Elderly people often have limited mobility and may be housebound, often living some distance away from their friends and family. They can lose touch with their beloved ones and friends, becoming socially isolated and lonely. The overall objective of ALICE is to enhance the quality of life, sense of well-being, social interaction and connectivity of elderly people in their home environments. ALICE focuses on the challenge of making these later years happier, more satisfying and socially enjoyable.
ALICE will research, develop and integrate a set of ICT based services into the existing TV set, allowing elderly people to enjoy experiences of communication and social interaction based on ICT. By doing this, ALICE will lead the way for elderly people to remotely share moments of enjoyment, laughter and fun as if they were face-to-face with their loved ones.
The central part, around which ALICE is developed, is a fit for purpose set-top box (STB) directly connected to an existing TV set. This STB integrates a video camera and microphone for communication as well as computing resources for specific applications (e.g. a customised Web browser etc.). It is equipped with a simple remote control for interactions within the applications and has a broadband connection to a service provider, both for video communications and Web access. The STB allows video interaction services, multimedia social services (e.g. photo sharing, social calendar, social games), and wireless application services (e.g. transmission of sensor data from medical devices).
End user involvement is a key goal. All developments will therefore follow a strict user- centred design process in order to keep the needs of the primary end-users central to the project. The comprehensive pilot phase will ensure valuable feedback on societal benefits and implications – as all achievements will be demonstrated to and evaluated closely together with the primary target group. Evaluation results will also allow the design of a commercial product which is fit for the European market and the economic opportunities therein.