Smart home appliance control using natural user interfaces: occupational therapy imperative

Problem

Many patients recovering from stroke need Occupational Therapy to perform daily living activities in a normal manner. However,

·  Occupational Therapy requires external help.

·  Many disabled people cannot move around the house to perform daily chores.

Challenge

·  Can we develop a system that allows a disabled person to control appliances in the house without leaving her seat?

·  Can we convert this daily life activity into an occupational therapy activity that can be monitored and recorded?

·  Can we measure the progress of the patient?

Solution

·  We have developed a smart home solution that allows a person to control home appliances such as light bulbs, fans and air conditioners remotely from her seat by making real gestures to control virtual knobs and switches.

·  The activity performed by the patient is silently recorded by the system to measure recovery metrics.

·  Our software platform runs on both PC and smartphone.

Advantages

·  Smart home control allows a disabled person to manage home appliances without leaving her seat.

·  The smartphone based solution is highly mobile and can be easily used from anywhere inside the house.

·  The system supports a variety of sensors to detect gestures, such as Kinect2, Leap Motion and Myo.

·  A large number of gestures can be detected by the system supporting different kinds of movements.

·  A wide array of controllable hardware is supported by the software platform, such as Philips Hue and LIFX devices.

·  Visual feedback allows the person to correct wrong gestures immediately.

·  Encouraging interface artifacts are incorporated into the environment to make the OT experience enjoyable and to speed up the recovery process.

·  Quantification of the recovery process allows gamification of the therapy environment, which increases the immersiveness of the experience, resulting in increased adherence of the patient to the proper therapy procedure.

·  Integration with social media allows patients to create a collaborative environment for support and recovery.

·  Recovery metrics are recorded seamlessly without intervention in the patient’s daily work routine.

·  Therapists can monitor patients’ recovery metrics remotely.

·  Big Data back end can track millions of patients simultaneously.

·  Big Data analytics can help researchers study and discover new recovery patterns and metrics.

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