EasyReach - Fostering Social Interaction of Home-bound and Less Educated Elderly People
The project is an innovative and sustainable ICT solution to allow elderly and less educated people to participate in the benefits of IT-based social interactions. The project will build a system, called EasyReach, that supports many styles of social interaction between users. The hardware will be very simple: a remote control resembling a small TV remote but capable of capturing user’s gestures and of taking pictures; the remote will use radio frequency instead of infrared light. The software will run in a set-top box that has a DVB-T decoder, a GSM/UMTS modem and a TV output. Social exchanges will be managed and aided by a “social interaction agent” that resides in the set-top box (for scalability and privacy) and that “looks” at all the interactions and commands from the user. Social interaction agents can go on the net and query other agents on behalf of user’s wishes or simply to fulfil the goal of improving the quality and breadth of user’s interactions. Interactions are cast as “services” that are managed and enhanced by EasyReach, for example:
- organizing groups of people that already know each other, e.g. relatives and friends;
- creating groups of people that care for a certain topic (discussion);
- organizing groups for the purpose of “interfacing” the user with existing organizations, e.g. a church;
- organizing help sessions where a skilled user that can help or train other users.