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/

More articles from Innovative Products:

nachricht A ski jacket that actively gets rid of sweat
30.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht A fashionable chemical and biological threat detector-on-a-ring
12.10.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Innovative Products >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

Im Focus: Physicists uncover new competing state of matter in superconducting material

A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.

"Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster," said Jigang Wang, Ames Laboratory physicist and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists coax proteins to form synthetic structures with method that mimics nature

15.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Next generation photonic memory devices are light-written, ultrafast and energy efficient

15.01.2019 | Information Technology

Viennese scientists develop promising new type of polymers

15.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>