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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>