As an integral part of the OFFIS research strategy and in the scope of a number of local, national and international research projects, OFFIS was able to establish the IDEAAL apartment as a crystallization point for the analysis of the demographic change and as a starting point for further activities.
Because of its increasing importance, the IDEAAL apartment was upgraded to a two-room apartment in summer of 2008. The most important feature: Everything works, all is real. Bathroom, bedroom, living room, the entire furnishing is fully functional and usable. The initial position for the remodeling was the same as for people who go into retirement: There is only a certain budget for smaller rebuilding and investments in technical support but, not for a complete rebuild of the apartment. The equipment of the apartment was planned in cooperation with a married couple; the technology is not meant to be hidden but it should not dominate the scene.
The IDEAAL apartment is now closing the gap between the development of technology under lab conditions and the real use in existing apartments and, therefore, offers an exquisite environment for user studies. The prototypes allow intensive testing and create a close collaboration with seniors, physicians, and care givers on the one hand and developers and technicians on the other. Problems during real operation which could not be detected during development can be identified early.
Numerous interested from completely different disciplines have already visited the IDEAAL apartment, including physicians, representatives of nursing schools and facilities as well as visitors from the target group 65plus. While touring through the IDEAAL apartment, the visitors are able to test individual demonstrators – according to the motto „a future you can touch“. The guests gave valuable feedback regarding the apartment and its technology. After visiting the apartment, 85% of the questioned visitors stated that they would be willing to use AAL systems in their own home. 82% said that the visit of the IDEAAL apartment had influenced their attitude towards the technology positively. These feedbacks and suggestions are monitored systematically and are forwarded to the developers. By giving tours in our IDEAAL apartment, we promote the
acceptance of AAL technologies.
The vision of the IDEAAL apartment is the support of elderly people in the city and on the countryside. With a technology you can touch, the apartment stimulates the communication with various actors, such as architect´s offices and companies that deal with assisted housing. Being able to test new technologies in our Living Lab in the IDEAAL apartment is a essential step before using them in existing apartments. With this, the IDEAAL apartment contributes significantly to the development of marketable AAL technologies.
The central server and processing of sensor events in the IDEAAL apartment ist powered by openHAB.