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.
Tara Morris | alfa
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