Engaging older adults through Touch Technology

Engaging older adults through Touch Technology

The Director of Swinburne’s Future Self and Design Living Lab, Associate Professor Sonja Pedell, along with Emeritus Professor Leon Sterling and other member of the Centre for Design Innovation are a part of a global movement that believes end-users emotions should be a key factor when searching for solutions to design problems.

A current focus on their work is on emergency alarms for vulnerable Australian’s, in a research project supported by the Smart Internet Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Research Council.

The researchers have developed an iPad based, picture-frame like device that allows older people to receive photos and messages from loved ones each day.

This device allows the participants to respond and interact with these messages, and in doing so, an alert will be sent to their carers and community service providers that the participant is doing okay.

Research found that traditional methods of home alarm systems and wellbeing check systems were like ‘cowbells’ forced upon the elderly, and initial trial of the new check-in system have proven to be a successful alternative.

Associate Professor Pedell has said elderly users are more engaged with the iPad system as it increases their contact with family and friends.

“From an emotional point of view, people were feeling not only cared for, but also cared about, and that is the critical difference”, she said.

While technology has the potential to improve lives, it often falls short as it fails to address the emotional requirements. Pedell aims to overcome this through an “emotion-led approach where we ask the end-users, ‘how would you like to feel?’”

Through the Future Self project in the Centre for Design Innovation and the Living Lab, Pedell and her colleagues were also investigating the use of music and humanoid robots to increase socialisation among dementia sufferers, and refurbishment innovations in older people’s homes.


More information can be found here: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2017/10/engaging-older-adults-through-touch-tablets.php


Posted on 12 / 10 / 2017
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