We are developing technology and design strategies to support aging in place. To design and evaluate our solutions, we have created new tools that can be used to study behavior in actual homes. Our goal is to evaluate solutions in context, taking into account the complexity of real-world behavior that is often missing from laboratory environments. Two of our tools are described here: a portable kit of tape-on sensors for studying behavior in existing homes, and the PlaceLab, a residential observational facility with ubiquitous sensing technology. In both cases, the tools are used to study behavior outside of a typical laboratory in a natural home setting. We propose one scenario that illustrates how the portable sensors can be used to create a new device to support aging in place. We then discuss how the portable sensor kit and the PlaceLab can be used to study the technical and social challenges that must be overcome to realize the scenario.
Aging in place, sensors, technology, home, context, in situ.