The Kith&Kin system exists of hardware and software components. The basic hardware platform will be a standard/off-the-shelf tablet computer (with a set of application(s) running on it). Additional hardware components/add-ons will allow for tangible/haptic interaction possibilities following the criteria easy to understand, easy to handle and fun to use. The modules will offer communication (e.g., video conferencing), sharing (e.g. of photos) and gaming functions (e.g., real-time play with tangible objects) for PC-illiterate older adults (70+ living alone – and for their remote family members/friends). The Kith&Kin project is committed to user-centred design/development (UCD) and the ISO 9241 (Ergonomics of human-system interaction) in combination with a user-inspired innovation process. End-users will be continuously involved; with intensified phases in requirements engineering, and lab and field trials (20 user pairs in final phases – in Switzerland and The Netherlands).


The Kith&Kin project tackles the problem of the progressive social isolation of older adults living alone and in far distance from their family members. It offers a solution for technology illiterate older adults to foster the communication and interaction with their family and friends by designing a new product which is based on well-known communication and interaction patterns. The innovative core of Kith&Kin is the tangible/haptic user interaction capability extending a standard tablet PC. The basic concept provides new ways of communication, gaming and sharing.

Expected results and impact

Kith&Kin will be based on clearly identified user wishes and needs, wants to support connectedness and enable older adults to participate in social life (crucial for personal satisfaction, well-being and quality of life). Kith&Kin wants to motivate to use and integrate ICT-based products in everyday life routines. It follows a strong user-centred/participatory design approach and will profoundly involve 20 user pairs. At the end of the project a concept prototype with simple interaction patterns is expected which can be brought to the market as an accessible (ease of use) and affordable (costs) solution within 2 years.


Partners involved in the KnK project

Organization Type Country Website
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH R&D Austria
New Design University R&D Austria
Wetouch SME Austria
Hochschule Luzern - Technik & Architektur – iHomeLab R&D Switzerland
soultank AG SME Switzerland
terzStiftung End User Switzerland
YoooM bv. SME The Netherlands
CMO Flevoland End User The Netherlands
  • Project name: Kith&Kin – connects you with your beloved ones
  • Website:
  • Coordinator: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Starting date: 01.04.2016
  • Total budget: 3,0 mi €
  • Public contribution: 1,8 mi €


Mr. Andreas Stainer-Hochgatterer


T.: +43.664.6207689


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