better, easier way. Nevertheless, good examples include HOPE, a smart platform to enable elderly with Alzheimer's to have a more independent life, monitor their health, and perform tasks important for their daily lives and AGNES, which provides personalized home care by detecting, communicating, and meaningfully responding to relevant states, situations, and activities of elderly with mild cognitive impairments.
  3. To stimulate and support social interactions of the elderly with informal and formal carers like the Co-Living system building an elderly-centric virtual social care community.
  4. Robotic systems for home care are mostly in a pre-mature level not addressing the important factors of acceptability, usability and affordability, handicapping thus their adoption in the market. Thanks to the proliferation of inexpensive portable devices with high-powered processors and sensors such as cameras, new potentials exist for realizing novel real-time ambient intelligence systems involving a multitude of technological disciplines: multimodal sensing and processing, immersive human-computer interfaces, environmental context extraction and event interpretation, rich descriptions of human activities and emotional state, and generation of behavior models.

  Existing initiatives consider less the area of immerse interfaces and natural human-computer interaction simulating the interaction with a virtual partner for home daily activities support. They focus mostly on preventing and overcoming social isolation: in the 3rD-LIFE project elders are represented as Avatars in a virtual interface where they can establish social relationships, participate in multi-user virtual activities related to learning, serious gaming and hobbies. V2me is based on an innovative Virtual Coach which allows the elderly to communicate and engage in social activities with friends, family and caregivers via easy-to-use devices with specially designed interfaces. The approach used by CaMeLi takes a proactive action providing a solution for elderly people at the very early stages of capabilities degradation, when they are still capable to have a non-assisted independent living at home. The main underlying innovative service model of the solution is to empower and support the elderly in carrying out their daily activities at home as long as possible by considering their behaviour patterns established with a human partner over the life time. By analogy to a real life human partner, considering emotional understanding and responding, the system attends to the needs of the elder while he goes about his normal daily life activities in the totality of his home and provides implicit support. The elder is considered as an active collaborative agent, able to make personal choices and adapt the care model to their lifestyle over the ageing process, contributing thus highly to their wellbeing. The solution is provided transparently to the user, is ambient and unobtrusive becoming part of his environment and being accessible through a natural, interface that does not require any kind of particular skills. Such multimodal interaction paradigms are a powerful technologically innovative approach to enhance usability making away of keyboards, mice or need for complex buttons and controls: the user communicates as he would had communicated with a real human partner.

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