Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Talking to smart homes to improve quality of life

11.01.2005


Telling your house to turn on the lights or record a TV programme may be the ultimate high-tech luxury, but for elderly and disabled people voice-operated smart homes could dramatically improve quality of life. INSPIRE has successfully tested such a system.



Based on the results of the 30-month IST programme INSPIRE project, the partners are confident that they will be able to have a commercial version of their system on the market within two years. It will be geared initially toward people with disabilities and restricted movement but also any home-owner who wants to enjoy the advantages of operating appliances and devices with speech alone.

Within the property the interactive computer system picks up voice commands from wall-mounted microphone arrays, while remote access is provided via voicemail over mobile and fixed-line communications. “One scenario could be that someone is on their way home and calls the house to turn on the heating for them, once there they can walk in the door and tell it to turn on the lights. If they wanted to watch TV they could use it to close the curtains and dim the lamps,” explains INSPIRE scientific coordinator Anastasios Tsopanoglou at KNOWLEDGE in Greece.


The system, which can be programmed to operate in any language, was tested in five pilot trials in Germany and Greece involving around 100 users. “The greatest difficulty we faced was enhancing the speech recognition technology to an acceptable level, although we managed to ensure it would recognise voice commands successfully in more than 85 per cent of cases,” Tsopanoglou says. “Users’ reactions were generally very positive, on a scale of one to seven most rated it at 5.5.”

Even so, the coordinator admits that most average users said that though the system would be a nice feature to have in their homes they did not consider it essential. “The market is not really mature enough for this technology yet for general consumers, however, there is vast potential to use it to help the elderly and disabled,” Tsopanoglou notes. “They could benefit enormously from being able to operate appliances with speech.”

The coordinator estimates that fitting a house with the system would cost approximately 10,000 euros, largely due to the need to run hundreds of cables. “That could be overcome if new houses are built with cabling pre-installed, or by using wireless technologies such as Bluetooth to interconnect devices,” Tsopanoglou says.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

All articles from Innovative Products >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-assembling nano inks form conductive and transparent grids during imprint

Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.

To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...

Im Focus: The Glowing Brain

A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology

On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...

Im Focus: Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

Im Focus: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms

Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...

Im Focus: Continental tug-of-war - until the rope snaps

Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases

Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

GROWING IN CITIES - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Gardening

15.07.2016 | Event News

SIGGRAPH2016 Computer Graphics Interactive Techniques, 24-28 July, Anaheim, California

15.07.2016 | Event News

Partner countries of FAIR accelerator meet in Darmstadt and approve developments

11.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New movie screen allows for glasses-free 3-D

26.07.2016 | Information Technology

Scientists develop painless and inexpensive microneedle system to monitor drugs

26.07.2016 | Health and Medicine

Astronomers discover dizzying spin of the Milky Way galaxy's 'halo'

26.07.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>