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Project Activity 7 - Objectives

As this is a project activity focussed around a specific application context it cuts across many of the existing PAs with more abstract aspirations. Considerations of safety may raise timing issues of interest to PA1. Studies of what privacy means to householders may raise issues of interest to PA2. The objectives of PA7 are;

  1. To develop concepts and methods for dependability specification and design for ubiquitous computing in the electronic home of the future.
  2. To meet these aims the assistive technologies currently being used to allow people with specific disabilities in their own homes will be taken as a driver application. A secondary aim is thus to improve the dependability of these assistive home technologies.
  3. The objectives will be achieved using a combination of field studies and analytical methods.

Field studies

The following studies are currently being carried out:

  • Study of half-way house for psychiatric patients in Carlisle
  • Study of how someone adapted their home after having a stroke
  • Use of cultural probes (with Age Concern Barrow and Dundee)
  • Study of a Warden Call Centre
  • Study of a ShopMobility Service
  • Use of technology biography with elderly person living in a smart home

Analytical methods

We are also examining the possibility of adapting techniques such as hazard analysis from safety critical domains such as aviation and seeing whether they can be applied in a domestic setting.

A building block model of dependability is also being developed based on the dimensions of dependability that are potentially important in a domestic setting: usability, usefulness, utitlity, learnability, configurability, repairability, processes, aesthetics, standardisation, cost models, patterns and routines, openness, safety, privacy and integrity.

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