Tobias Hardes

ALFRED – Personal Interactive Assistant for Independent Living and Active Ageing – is a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission under Grant Agreement No. 611218. It will allow older people to live longer at their own homes with the possibility to act independently and to actively participate in society by providing the technological foundation for an ecosystem consisting out of four pillars:

  • User-Driven Interaction Assistant to allow older people to “talk” to ALFRED and to ask questions or define commands in order to solve day-to-day problems.
  • Personalized Social Inclusion by suggesting social events to older people, considering his interests and his social environment.
  • A more Effective & Personalized Care by allowing medical staff or carer to access vital signs of older people monitored by (wearable) sensors.
  • Physical & Cognitive Impairments Prevention by incorporating serious gaming to improve the physical and cognitive condition by offering games and quests to older people.

One of the major problem today is the increasing isolation of older people, who do not actively participate in society either because of missing social interactions or because of age-related impairments (physical or cognitive). The ALFRED project will allow to overcome this problem with an interactive virtual butler (also called ALFRED) for older people, which is fully voice controlled.

The ALFRED project is wrapped around the following very clear main objectives:

  • Empowering people with age related dependencies to live independently for longer by delivering a virtual butler with seamless support for tasks in and outside the home. The virtual butler ALFRED will have a very high end-user acceptance by using a fully voice controlled and non-technical environment.
  • Fostering active participation in society for the ageing population by suggesting and managing events and social contacts.
  • Improved care process through direct access to vital signs for carers and other medical staff as well as alerting in case of emergencies. The data is collected by unobtrusive wearable sensors monitoring the vital signs of older people.
  • Prevailing age-related physical and cognitive impairments with the help of personalized, serious games.

To achieve its goals, the project ALFRED conducts original research and applies technologies from the fields of Ubiquitous Computing, Big Data, Serious Gaming, the Semantic Web, Cyber Physical Systems, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Services, and Human-Computer Interaction.