Posted by: Carolyn Stewart | September 8, 2008

about the aware house

so for the next project we’re goin to look at product problems/oppurtunities within the population of elderly [65+]. we visited the aware house on 10th street for a jumping off point. i kinda liked the hosue/ideas, but a lot of people in my class didn’t like it much at all. the guy presented some ideas they were working on (they’re not “designed” yet but most of them worked) like a sensor system throughout the house so you can monitor movement/activity. the creators of it seem really interested in graphs and data anaylisis and hwo to read info quickly. i think that’s a good idea cuz i know my friend steph and her family live close to her grandma and visit a lot but i bet theyd like something that maybe beeped if inactivity (while the person’s in the house) went beyond 10 hours or something.

my favorite working prototype was a medication station in which a tablet that corresponded to a simple monitor showed what medications were on it and had been taken using RFID. that’s a good idea-and i’m glad the guy said he didn’t want to put the rfid in the barcode [that would require re-coding into the scan which is more packaging/money/time/etc for manufacturers]. anyway, good idea with medications and imbedding the info about when to taken them into the system. older people are not necessarily dumb, but reminders are key.

overall, once we talked about it in class, i feel like aware house is heavily data/technology/engineered weighted with not too much design. however, in their defense, they DID say that–they are looking for the deisgn part. plus, how often do you hear your grandparents complain about a product b/c it had bad visual heirarchy? (but we should use design into this market–i’m just backin up my peeps at aware for trying out stuff that WORKS for the most part). GOAL = both. lets make it work and be thought through, as well as look good (even if they don’t know vocab like heirarchy stuff, they know when it looks good)


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