More intelligent smart houses

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					          More Intelligent Smart Houses for Better Care and Health
                             Ilse Bierhoff and Ad van Berlo
                   Smart Homes Association, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, smart houses and smart home technology, specially designed for older
people have been implemented in the first pilot projects for older people in 1997. By 2008 a
breakthrough of the deployment of smart home technology for this particular target group can
be observed. Smart Homes, a non-profit organisation based near Eindhoven, the Netherlands,
has been initiator and stimulator of smart home technology from 1993 on. In this paper, an
overview will be given of the development of more intelligent houses that may help
achieving better quality of care and better health of their occupants.

On European level several IP projects on AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) are running to
reach these goals: NETCARITY, PERSONA and SOPRANO. Smart Homes is involved in
two of them. In the Netherlands Smart Homes is coordinator of a national project in which
several SME’s are working on a variety of new sensors and actors that will contribute to
smarter houses.

From the projects in the first decade, many lessons were learned: what older users themselves
like and don’t like about it, how the procedures and processes of design, installation and after
service can be improved and where technological solutions themselves are still not sufficient
or adequate. It should be kept in mind that in the period of initiation up to some years ago,
technologies like Internet, broadband and cell phones have come to full exploitation. Most
projects up to now, however, were started with home automation within the house itself and
no connection to the electronic highway.

In the new generation of smart house development, the aforementioned technologies plus the
integration with software packages for e.g. context aware observations and decisions will
deliver an entire new dimension of smart living for older people. Various new electronic
services are expected to be developed in the next 5 years to come. In this paper, possibilities
and precautions (in privacy and ethics questions) will be discussed, based on expierences in
the first year of the running of the ambient assisted living projects. Special attention will be
given to the central role of the end user and other stakeholders, informal and formal
caregivers in particular, in order to successfully reach the goals.

Keywords: smart homes, independent living, ambient assisted living