Quality of Life Technologies for People With DementiaBy Sixmith, Andrew, PhD; Orpwood, Roger, PhD; Torrington, Judith, BA, BArch; Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 85-93
Publication Date: January-March 2007
Article focuses on the INDEPENDENT project, which is a government-funded research project in the United Kingdom that has aimed to develop technology to address quality of life issues for people with dementia. Specifically, the authors discuss the design of prototype CD players. An initial prototype was designed with a focus on using only the most basic controls, such as an on-off switch, a power indicator, and a tab for raising the device lid to insert the CD. Based on evaluation feedback yielded by the first prototype, a second prototype was designed based on MP3 solid-state technology. This prototype again featured a simple on-off switch, though an illuminated pressure sensor was used instead of a standard rocker switch. The new sensor was designed to attract the user’s attention and to provide easier operation. The use of MP3 technology allowed caregivers to download music from a computer, which simplified the CD player’s operation in that the user did not have to locate a CD before playing the desired music. This model yielded more positive feedback than the first prototype, though the illuminated pressure sensor was found to be problematic in that it was hard to see in direct sunlight. The pressure sensor was also found to be confusing, as it did look the same as a standard switch. Implications for future prototype designs are discussed.
Published by: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins (Website:http://www.lww.com)