A prototype of a gestural UI for control of autonomous buildings by people with disabilities

The customer

The Sustainable Infrastructure Cluster is a cooperative initiative of dozens of companies, universities, research institutes and business support institutions that develop, deploy and bring to market innovative technologies in the field of construction. A coordinator of this initiative is the Institute of Consulting Co., a business organization that since 1996 has worked to ensure the sustainable development of the Polish economy by supporting innovative enterprise activity. Among the members of the Cluster are entrepreneurs (including Krakow Technology Park) and universities (including Jagiellonian University and AGH). The Cluster also promotes ecological construction and autonomous housing.

The problem

The ultimate goal of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) initiative is research and development to improve the quality of life of older people and people with disabilities through the use of ICT. With the development of autonomous buildings, the need to create user interfaces that are well adapted to their needs arose. One of these interfaces, a gestural interface, uses gesture control technology to greatly facilitate the functioning of persons with disabilities.

The solution

The project aimed to carry out industrial research to acquire new knowledge and skills in the use of open solutions for traffic analysis, which in combination with commercially available 3D-recording devices would allow us to design a gestural control interface. We started by establishing a list of optimal gestures and performed a detailed analysis of the available motion-recognition algorithms. The research also allowed us to evaluate existing 3D-recording devices.

The second part of the project was developmental; its goal was to design a prototype that would allow detailed analysis of the desired methods of gesture recognition. The results enabled an objective assessment of the various hardware and software solutions for BMS-class systems and the possibility of using them for people with disabilities. In addition, micro-type hardware platforms such as Intel Galileo, Intel Edison, and RaspberryPi were analyzed to determine whether they were capable of running fully operational gesture-recognition software.

Results

The skills and knowledge we gained have helped us to prepare guidelines for developing a commercial gesture-control technology solution for a gestural user interface. The result can be used in BMS-class systems or in other systems that facilitate the lives of the elderly and disabled.