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Sensors 2014, 14(8), 13496-13531; doi:10.3390/s140813496

Disseminating Ambient Assisted Living in Rural Areas

1
Institute for Informatics Systems, Alpen Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt, Universitaetsstrasse 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
2
Institute for Softwaretechnology, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 16B, 8020 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 March 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 25 July 2014
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Abstract

The smart home, ambient intelligence and ambient assisted living have been intensively researched for decades. Although rural areas are an important potential market, because they represent about 80% of the territory of the EU countries and around 125 million inhabitants, there is currently a lack of applicable AAL solutions. This paper discusses the theoretical foundations of AAL in rural areas. This discussion is underlined by the achievements of the empirical field study, Casa Vecchia, which has been carried out over a four-year period in a rural area in Austria. The major goal of Casa Vecchia was to evaluate the feasibility of a specific form of AAL for rural areas: bringing AAL technology to the homes of the elderly, rather than moving seniors to special-equipped care facilities. The Casa Vecchia project thoroughly investigated the possibilities, challenges and drawbacks of AAL related to this specific approach. The findings are promising and somewhat surprising and indicate that further technical, interactional and socio-psychological research is required to make AAL in rural areas reasonable in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: ambient assisted living; smart home; field study; real-world application;rural area ambient assisted living; smart home; field study; real-world application;rural area
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Leitner, G.; Felfernig, A.; Fercher, A.J.; Hitz, M. Disseminating Ambient Assisted Living in Rural Areas. Sensors 2014, 14, 13496-13531.

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