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The July 15, 2003 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
Pictures and Captions From Unabridged Article by Eric Dishman

Intel Photos
Wayne Harrell, Eric Dishman and Judy Straalsund act out a future technology scenario Wayne Harrell (left) and Judy Straalsund (right) of The Howells Group (http://www.thehowellsgroup.com/) and Eric Dishman (center) from Intel act out a future technology scenario of a family using a digital media jukebox and wireless web tablet to “surf” their vacation videos on their television. This was a digital entertainment study, but many of the respondents in this “informance” (informative performance) focused on their health and wellness needs.
Imagine how infuriating it can be when putting on pajamas is almost impossible. Many of the households we studied create a "sort of smart home," as one participant put it, by placing sticky notes almost everywhere to help their aging parent get through everyday tasks. We all take for granted these routine procedures like getting ready for bed at night, but imagine how infuriating it can be when putting on pajamas is almost impossible.
Every activity in the home can suddenly become dangerous for people who are losing their memory Every activity in the home can suddenly become dangerous for people who are losing their memory. The bathroom can become a truly treacherous location, especially if you cannot remember that you won’t have the strength to get out of the tub by yourself if you take a bath.
Many elders need systems to help them know whether the person at the doorstep is friend or foe. Sadly, many of the Alzheimer’s participants in our study did not know their own spouses or children any better than they knew us as researchers. Nonetheless, many of these elders still insist on living alone and need systems to help them know whether the person at the doorstep is friend or foe.
"Jim" helps "Betty" rehearse getting dressed on her good days. "Betty," a participant from Intel’s recent in-home studies of people dealing with cognitive decline, tries to show us where she keeps different clothes in her closet, but on this day, she is unable to find the shirts she wanted to show us. Her husband "Jim" helps her rehearse getting dressed on her good days in hopes that it will help prolong her independence for doing these everyday activities.
Betty sometimes has trouble even making a cup of coffee or tea. Betty sometimes has trouble even making a cup of coffee or tea. The steps of the task overwhelm her, and she often asks, "What do I need to do next?" Jim is quick to point out that "a good day for Betty is when she is able to make tea for herself--this disease has completely changed our priorities."
Wireless sensor network at the Proactive Health Lab at Intel’s Hillsboro, Oregon campus The Proactive Health Lab at Intel’s Hillsboro, Oregon campus has a wireless sensor network embedded into the furniture, floor, and many of the households objects. The wall mounted cameras use stereo 3D-tracking of infrared badges to help the system know how much physical activity a person has gotten in a day and to send an alert if someone has fallen. Pressure sensors in the chairs inform the system whether someone is sitting in their favorite chair or not, and the black mat is an RFID “threshold” reader which detects a tag placed in people’s shoe to let the system know their identity and general location in the home so that nearby devices such as the television can provide emergency alerts, medication reminders, or coaching/assistance with everyday tasks
"Smart kitchen" at the Proactive Health Lab The Proactive Health Lab at Intel’s Hillsboro, Oregon campus also has a "smart kitchen" where many items are connected to a wireless sensor network to help track and assist the everyday behaviors of people dealing with cognitive decline. The cabinets and drawers have simple contact switches that show when something has been opened or closed. Many of the artifacts like the teapot, mugs, and sugar jar have tags or switches that help the system know what objects are being used and what activities (making tea) are happening so it can offer assistance on the nearby television, if needed.
"Motes" are tiny, battery-powered units that can process and wirelessly transmit data We are using "motes," which are tiny, battery-powered units that can process and wirelessly transmit data from almost any sensor plugged into them.
Infrared camera tracker The stereo cameras mounted on the wall in the living room use 3D tracking software to locate the person wearing the infrared badge (or a particular color) so the system can begin to infer—based on additional sensor data—what activity the person might be doing. A powerful PC processes all of this data using an inference engine to make probabilistic guesses about everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, fixing a drink, etc.
Brad Needham demonstrates the television prompter Brad Needham, lead engineer on the Proactive Health project, demonstrates the television prompter, which waits until absolutely necessary to suggest that someone who has not had enough to drink today go to the kitchen for some tea. It starts with a commercial for tea inserted into their television programming, and ultimately uses an explicit textual prompt if they have still not moved into the kitchen to drink something.
Our prototype system knows if a mug has been placed on the table Our prototype system knows if the user has opened the cabinet doors, if a mug has been placed on the table, if the teapot has been lifted, and if the tea canister or sugar jar have been moved. It uses all of these wirelessly connected sensors to try to offer just-in-time coaching through the steps of making tea on the nearby television.
Remote control note People with cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s typically forget how to use the tools they learned later in life. As one expert explained to us: “Last thing learned, first thing forgotten.” While this is not true for everyone, we generally found people only able to use everyday devices like the TV remote control they had been using for 10 years or the particular telephone next to their bed. And even then—they often need sticky notes to help them use these everyday devices.