Advertisement

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 127–144 | Cite as

Design and evaluation of a smart home voice interface for the elderly: acceptability and objection aspects

  • François PortetEmail author
  • Michel Vacher
  • Caroline Golanski
  • Camille Roux
  • Brigitte Meillon
Original Article

Abstract

Smart homes equipped with ambient intelligence technology constitute a promising direction to enable the growing number of elderly to continue to live in their own home as long as possible. However, this calls for technological solutions that suit their specific needs and capabilities. The Sweet-Home project aims at developing a new user friendly technology for home automation based on voice command. This paper reports a user evaluation assessing the acceptance and fear of this new technology. Eight healthy persons between 71 and 88 years old, 7 relatives (child, grandchild or friend) and 3 professional carers participated in a user evaluation. During about 45 min, the persons were questioned in co-discovery in the Domus smart home alternating between interview and wizard of Oz periods followed by a debriefing. The experience aimed at testing four important aspects of the project: voice command, communication with the outside world, domotics system interrupting a person’s activity, and electronic agenda. Voice interface appeared to have a great potential to ease daily living for elderly and frail persons and would be better accepted than more intrusive solutions. By considering still healthy and independent elderly people in the user evaluation, an interesting finding that came up is their overall acceptance provided the system does not drive them to a lazy lifestyle by taking control of everything. This particular fear must be addressed for the development of smart homes that support daily living by giving them more ability to control rather than putting them away from the daily routine.

Keywords

Voice interface Smart home Ubiquitous computing User evaluation Gerontechnology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the participants (seniors, relatives and carers) who accepted to perform this experiment and kindly gave their time and Nicolas Bonnefond for being such a good wizard. Thanks are extended to Thierry Chevalier for his help in defining the protocol and to our reviewer for checking the English of the early draft. This work is supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-09-VERS-011).

