Review of user interface devices for ambient assisted living smart homes for older people
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Smart homes generally focus on issues to do with security, health, energy savings and entertainment, issues which grow in importance as we age. The sensors, actuators and entertainment devices required to build such a system add significantly to its complexity. Hence, the Man-Machine Interface (MMI) to the smart home systems is often acknowledged to be the most sensitive area for acceptance. Smart homes can allow the user modify the house via a unified control, additionally assisted living smart homes gather information about the subjects health, information that can be used to feedback to the user to modify their behaviour via the device. Increasingly these interface device present information from the internet, such as weather and news. With the internet fast becoming the first source of information for many services, such as shopping, or care workers access, these devices may additionally help bridge the digital divide between the young and old(²), if the principles of universal design are addressed(³)(⁴). The purpose of this study is to examine user interfaces devices that can perform these tasks and analyse them with regard to the particular requirements of the older user.