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

The Intelligent Home Solutions for Independent Living project is the subject of a collaboration between Monash’s ETLab, McLean Care, and Deakin University, and was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. IoT Australia awarded the project its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action award earlier this week.

ETLab Director, Sarah Pink, says the award outlines how important it is to consider older adults in technology design.

“Seniors are often forgotten about in smart 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,” she says.

“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 was captured in real time in the ‘Smart Homes for Seniors' documentary. Directed by Pink, the documentary follows older adults’ journeys with digital voice assistants, smart lights and robotic vacuum cleaners during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. It also featured in international film festivals, at the  Mimesis Documentary Festival 2021 in Colorado, and the Awareness Film Festival 2021 in 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 virtual screening, titled The new future of ageing: Smart homes for seniors, will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday 25 November. To register, click here.