Technological and Research Perspectives of Old-Age Ubiquitous Computing

Antonio Krüger; Albrecht Schmidt; Jörg Müller
In: GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 23, No. 2 / 2010, Pages 99-105, Hogrefe, 6/2010.


The terms mobile and ubiquitous computing in adulthood and old age ubiquitous computing can be seen as describing the trend towards an ever greater interweaving of processing, wireless communication, sensing and actuation technologies with the world in which we live. Technological advances allow networked and context-aware computer systems to be integrated into devices, environments, everyday objects, and garments. The idea is that such smart environments and artifacts are able to perceive the users' context and activity, anticipate their needs, and act to provide proactive support. Health care and independent assisted living are often seen as the first areas of application for these technologies, as they seem to provide clear economic and social benefits in this setting. Examples of such applications include personal navigation systems, proactive furniture, mobile assistance devices, emergency detection devices (e.g. for falls), implicit activity assessment, communication tools, and collaborative care systems. Old age ubiquitous computing has the potential to increase the length of time that both individuals and groups are able to lead independent lives, even at advanced ages. The usability of technological applications are essential for their success. Due to continuing technological developments, we are also likely to see more advanced solutions whereby powerful computing devices become integrated both onto and into the human body. Examples of this range from smart reading glasses, which are capable of reading articles to the user, all the way to body implants designed to increase human perceptive, cognitive and motor capabilities.



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