References

  1. 1.
    Augusto JC (2009) Past, present and future of ambient intelligence and smart environments. In: ICAART, pp 11–18Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baba A, Yoshizawa S, Yamada M, Lee A, Shikano K (2004) Acoustic models of the elderly for large-vocabulary continuous speech recognition. Electron Commun Jpn Part 2 87(7):49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Badii A, Boudy J (2009) CompanionAble—integrated cognitive assistive & domotic companion robotic systems for ability & security. In: 1’st Congres of the Société Française des Technologies pour lAutonomie et de Gérontechnologie (SFTAG’09), Troyes, pp 18–20Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bahadori S, Cesta A, Grisetti G, Iocchi L, Leone R, Nardi D, Oddi A, Pecora F, Rasconi R (2004) RoboCare: pervasive intelligence for the domestic care of the elderly. Intell Artif 1(1):16–21Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bender BG, Apter A, Bogen DK, Dickinson P, Fisher L, Wamboldt FS, Westfall JM (2010) Test of an interactive voice response intervention to improve adherence to controller medications in adults with asthma. J Am Board Family Med 23(2):159–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blanpain N, Chardon O (2010) Projections de population à l’horizon 2060: Un tiers de la population âgé de plus de 60 ans. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (France) [in French]Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Callejas Z, López-Cózar R (2009) Designing smart home interfaces for the elderly. SIGACCESS Newslett 95Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chahuara P, Portet F, Vacher M (2011) Location of an inhabitant for domotic assistance through fusion of audio and non-visual data. In: Proceedings of pervasive health, Dublin, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chan M, Campo E, Estève D, Fourniols JY (2009) Smart homes—current features and future perspectives. Maturitas 64(2):90–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Demiris G, Rantz M, Aud M, Marek K, Tyrer H, Skubic M, Hussam A (2004) Older adults’ attitudes towards and perceptions of “smart home” technologies: a pilot study. Med Inform Internet Med 29(2):87–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Edwards W, Grinter R (2001) At home with ubiquitous computing: seven challenges. In: Abowd G, Brumitt B, Shafer S (eds) Ubicomp 2001: ubiquitous computing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2201. Springer, Berlin, pp 256–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Filho G, Moir TJ (2010) From science fiction to science fact: a smart-house interface using speech technology and a photo-realistic avatar. Int J Comput Appl Technol 39(8):32–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fleury A, Vacher M, Noury N (2010) SVM-based multi-modal classification of activities of daily living in health smart homes: sensors, algorithms and first experimental results. IEEE Trans Inform Technol Biomed 14(2):274–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fugger E, Prazak B, Hanke S, Wassertheurer S (2007) Requirements and ethical issues for sensor-augmented environments in elderly care. In: 4th International conference on universal access in human-computer interaction, pp 887–893Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gödde F, Möller S, Engelbrecht KP, Kühnel C, Schleicher R, Naumann A, Wolters M (2008) Study of a speech-based smart home system with older users. In: International workshop on intelligent user interfaces for ambient assisted living, pp 17–22Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gordon M (1993) Community care for the elderly: is it really better?. Can Med Assoc J 148:393–396Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hagras H, Doctor F, Lopez A, Callaghan V (2007) An incremental adaptive life long learning approach for type-2 fuzzy embedded agents in ambient intelligent environments. IEEE Trans Fuzzy Syst 15(1):41–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hamill M, Young V, Boger J, Mihailidis A (2009) Development of an automated speech recognition interface for personal emergency response systems. J NeuroEng Rehabil 6Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hornbrook M, Stevens V, Wingfield D, Hollis J, Greenlick M, Ory M (1994) Preventing falls among community-dwelling older persons: results from a randomized trial. Gerontologist 34(1):16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Intille SS (2002) Designing a home of the future. IEEE Pervas Comput 1(2):76–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Istrate D, Vacher M, Serignat JF (2008) Embedded implementation of distress situation identification through sound analysis. J Inf Technol Healthcare 6:204–211Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jaimes A, Sebe N, Gatica-Perez D (2006) Human-centered computing: a multimedia perspective. In: MULTIMEDIA ’06: proceedings of the 14th annual ACM international conference on Multimedia. ACM, New York, pp 855–864Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jambon F (2011) Human-computer interaction and innovation in handheld, mobile and wearable technologies. IGI Global 155–171Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kang MS, Kim KM, Kim HC (2006) A questionnaire study for the design of smart home for the elderly. In: Healthcom, pp 265–268Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Keshavarz A, Tabar AM, Aghajan H (2006) Distributed vision-based reasoning for smart home care. In: ACM SenSys workshop on distributed smart camerasGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kjeldskov J, Skov MB (2007) Studying usability in sitro: simulating real world phenomena in controlled environments. Int J Hum Comput Interact 22(1&2):7–36Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Koskela T, Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila K (2004) Evolution towards smart home environments: empirical evaluation of three user interfaces. Personal Ubiquitous Comput 8:234–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Le XHB, Di Mascolo M, Gouin A, Noury N (2008) Health smart home for elders a tool for automatic recognition of activities of daily living. In: Proceedings of the 30th annual