Germany : “žOpening of “Assisted Living Lab” Celebrated at Fraunhofer IESE

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Following the ten-year anniversary celebration of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE), Fraunhofer IESE’s “Assisted Living Lab” was officially opened on Wednesday: At first glance, it looks like a regular apartment, with living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. But smart sensor technology is hidden everywhere: “In combination with Assisted Living solutions, Ambient Intelligence technology can provide persons in need of care with some degree of autonomy in their own home”, explains project manager Thomas Kleinberger: “In the Assisted Living Lab, we can now show what is already possible today.”
Thus, a cup, for instance, “feels” whether it has been emptied, the intelligent refrigerator monitors the expiration dates of its contents, and the intelligent walking stick actively reports when it drops to the ground — because the person using it might have also fallen down. These are just a few examples of an intelligent environment. Institute director Dieter Rombach sees the need for Assisted Living research in the demographic development: “People are living longer, the age pyramid is changing “. The goal of the project is to allow elderly people to live in their familiar environment for as long as possible. Information technology shall get to know the resident in his own home and support him in his daily life. “A project with soul and mind”, said Lord Mayor Bernhard Deubig during the opening of the lab.
Research in Ambient Intelligence is also shared by the University of Kaiserslautern: “The project presents a grand scientific challenge”, stated Jürgen Nehmer from the University of Kaiserslautern. Christian Madler, Chief Physician at the Westpfalz-Klinikum Kaiserslautern, called Assisted Living research “an important interface for medicine”.
Important collaborations have already been established. Harald Orlamünder from Alcatel SEL AG confirmed the importance of Assisted Living for industry: “Assisted Living is absolutely in line with current trends, and I am looking forward to a fruitful future”. Looking at the future, project manager Thomas Kleinberger states that “After tests in the lab and trial phases in senior citizen homes, first prototypes might already be brought to market in collaboration with industry in three to five years”.

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