April 15, 2014

Gator Tech Smart House

Home Smart Home

Barbara Miracle | 4/1/2005
What would it be like to live in a house with a shower smart enough to regulate the water temperature? How about having a mailbox that senses when mail arrives? Those are just a few of the conveniences available in the University of Florida Gator Tech Smart House at the Oak Hammock retirement community in Gainesville.

The Smart House, developed by UF professors William Mann, chairman of the Department of Occupational Therapy, and Sumi Helal, associate professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, is designed to help the elderly stay self-sufficient. Cutting-edge technology and sensors monitor the resident's well-being. A mobile phone acts as a remote control for all appliances and media devices.

The technology was developed using a $4.5-million, five-year federal grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Corporate donors funded the building and furnishing of the house.

Seniors will live in the house, which serves as a laboratory, for short periods of time to test the usefulness of the technology in day-to-day living. "We expect to commercialize what's in the house," says Mann.

Technology Editor Barbara Miracle can be reached by e-mail at bmiracle@floridatrend.com.

Tags: North Central

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