Led by Professor Sonja Pedell, the Future Self and Design Living Lab (FSDLL) partnered with Dementia Australia to develop and adapt technologies with a focus on augmented reality (AR) to support the quality of life and independence for those living with dementia in the home setting.

Trialling tools for greater independent living

This project aimed to increase quality of life for independent living in the home setting, helping those with dementia to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. The Future Self and Design Living Lab completed this project in collaboration with Dementia Australia. 

During an 18-month research project, 28 participants living with dementia and their partners located in both metropolitan Melbourne and rural Victoria participated and were provided with a personalised technology hub consisting of hardware and software components.  

Our team explored ways that AR enhanced technology could support people living with dementia with their daily tasks and increase level of self-management. 

We conducted iterative home visits (six in average per participant), interviewing participants and their immediate support network as well as iterative technology implementations and evaluations.  

A look at the suite of smart technology enabling participants of this project.
  • “The technology has enhanced my independence, and it helps that the equipment is simple to operate and straight forward...We looked forward to the visits. The staff were always friendly, supportive and tailored the technology solutions to my needs.”

    Project participant

Our team applied a human-centred design approach providing participants a strong voice in the process. Participants’ individual needs, preferences and emotions were taken into consideration to find the most suitable support mechanisms. The technologies provided followed a modular approach in combining different technologies to a unique system in consultation with each of the participants.  

Different technologies were introduced and set up by our team, including virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home Mini, digital calendars and voice-activated reminders for social visits with family and friends, household tasks and appointments with healthcare professionals.  

A music player app designed to stimulate or calm participants at various stages of their day.

The outcome: supporting the independence of people living with Dementia at home 

Through the integration of these virtual assistants, our participants could access weather forecast, news, internet and control smart home devices such as smart lights.  

Other outcomes from this project included a music player with personalised playlists, a social photo messaging app, magic mirror, instruction cards and fridge magnets to prompt the use of the different technology modules. 

Project team 

The smart technology apps came with simple, easy to understand instructions for use.

See more projects from Future Self Living Lab

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