Atos and Worldline part of futuristic project to develop ‘virtual butler’ for senior citizens

Date: Wed, 12/04/2013 - 16:05

Includes advanced voice interaction and vital signs monitoring to promote independence and social integration amongst senior citizens. First tests will start 2015 in France, Germany and Netherlands

Atos and Worldline part of futuristic project to develop ‘virtual butler’ for senior citizens Image credited to Atos

Atos, an international information technology services company, and Worldline, Atos subsidiary for e-payment and transactional services, announce their participation in the European project ALFRED, the Personal Interactive Assistant for Independent Living and Active Ageing.
ALFRED’s objective is to develop a mobile personalized assistant for elderly people, enabling them to remain independent, at the same time facilitating coordination with their caregivers and promoting social inclusion.
The project will create a personalized virtual butler for mobile devices and platforms, by using cutting edge technologies, such as advanced voice interaction, making it possible to talk directly to the Interactive Assistant. Moreover, the application will be easy to use and will provide services related to social inclusion, care, physical exercise and cognitive games. Through this research project, companies and institutions that participate in ALFRED aim to promote a better society, where the elderly can live in their own homes, and have the opportunity to act independently and participate actively in social life.
ALFRED consists of four core elements:
1. User-Driven Interaction Assistant to allow elderly people to communicate with ALFRED and ask questions or define commands.
2. Personalized Social Inclusion to suggest suitable social events to each user by considering their interests and social environment.
3. Effective & Personalized Care in order to achieve a more effective care process by allowing medical staff to access information concerning the elderly user that is collected by sensors.
4. Physical & Cognitive Impairment Prevention by incorporating serious video games with the aim to improve both physical and cognitive performance.
Atos, through its Research & Innovation group, participates in the project with the identification of the potential market. On the one hand, Atos will develop solutions to analyze and extract information about the elderly’s activities, and on the other hand it will be responsible for researching the user’s tastes, abilities and network of acquaintances, that will allow personalizing the searches and advices offered by the application.
José Cavanillas, Director of Research & Innovation group at Atos, says: "We are very proud to participate in this project, as with the help of ALFRED, seniors will be able to live longer and do it more independently. They not only can participate in activities suited to their age, but adapted to their tastes and the environment in which they move".
Meanwhile, Worldline brings its broad experience in the definition, development and distribution of mobile applications, applying best practices in terms of design, usability and performance, and adapting them to suit the profile of ALFRED users. Furthermore, it will evaluate technical decisions and provide information concerning the market’s latest technological innovations in the field, proposing their incorporation into the project.
"In addition to participating in the development of mobile applications in several different situations, Worldline will play the role of Technical Manager, allowing us to assess the project's technical decisions and report the latest technological innovations to incorporate them into ALFRED, thus allowing an improvement in the quality of life for our seniors. Worldline is delighted to be part of this innovative project as we put user experience at the top of our priorities, and for all customers: youngsters, adults and seniors", says Nicolas Kozakiewicz, Head of Research & Development at Worldline.
Eleven partners from five different countries participate in the ALFRED project: Aitex, Ascora (project coordinator), Atos, Charite-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, E-Seniors, IESE Business School, Nationaal Ouderen fonds, Talkamatic AB, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt, Tie Nederland and Worldline. The results shall be tested in 2015 in three European countries (France, Germany and Netherlands), with the aim of paving the way to the market and facilitating their adoption by society.


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