Mobile Technologies for social inclusion
The increasing share of older people in the European population increases the probability of losing autonomy and independence. For elderly people the contact to friends and family is crucial as this makes them feel as fully integrated members of our society. One essential requirement for all those social aspects is mobility. This is exactly what the research project “inDAgo” is all about: Helping elderly people to stay mobile. The project’s outcome is a mobility assistant that calculates optimal routes and takes care about its owners during their journeys. It assists them when going to unfamiliar places and takes personal constraints into account when suggesting a route – e.g. if someone needs the help of a walker-rollator, the inDAgo assistant would not lead him to a gravel path. Furthermore, the inDAgo assistant supports the social life of its users by recommending cultural events and helping them to connect with other people of the same age and with the same interests.
In the context of inDAgo we, the research consortium, also had the idea to provide help in the form of human presence. This is why we created an additional feature to the inDAgo system: The HelpMe-App.
The idea behind the HelpMe-App is to build up a network of certified persons with good grace in helping their fellow citizens. These helpers do not need any special education for getting certified. They only have to download the HelpMe-App and register in the network by entering some personal data so that we can ensure that the app is not used for any criminal or non-ethic intents. On the other side there are the help-seeking-persons. They use the inDAgo system as well as the HelpMe-App on a smartphone.
The app was developed in Java and resorts to XML-files as well. The internal GPS receiver and the WLAN adapter of modern smartphones are used for position finding while the routing itself was implemented with help of RabbitMQ. Help requests are sent to a cloud, from where they are forwarded to the helpers’ smartphones. In this demo version the user files are saved locally on the smartphone in the app.
The inDAgo project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and its research consortium consists of institutes and enterprises from several fields. This diversity allows for the development of such an extensive sophisticated system: • HEAG mobilo (municipal transport services for the city of Darmstadt) • Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany • Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD • Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt Marketing GmbH (City Marketing of Darmstadt) • Traffic Information and Management GmbH (Routing and Navigating) • User Interface Design GmbH (User Experience and Usability Engineering)
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