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.


(The process of sending a greeting card with the ALICE service)

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.

The objectives of ALICE can be summarised as follows:

  • Investigate current communication practices of elderly people. Simplify electronic communication based on novel and existing technology in fields like interactive TV and video conferencing. Optimise visual user interfaces and related input devices for specific use by elderly people
  • Develop, test and comprehensively evaluate pilot Web applications, focusing on social networking and “togetherness”;
  • Investigate economic issues in order to guarantee maximum commercial impact of the research results.

Watch the video

Expected results and impact

Beyond processing a successful pilot trial in The Netherlands involving 100 people, there is the strategy to further develop and improve the ALICE system and to expand the exploitation possibilities.

Providing the ALICE system to a targeted share of approx. 8% of the elderly people in the Netherlands; including the target group of handicapped people in the Netherlands and exploiting the ALICE application within other countries – starting from Europe and widening to other parts of the world by using already existing partnerships.


Partners involved in the ALICE project

Organization Type Country Website
AT4 wireless S.A. Large Industry Spain
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH R&D Austria
Mens en Zorg BV End User Netherlands
ThuisConnect BV SME Netherlands
Telecare GmbH SME Austria
  • Project name: Advanced Lifestyle Improvement system & new Communication Experience
  • Website:
  • Coordinator: Kurt Majcen – Institute for Information and Communication Technologies JOANNEUM RESEARCH
  • Duration: 24 Months
  • Starting Date: 01.03.2010
  • Total budget: € 1.784.340
  • Public contribution€ 1.114.126


Kurt Majcen


T.: +43 316 876-1636

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