Plans to investigate ways in which automatic and context-aware computer control and monitoring systems can be employed to improve the quality of life for disabled, elderly or infirm people.
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This improvement will be achieved through the development of smart and customisable systems which enhance the level of control users have over their environment, as well as non-intrusive monitoring systems which enable at-risk people to lead more independent lives while still being watched over. There are many people with reduced mobility who find it difficult to achieve everyday tasks such as locating objects around the home. Nearly one in five people of working age in Great Britain is disabled and 750,000 use a wheelchair. The proportion of people in these categories is expected to rise over coming years, whilst the proportion of people available as helpers, and the funding required to pay for caring services, is likely to fall. A feasibility study will identify the range of people that can benefit from smart control and monitoring technology, and the extent of the benefits in different cases. Investigation by a doctoral student, under the supervision of a senior academic at the University of Greenwich, will identify the key areas where smart control systems could be of assistance to people who have reduced range of movement, or limited strength, to regain control of their environment. Examples could include automatic control of lighting, curtains and household appliances, in a context-aware manner that minimises the actual need for interaction by the user.
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