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AAL Paelife


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Title PaeLife: Personal Assistant to Enhance the Social Life of the Seniors
Reference AAL Paelife
PI António J. S. Teixeira
Participants Nelson Rocha, Miguel Oliveira e Silva, Ciro Martins, Cláudio Teixeira, Alexandra Queirós, Catarina Oliveira, Joaquim Alvarelhão, Joaquim Madeira, Margarida Cerqueira, Pedro Francisco, Ana Filipa Rosa
Funded by 2º concurso transnacional Ambient Assisted Living
Global funding (€) 1.5 M€1,500,000 €
2,070,000 USD
RU funding (€) 85,000€117,300 USD
Starts 2012/02/26
Ends 2014/10/31

PaeLIFE joins a consortium of 8 partners, located in Portugal, France, Hungary and Poland and focuses on individuals who are recently retired and who are used to some level of technology usage and who want to keep themselves active, productive and socially engaged.

The project’s main goal is to fight isolation and exclusion and to allow the elderly to be more productive, independent and to have a more social and fulfilling life, by empowering these elderly users with a Personal (Virtual) Life Assistant (PLA), a virtual presence who supports social communication, learning and entertainment.

The Personal Life Assistant, will mediate and facilitate the interaction of these senior citizens, with technological devices such as standard computers, game consoles, mobile devices (smartphone) and home automation modules and will be specially oriented to increase the level of productivity, information and service consumption by the elderly, by improving the accessibility to existing services in the web, such as interactive online courses acting as a student or as a teacher, and social and entertainment networks. All this will be made possible at people’s homes, since elderly people have sometimes some level of impairments caused by age, which reduces their mobility.

Starting with an analysis of the existing Internet services and household ICT devices/gadgets targeted to the citizens and, in particular, to the elderly citizens, that enhance social life and productivity we will study the existing HCI gaps that hinder their effective adoption by the elderly From this study we will select a set of Internet services and domestic ICT devices and will generate credible usage scenarios and derive corresponding user requirements (WP1). These will guide the following project activities: PaeLife system specification, technological development and testing, system integration and testing, pilot application development and testing, usability evaluation in field trials. Speech, as the easiest and most natural modality for human-human and human-computer interaction, will be used as a critical modality for interaction with the Personal (Virtual) Life Assistant. In particular, the project will provide speaker independent SR engines in 3 European languages, specially adapted to the elderly speech production degradation (which will involve collecting the speech data of around 1500 European elder citizens), as well as different TTS voices (including male and female and personalized voices), that match the communication requirements of the end-user groups (WP2). Other low-cost but effective HCI modalities such as (multi) touch, gesture, biometric physiological indicators (brain waves, elecro-oculography, electromyography), tangible/organic interfaces and HCI in augmented reality settings will be considered (WP3). The most appropriate mix of these HCI modalities will be derived that suit context, being able to deal with different momentary capabilities of the elderly person (WP3). We consider context as featuring three dimensions: Human, Environment and Application. The Human dimension concerns the user identity, preferences and activities as well as the presence of other persons. The Environment dimension includes location and physical conditions (e.g. lighting, noise). The Application concerns the available functions (e.g. domotics, productivity, communication, control) and input/output channels. One of the novelties of this project is the enhanced way of interaction with the computer, mobile device or game console, with high-quality technology and multimodal Human-Computer Interfaces (HCI). Four new “virtual devices” of the PLA will be developed (WP4), namely the PLA Home Centre, PLA Unified Messaging and PLA Internet Services Centre, which will abstract the multimodal HCI. Pilot application prototypes will be specified and developed (WP5) and subject to usability evaluation with the end user partners participating in field trials at their homes (WP6). A comprehensive investigation of all regulatory framework, standards and regulations regarding PaeLife related issues will be carried, to ensure interoperability of systems and equipments as well as to develop a comprehensive framework to be able to implement Pre-Commercial Procurement initiatives across Europe on AAL markets (WP7). This Project will be disseminated through participation in innovation conventions and international conferences and organization of events (WP8).

List of participants:

1 (Coordinator) MSFT - Software para Microcomputadores, LDA MSFT Company Portugal
2 Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa INESC-ID R&D Institute Portugal
3 Budapest University of Technology and Economics BME-TMIT University Hungary
4 The Bay Zoltán Foundation for Applied Research BZAKA-IKTI R&D Institute/ Secondary End User Hungary
5 Knowledge Society Association SSW Secondary End User Poland
6 Genitech GENITECH Company France
7 University of Technology of Troyes UTT University / Secondary End User France
8 Universidade de Aveiro UAVR University Portugal