The AWARE house is a super cute grey, three level Victorian house in the middle of Home Park that has a crazy amount of expensive technology. I think part of the reason why its taken me so long to process the way I feel about our class field trip there is because most of the students in studio have such strong opinions one way or the other. Most of the prototypes are aimed at improving “family” life, so a lot of devices to help keep track of things like motion sensors, video cameras, RFID-tagged medicine bottles with a ‘magic mirror’ deal are installed in the house. Overall, I think that their ideas are decent, but their execution, and possibly their research, miss the mark. For instance, one idea to improve communication at a retirement village is to create a network of wireless notepad devices with the same essential features as Facebook. The notepad would have one “community” side and one “private” side, and would invite communication and instill a sense of community with the residents. As wonderful as a wireless, touch screen, dual-sided electronic note pad would be… I just feel really uneasy about whether or not the current residents in retirement and nursing home communities would use it [i.e. my 99 year old great grandmother and my grandparents].
I’m glad we’ve finally started the ball rolling on project 2. I’m really not a fan of too much downtime between projects because I know the work will pile up eventually, whether or not we take a week off before hand. Thus far I feel a little apprehensive about the project because it seems sooo open-ended and vague, but I’m also feeling a little reassured that it isn’t due until the 26th or so. Without having done too much research yet, the only idea I’ve magically brainstormed is that of some sort of ‘personal shopping assistant’ to help older people/people that can’t see crazy well in large stores with vague signage and bright lights like Wal-Mart.