Collaborative space for research-innovation and training in technology adaptable to users with special needs in a home

This project belongs to: Biosciencies and sustainability

This project is based on a previous project carried out in Tknika since 2019, where research into the adaptability of housing for dependent persons is proposed. In 2017, the European Union defined the Silver Economy as the set of opportunities that begin to flourish from public and consumer spending, linked to the demographic transition that means population ageing and the specific market needs of people over 50 years old (Peter Wintlev-Jensen, Programme Manager at the European Commission).
Silver Economy thus encompasses a range of cross-cutting economic activities related to the production, consumption and trade of goods and services relevant to older people, both public and private, and including the direct and indirect effects it generates.
In addition, this project aims to have a broader vision, with the objective of an autonomous and independent life, adapting the home with the existing technology and to be discovered to the particular needs of the user.
With all this, the present project is developed by creating a space simulating an intelligent home adapted to ageing or other special needs where the home is a good whose meaning goes beyond the economic, it is the place where a very important part of our life takes place. The home is essential for all people, but even more so for older people, because as time goes by, the home takes on more importance and significance. There is some consensus on the principles that an environment designed for ageing should meet: compensate as far as possible for disability, maximise independence, reinforce personal identity, enhance confidence, possess qualities that enable understanding of the building and ease of orientation, control the balance of stimuli, promote social interaction, provide privacy where optional, provide routes for ambulation, both indoors and outdoors. In addition, dwellings should maintain a “dynamic relationship” with their occupants, i.e. they should respond to changing situations as a function of the individual or family life cycle. To the extent that they adjust to the needs that arise over time in our homes, they can be our greatest allies or our greatest enemies. In this way, the space must comply with the following:
– On the one hand, regarding the distribution of the spaces, the architecture has been adapted following the criteria of the Accessibility Decree 68/2000, of 11 April, which allows the distribution of the resulting spaces to be adapted for people with reduced mobility. This will allow spatially to accommodate different groups with needs, in addition to the elderly.
– On the other hand, the proposed house will have a domotic installation that will allow the research of adaptability of a house with the technology available in the market. In addition to this, a search will be carried out for technology on the market that will allow, in addition to active and healthy ageing, the adaptation of the home to different groups with special needs.
This will result in a housing laboratory where it will be possible to analyse, experiment, test and investigate how a home can be adapted to the needs that arise throughout life.
The integration of different technologies will allow the interaction of social robotics, Artificial Intelligence, the impact of Virtual Reality on people or Mixed Reality in the interaction with the home, control by gestures, or eye-tracking, among others.