COLABORAR is well known for the way it facilitates seniors’ interaction with technology, mostly smartphones and tablet. People also recognize that the applications developed at Fraunhofer AICOS are easy to use and also fun. For these reasons, COLABORAR was invited by Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) to participate in the Technological Fair for seniors. The event, organized by SCML and Fraunhofer AICOS, took place in Lisbon, at Mitra – Pólo de Inovação Social (Social Innovation Cluster), on December 7th.
During the one-day event, a total of almost 100 seniors, divided into small groups, participated in the fair. The seniors are users of SCML’s various equipments throughout the city and were accompanied by their directors and technicians. The event also welcomed Dr Rita Valadas, Administrator of SCML’s Social Welfare Direction, and a delegation from the Government of Cape Verde.
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS showcased some of its projects, namely SmartCompanion, Fall Risk Assessment, CogniPlay, ExerGames, SAL, SunPet and ChefMyself. Five stands were set up so that seniors could easily gather around the tables and try out both the equipment and the applications. Researchers and collaborators from Fraunhofer AICOS demonstrated the use of the applications, explained the functions and encouraged visitors to give each one a try. At the end of the morning and at the beginning of the afternoon, visitors watched a live demonstration of ChefMysef with a tablet and a machine cooking.
Seniors were very enthusiastic about the technology and went home with an overview of the innovations that are being made in our research center, such as the app for medication management, the evaluation of the personal risk of falling, games for cognitive stimulation and serious games for physical exercise. They also had the chance to experiment an app that helps people to be careful with sun exposure, thus preventing skin cancer. Within the same topic, seniors learned how a smartphone can give a help in the early diagnose of melanoma. Furthermore, they got to know a system that helps senior users make better nutritional choices and cook more easily. Participants took home our brochures about project COLABORAR and other printed materials prepared purposefully for them with food and nutritional tips, as well as practical advice on fall prevention.
It makes us very happy to know that, in the end of the day, those who attended the Technological Fair organized by SCML and Fraunhofer AICOS learned that smartphones and tablets have more functions than they had imagined and that they were all able to interact with tablets, making the gestures they see their grandchildren make all the time. We think that visitors will have a great topic of conversation around smartphones and tablets when they gather with family on these holidays!
Note: COLABORAR thanks SCML for the pictures that were kindly provided for this article.