Smart product: product requirements for the development of a responsive mirror for elderly support
Authors: Soraia Ala, Alexandre Cruz
Abstract: A responsive smart product can connect with a network, to sense and gain awareness as well as to react to input signals and align with them. This paper describes the product requirements gathering process to assist the development of a responsive bathroom mirror connected with emergency centres for elderly support. The rapidly increasing ageing population has led to increased number of elderly people living alone. In this sense it is essential to pursue strategies that can guarantee ageing in place safely, independently, and with confidence, and improve the quality of life of those who wish to continue living in their own living environment. Driven by recent advances in technology, the development of smart products that can respond to human needs and wants, and to improve everyday tasks, became a tangible reality. When smart products are developed for senior citizens daily support, responding to what their expectations are and whether they are satisfied with them, and what opportunities and worries they associate with their age, overcoming technological barriers from the user's point of view, it will have a huge impact on the communities: older people, their families, and the healthcare system. To address these issues, this paper provides a systematic identification of product requirements, technological and from user’s point of view, for the future development of a responsive mirror. Towards a holist development approach, first, existing studies on smart products, research on related technological trends and development were reviewed, supplemented with case studies of existing smart products for healthcare. The first list of requirements was developed from this research. Additionally, studies and public statistics were analysed to confirm the relation between domestic environment and high levels of injuries, as well as places and situations of the accidents that have high impact on health and well-being. Smart products typically have a strong sense of technology. Being a mirror a product that is used in a daily basis, it is mandatory to gather simultaneously the user’s preferences and technological requirements. Based on a systematic approach, a Kano Model was developed; requirements were synthesized and organized within a comprehensive user requirement framework delineating three levels of needs: basic, performance and delight. Research from the field of smart products demonstrated that there are several technological trends that can be applied to mirrors, that there are smart mirrors for applications in automobile and fashion industries. Nevertheless, examples of these products in healthcare remains limited. Additionally, recent technological developments enable the development of a responsive smart mirror that not only serve as an interface for displaying information but can predict the presence of the user.
Keywords: smart products, smart mirror, ageing in place, holistic design, product requirements
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