A smart house that alerts when residents fall ill

Friday, February 4, 2011

LONDON - The prototype of an energy-efficient house has been programmed to send alerts if its residents fall ill.

InterHome is the first in the UK which can monitor the health of its occupants, text residents if the house is being burgled, or the door has been left unlocked.

“We developed it further with elderly people in mind so that the house can send alerts if the person has a fall or a stroke,” said Johann Siau, senior lecturer at the University of Herfordshire’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Researchers have developed a prototype which can be strapped to a person’s wrist and is embedded with sensors which take readings of body temperature and pulse.

“This opens up a platform for us to add new types of technologies around assisted living,” said Siau, according to a statement from the university.

InterHome incorporates modular custom design units and draws on standard home automation systems which have been adapted so that the house “learns” and “adapts” to its users’ lifestyles.

The prototype of the home, which has been developed in a doll’s house, integrates embedded devices with home automation controllers, so that it provides convenience and security to the home owner and also enables them to reduce energy.

InterHome incorporates an intuitive touch screen user control panel that also allows the house to be monitored and controlled using web browsers, smart phones and any SMS-capable mobile phone.

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