international conference of the IEEE engineering in medicine and biology society, EMBC, Vancouver, p. 10Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lecouteux B, Vacher M, Portet F (2011) Distant speech recognition in a smart home: comparison of several multisource ASRs in realistic conditions. In: Interspeech 2011, Florence, pp 2273–2276Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lines L, Hone KS (2006) Multiple voices, multiple choices: older adults’ evaluation of speech output to support independent living. Gerontechnol J 5(2):78–91Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    López-Cózar R, Callejas Z (2010) Multimodal dialogue for ambient intelligence and smart environments. In: Nakashima H, Aghajan H, Augusto JC (eds) Handbook of ambient intelligence and smart environments. Springer, USA, pp 559–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Marek K, Rantz M (2000) Aging in place: a new model for long-term care. Nurs Admin Q 24(3):1–11Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Moncrieff S, Venkatesh S, West GAW (2007) Dynamic privacy in a smart house environment. In: IEEE Multimedia and Expo, pp 2034–2037Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mozer MC (2005) Smart environments: technologies, protocols, and applications. Wiley, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mäyär F, Soronen A, Vanhala J, Mikkonen J, Zakrzewski M, Koskinen I, Kuusela K (2006) Probing a proactive home: challenges in researching and designing everyday smart environments. Hum Technol 2:158–186Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Noury N, Rumeau P, Bourke A, ÓLaighin G, Lundy J (2008) A proposal for the classification and evaluation of fall detectors. IRBM 29(6):340–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Popescu M, Li Y, Skubic M, Rantz M (2008) An acoustic fall detector system that uses sound height information to reduce the false alarm rate. In: Proceedings of 30th annual international of conference of the IEEE-EMBS 2008, pp 4628–4631Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rantz M, Porter R, Cheshier D, Otto D, Servey C, Johnson R, Aud M, Skubic M, Tyrer H, He Z, Demiris G, Alexander G, Taylor G (2008) TigerPlace, a State-Academic-Private project to revolutionize traditional Long-Term care. J Housing Elderly 22(1):66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Reidel K, Tamblyn R, Patel V, Huang A (2008) Pilot study of an interactive voice response system to improve medication refill compliance. BMC Med Inform Decis Making 8:46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rialle V, Noury FDN, Bajolle L, Demongeot J (2002) Health “smart” home: information technology for patients at home. Telemed J E Health 8(4):395–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rialle V, Ollivet C, Guigui C, Hervé C (2008) What do family caregivers of alzheimers disease patients desire in smart home technologies? Contrasted results of a wide survey. Methods Inf Med 47(1):63–69Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Rodin J (1986) Aging and health: effects of the sense of control. Science 233(4770):1271–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Rougui J, Istrate D, Souidene W (2009) Audio sound event identification for distress situations and context awareness. In: 31st Annual international conference of the IEEE engineering in medicine and biology society (EMBC’09). Minneapolis, USA, pp 3501–3504Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Slavk P, Nêmec V, Sporka A (2005) Speech based user interface for users with special needs. In: Matoušek V, Mautner P, Pavelka T (eds) Text, speech and dialogue, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 3658. Springer, Berlin, pp 743–743Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Syndicat National des Professionnels Infirmiers: Délires technologiques: les “robots infirmiers”. http://www.syndicat-infirmier.com/Delires-technologiques-les-robots.html (2007). [in French]
  46. 46.
    Szecsi T, Mamun K, Hasan K, Islam A, Griffin C, Hoque M (2008) Hospital robot module development in the iward project. In: 6th CIRP international conference on intelligent computation in manufacturing engineering (CIRP ICME ’08), Naples, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Vacher M, Fleury A, Portet F, Serignat JF, Noury N (2010) Complete sound and speech recognition system for health smart homes: application to the recognition of activities of daily living, Intech Book, pp 645–673Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Vacher M, Istrate D, Portet F, Joubert T, Chevalier T, Smidtas S, Meillon B, Lecouteux B, Sehili M, Chahuara P, Mniard S (2011) The sweet-home project: audio technology in smart homes to improve well-being and reliance. In: 33rd Annual international conference of the IEEE engineering in medicine and biology society (EMBC’11), p. 4Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Vacher M, Portet F, Fleury A, Noury N (2011) Development of audio sensing technology for ambient assisted living: applications and challenges. Int J E-Health Med Commun 2(1):35–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Weiser M (1991) The computer for the 21st century. Scientif Am 265(3):66–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Zajicek M (2001) Interface design for older adults. In: WUAUC’01: proceedings of the 2001 EC/NSF workshop on Universal accessibility of ubiquitous computing. ACM, New York, pp 60–65Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ziefle M, Wilkowska W (2010) Technology acceptability for medical assistance. Pervas HealthGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Zouba N, Bremond F, Thonnat M, Anfosso A, Pascual E, Mallea P, Mailland V, Guerin O (2009) A computer system to monitor older adults at home: preliminary results. Gerontechnol J 8(3):129–139Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Portet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michel Vacher
    • 1
  • Caroline Golanski
    • 2
  • Camille Roux
    • 2
  • Brigitte Meillon
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble UMR 5217UJF-Grenoble 1/Grenoble-INP /UPMF-Grenoble 2/CNRSGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.MULTICOMFloralis - UJF FilialeGièresFrance

Personalised recommendations