Influence of Age on Trade-Offs Between Benefits and Barriers of AAL Technology Usage

  • Julia Offermann-van HeekEmail author
  • Susanne Gohr
  • Simon Himmel
  • Martina Ziefle
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11592)


An aging population due to demographic change along with rising care needs lead to higher efforts in concepts and developments of ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies aiming at a longer staying at home and more independency for older people. Although research on technology acceptance and user diversity gains in importance, real-life decisions with trade-offs between potential benefits and barriers of AAL technology usage have not been investigated so far. Therefore, the current study (n = 140) represents a conjoint analysis approach focusing on younger and older people’s decisions between benefits (safety and relief) and barriers (data handling and data access) to use an assisting system in the home environment of a family member in need of care. The results revealed differences in the decision patterns of both groups indicating that data-relevant aspects were most relevant for the younger adults, while safety represented a more relevant criterion for the older participants. In addition, contradicting evaluations of both groups were found within the aspects data access and safety. The results contribute to a deeper understanding of real-life decisions regarding the use of assisting technologies focusing on age as relevant user factor.


Ambient assisted living (AAL) Technology acceptance Benefit and barrier perception Trade-off Age 



The authors thank all participants for their openness to participate in the study and to share their opinions on relevant decisions regarding usage of AAL technologies. This work has been funded partly by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research projects Whistle (16SV7530) and PAAL (6SV7955).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Offermann-van Heek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susanne Gohr
    • 1
  • Simon Himmel
    • 1
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction CenterRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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