Energy-efficient intelligent house that can monitor health

Jan 31, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- An energy-efficient house which can send alerts if its residents are ill has been developed by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.

InterHome which is the first home in the UK which can learn from its residents and take decisive action and text if it is being burgled or the door has been left unlocked can now also monitor the health of its occupants.

“We developed it further with elderly people in mind so that the house can send alerts if the person has a fall or a stroke,” said Mr Johann Siau, Senior Lecturer at the University’s School of Engineering and Technology. The researchers have developed a prototype device which can be strapped to a person’s wrist and is equipped with various sensors which take readings of body temperature and pulse.

“This opens up a platform for us to add new types of technologies around assisted living,” said Mr Siau.

InterHome, incorporates modular custom design units and draws on standard home automation systems which have been adapted so that the house ‘learns’ and ‘adapts’ to its users’ lifestyles. The prototype of the home, which has been developed in a doll’s house, integrates embedded devices with home automation controllers, so that it provides convenience and security to the home owner and also enables them to reduce energy.

According to Direct.gov, making your home as energy efficient as possible will reduce carbon emissions and could save you over £300 a year on your fuel bills and contribute to reducing greenhouse and carbon emissions. InterHome incorporates an intuitive touch screen user control panel that also allows the house to be monitored and controlled using web browsers, smart phones and any SMS-capable mobile phone.

“InterHome improves on its competitors by being modular, adaptable and able to ‘learn’ our routines,” said Mr Siau. “The technology enables the system to learn rapidly when we need the lights on or whether we are at home or at work and how the needs to be at certain times of the day. If we forget to lock the front door or turn off the lights, it can text us and our response can reprogramme the system.”

Through this approach, InterHome can eradicate wasted energy within UK homes and make a difference to CO2 emission statistics when installed in enough houses. The prototype is now being trialled by industry and the team led by Mr Siau is working with the Building Research Establishment where they are installing the InterHome system into two of their show homes on their innovation park.

Explore further: Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Modern society made up of all types

Nov 04, 2010

Modern society has an intense interest in classifying people into ‘types’, according to a University of Melbourne Cultural Historian, leading to potentially catastrophic life-changing outcomes for those typed – ...

Baby boomers are reinventing retirement

Oct 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The challenges faced by recent retirees are changing how we plan for and expect to experience retirement in the future, say the academics working on a new University of Melbourne study.

Health-conscious future could stem from smartphones

Dec 14, 2010

The latest smartphones are equipped with a range of technologies that can pinpoint your location. It's only a matter of time before they'll also be able to detect your every movement, says Reetika Gupta, assistant professor ...

Recommended for you

Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

11 hours ago

Wireless charging is getting a new technology treatment which offers more design freedom. The Wireless Power Consortium's advance in its Qi wireless charging standard means that phones and chargers will no ...

'Wetting' a battery's appetite for renewable energy storage

15 hours ago

Sun, wind and other renewable energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy, windless days. Now a new material ...

New system to optimize public lighting power consumption

16 hours ago

In order to meet the efficiency requirements of the latest public lighting regulations, researchers from the School of Industrial Engineers of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), in collaboration with ...

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

Jul 31, 2014

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

User comments : 0