SOPRANO Project is online

SOPRANO ProjectSOPRANO stands for "Service-oriented Programmable Smart Environments for Older Europeans" and is an Integrated Project in the European Commission's 6th Framework Programme (IST Priority 6th Call on Ambient Assisted Living -AAL). The SOPRANO project is to develop affordable, smart ICT-based assisted living services with interfaces which are easy to use for older people and familiar in their home environment.

The new EC Programme on AAL, of which SOPRANO is part, was launched against a background of accelerating demographic ageing. The EC research is to show how technologies such as computers, the internet and mobile communications - which already pervade many aspects of everyday life - can be used to tackle emerging problems and in particular contribute to improved quality of life for older people.

The SOPRANO system, installed in homes, is to enable provision of flexible, individualised supportive services and health care, to promote continued ability to live independently, to help integrate people with functional impairments into social life and so to maximise their independence and help them retain their dignity. Services based on SOPRANO are to enable living just like everyone else - having opportunities to make decisions that affect one's life and being able to pursue activities of one's own choosing. Involvement of the community, as well as an older person's family, neighbours and friends in service provision is part of the approach. Assisted living already serves a broad range of elderly people and provides a bridge between active retirement living and, for some, care in a nursing facility.

Three strands of research and development are to be integrated:

  • Stand alone assistive technology: products designed to compensate for motor, sensory and cognitive difficulties frequently experienced by older adults;
  • Smart home technology: networking of ICT in the home environment, with the integration of appliances and devices to provide control of the entire living space;
  • Telecare services: applications addressing care-related needs prevalent among older people, with ICT utilised to enable support from professionals and informal carers.

The technical architecture will enable pro-active assistance by interpreting information gathered by the system about a user's situation. Responses are to follow agreed rules and seamless access provided to external professionals. Safety and security is strongly enhanced with adherence to stringent reliability standards. Interaction with users by voice and TV helps meet special accessibility and usability needs. Services utilising SOPRANO capabilities are to be designed for older people, including those with age-related cognitive changes. To ensure that services fully meet user needs, developers will work with potential users of SOPRANO systems throughout the project lifecycle, from user requirements, through iterative prototyping, validation of concepts and functionality and usability tests to large-scale field trials involving users in their own homes.

The SOPRANO consortium of enterprises, public bodies and (university) research institutes comprises over 20 partners from 7 European countries, namely Greece, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and Ireland, headed by EXODUS (Greece).

For further information, please visit:
http://www.soprano-ip.org

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