Design and evaluation of a smart home voice interface for the elderly ― Acceptability and objection aspects

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.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 28, 2014 - 11:02:35 AM
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François Portet, Michel Vacher, Caroline Golanski, Camille Roux, Brigitte Meillon. Design and evaluation of a smart home voice interface for the elderly ― Acceptability and objection aspects. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Springer Verlag, 2013, 17 (1), pp.127--144. ⟨10.1007/s00779-011-0470-5⟩. ⟨hal-00953242⟩



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