In 2010 I was invited to visit Eindhoven in the Netherlands. My accommodation was a new Smart Home developed by Phillips with other Dutch technologies. It was explained to me that I was the first tenant of this new, unique smart house and the data generated from my visit would help researchers in exploring the convergence of computing, communications and their new products in a novel residential environment. I would be a test case experiencing all levels of the new ubiquitous technologies in terms of teleworking, distance healthcare, tele-communicating, distance education, tele-shopping and entertaining in this unique residential ecosystem. The demonstration site would also generate data and reports during my visit, especially from an independent living perspective, with distance caregivers monitoring my health and activities while in the smart home. I would be monitored on how I coped with the smart home’s automation, communications, entertainment, education, health and security systems. Despite the many changes in technology since then, these are still the same key areas that smart houses would likely offer their tenants today and into the future.
PC:The model smart homes in Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Every device and service I accessed created data about my stay. In the evening, when I stirred in bed, miniature sensors measured my movement. Today there are devices to measure sleep patterns, heartbeats, perspiration and other indicators that may be able to accurately monitor a person’s health without connecting wires to them while in bed. When I got out of bed at night, there was a small set of LED lights that helped to direct me to the washroom or to other parts of the house along a heated tile floor.