Technology for Aging Generations

Technology for Aging Generations
Cory Koehler
Addison Loda
Hannah Posey-Scholl
Isak Rask
The Smart Clock
PSU Innovation Challenge Competition 2014
Technology for Aging Generations
How It is Different___
The Main Idea___
Modern technology continues to change and improve constantly as people find ways to make things faster, smaller, and
better - but these changes often leave the elderly behind. This year’s Innovation Challenge asked groups to focus on how
to create and improve technology geared towards the aging generations. For our initial research, the Grant High School team
and mentors visited an elderly care center and interviewed a few of the residents, asking what types of technology currently
improve their lives, and what types of technology could potentially improve their lives.
The Problem:
After the interviews, we were able to identify similarities in the needs of our target market, and use those similar needs to design
a product. We noticed when we visited the elderly care facility that many of the residents we talked to had issues with eyesight;
some residents were unable to see when a cell phone started going off across the desk in front of them, or were unable to
make out pictures on the wall. Residents told us that they prefer using an analog clock to a digital one because that
is what they had used most of their lives, but they could no longer clearly make out the positions of the hands.
People who cannot see the time have a harder time staying on schedule, and staying independent in general,
as they cannot stick to their personal daily routine without the time. A separate issue we noted was that
many of the elders we visited had trouble with mobility. They had less mobility in their limbs, and had
difficulties controlling their fingers. In addressing these problems in our project, we focused primarily on
the issue of sight, but made sure to accommodate those with limited mobility as well.
The Solution:
After taking into account the needs we found, we came up with a idea to combine wall
clocks with the technology found in many smart phones to create a smart clock. This clock
will allow users with and without mobility and sight disabilities to keep track of time and
tasks. This would allow the aging generations to more easily stay on track with their
essential and nonessential routines and plans by making the benefits of newer technology
much more accessible and easy to understand.
Our clock will have a digital display with large, bold numbers and
will allow users to choose whether they would prefer it mounted on a
wall or standing on a desk or dresser. Voice recognition software will
allow users to set and disable alarms. These alarms can also be
programed by means of an app on a mobile device or on a website.
At the time of an alarm, the clock will say the time and a statement
programed by the user or a family member, as well as having the
statement scroll across the clock screen. For example, the clock would
say and write “It is now 4 o’clock. It is time to take your medication.”
For users programing via voice recognition, the clock will repeat the
alarm statement back to the user and ask for confirmation that the
alarm is correct before it is finalized.
The clock will have an optional remote with a microphone to
allow users with soft voices or mobility problems to program the clock
from across the room. The remote, if the user has chosen to utilize it,
will have the option of vibrating when the alarm goes off, in case the
user is in another room. If the remote gets lost, a button on the clock
will trigger a ringing noise to allow the remote to be found.
To make the clock easy on the eyes, it will be reminiscent of a
picture frame, with a thin build and rounded corners. The clock’s
display will be front-lit e-paper to allow users to read the clock face
with ease in any type of lighting.
Center Image: This is a mock-up of the basic theoretical
design of our smart clock, showing both the front and back
About Chart: This chart compares
our team’s proposed Smart Clock
to general categories of relatively
similar or related products:
Our Smart
Smart Watches
Stand Alone
Easy to Use
Optional App
Smart Clocks
Smart Phone
Clocks &
In Conclusion___
As we age, so does our technology. This
allows for new technology, and improvements to
past technology. The use of smart phones, smart
TVs, and complex PCs has become increasingly
difficult for the aging generations, and changes must
be made to current technology to help aid the aging
generations with the latest technological improvements. Our
clock will make keeping track of time and tasks easy for
anyone, with or without disabilities - even helping to improve their
memory and attentiveness as they anticipate the next time the clock tells
them it’s time to take their medication, or that it’s time to go to that lunch
meeting they've been planning. Voice recognition, app, and website will allow
users to program their alarms with ease. Every aspect of our product has
been created with the problems users might face in mind. This device is
created to bridge the gap between modern technology and the older
generations, providing an easy user experience in an affordable device that
would aid in improving the quality of life of older individuals.
multiple alarms
standing or wall-mounted
voice-recognition programming
optional remote
optional app
relatively inexpensive
With many thanks to Mr. Doug Mandell, Paul Cho, Ashish Kota, Charmion Donahue, Grant High School, Maseeh College at Portland State University, and all other parents, teachers and administrators who made this possible.
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