Older people in the sunshine state will be able to experience the benefits of assistive technology with the launch of the Queensland Smart Home Initiative’s (QHSI) new demonstration facility.

The state’s new smart home is located on the premises of assistive technology provider, LifeTec, at the Reading Newmarket Shopping Centre.

The technology on display in the demonstrator facility is able to monitor residents’ conditions, warn of potential dangers such as falls and alert residents to activities around the house like a ringing telephone.

The new smart home is aimed at raising awareness and generating interest in assistive technology, said Professor Jeffrey Soar, the joint Chair in Intelligent Domestic Healthcare Infrastructure with the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland.

“With the demonstrator, people can go and see how these devices look when they are set up in the home,” he said.

“All the devices here are fully operational. If, for example, you stand on the pressure mate, someone from the Tunstall response centre will call through to say hello and to ask how are things going.”

The smart home demonstrator has been established by a group of corporate and community organisations, universities and government bodies.

Professor Soar says the smart home’s location means it will generate a lot of attention from older Queenslanders.

“We have already had requests for group visits and we have arranged for three of those to occur,” he said. “I think the numbers coming through are going to be massive.”

He said the Queensland Smart Home Initiative also plans to open another demonstrator facility in Townsville.

As well as having all the latest assistive technology, the smart home demonstrator is fitted with appropriate fixtures and fittings, tiles and flooring, taps and toilets, and furnishings to assist older people.

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