An EU-funded ‘smart-home’ project is using mobile phones running Google’s Android operating system to enable people to control a wide range of household devices.
i2home is a project aimed at giving greater independence and freedom to older and disabled people, reports the BBC. Users can select their preferred interface to remotely control heating, lighting and other appliances around the house.
The research project brings together industry, consumers and universities to match technology to the requirements of people with a wide range of different needs, including the blind and partially-sighted, as well as those with Alzheimers and cognitive impairments.
The project team is working with users in the German town of Saarbrücken where a mocked-up kitchen has been created to demonstrate the technology.
Household devices are networked together and using i2home interfaces can be controlled using a variety of devices, including mobile phones running Google’s Android operating system. Larger touchscreens as well as voice recognition interfaces have also been tested as part of the project, as have Windows Mobile devices.
“The users of the technology have been the driving force in the project – all technical solutions are based on a thorough investigation of the users’ needs and desires,” said project coordinator, Jan Alexandersson speaking to the BBC.
Over 100 organisations are now working with or developing i2home technologies since the project was originally launched in 2008, with activities under way in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal and the Czech Republic.