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Research highlighting how modern tech can support older adults wins inaugural IoT Award

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Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETLab) has been recognised by the Internet of Things (IoT) Australia for research highlighting how modern technology can support older adults.

The Intelligent Home Solutions for Independent Living project – a collaboration between Monash’s ETLab, McLean Care, and Deakin University, and funded by the Federal Department of Health – received the IoT Australia award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action last week.

ETLab director, Professor Sarah Pink, said the award, added for the first time this year, showcases the importance of considering older adults in technology design.

Winning the IoT’s inaugural award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action recognises that it is essential for us to engage with seniors to understand and enable their relationships for technologies in ways and places that work for them.

ETLab director, Professor Sarah Pink

“Seniors are often forgotten about in smart technology design,” she said.

“Winning the IoT’s inaugural award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action recognises that it is essential for us to engage with seniors to understand and enable their relationships for technologies in ways and places that work for them,” Pink said.

“This knowledge is crucial for the design of the right technologies for ethical human futures that we will really want to live in.”

The project is captured in the Smart Homes for Seniors documentary, which follows older adults’ journeys with digital voice assistants, smart lights and robotic vacuum cleaners during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

The film, directed by Pink, was featured in international film festivals Mimesis Documentary Festival 2021 (Colorado) and the Awareness Film Festival 2021 (Los Angeles).

The documentary will be screened during the Faculty of Information Technology’s Monash Tech Talks series.

The virtual screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session with globally-renowned experts from Monash’s ETLab, the Royal College of Art (UK), the University of Sussex (UK) and Delft University of Technology (NL). 

The new future of ageing: Smart homes for seniors
Thursday, November 25
6.30pm (AEST)/8.30am (GMT)

You can register for the screening and Q&A here.

The panel will include:

  • Professor Sarah Pink
    Director of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab, Monash University
  • Rama Gheerawo
    Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art RCA Reader in Inclusive Design
  • Professor Ann Light
    Professor of Design and Creative Technology, University of Sussex (UK)
    Professor of Interaction Design, Social Change and Sustainability at Malmö University (Sweden)
  • Professor Elisa Giaccardi
    Professor and Chair of Post-industrial Design, and Director of Design for Interaction (Msc program), Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Launched in 2019, the ETLab conducts research through the Faculties of Art, Design & Architecture (MADA) and Information Technology (FIT) at Monash University.

It investigates an emerging technological environment where automation, artificial intelligence, data and the questions of ethics, responsibility and user experience and engagement that they bring with them are increasingly central.

The lab’s core themes include energy futures, future mobilities, public space, e-waste, and design for wellbeing.

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