The Kith&Kin project tackles the problem of the progressive social isolation of older adults living alone and in far distance from their family members. It offers a solution for technology illiterate older adults to foster the communication and interaction with their family and friends by designing a new product which is based on well-known communication and interaction patterns.
The innovative core of Kith&Kin is the tangible/haptic user interaction capability extending a standard tablet PC. The basic concept has already been tested with first test users and provides new ways of communication, gaming and sharing. Through tangible/haptic interaction possibilities following the criteria easy to understand, easy to handle and fun to use Kith&Kin contributes to the need for social connectedness, personal satisfaction, wellness and comfort.
The primary target group of the Kith&Kin project is the group of older adults 70+ living alone in far distance of their families. The secondary target group is represented by the family members and friends of the older adults. By addressing the research aspects context awareness, multimodalities and respectively modality fusion as well as user’s privacy protection, this project aims to develop a smart device which is able to personalize the user’s communication with their families and friends.
Kith&Kin uses integrated sensors for context recognition/awareness allowing or disabling location dependent features and thereby increases privacy issues. Kith&Kin aims at an accessible (ease of use) and affordable (costs) solution for end-users from the very beginning and its exploitation plans.
The Kith&Kin project is committed to user-centred design/development (UCD) and the ISO 9241 (Ergonomics of human-system interaction) in combination with a user-inspired innovation process.
End-users will be continuously involved; with intensified phases in requirements engineering, and lab and field trials.
Senior Expert Advisor
Active & Assisted Living
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
Center for Health & Bioresources