Tenants at Habinteg Housing Association are in the middle of a ten-month trial of new household technologies as part of the pan-European I-stay@home programme (Housing Technology, November 2012) alongside partners and tenants from France, Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Habinteg is rolling out the trials in the UK with 22 Habinteg tenants in London taking part. They will be testing a variety of tablet-controlled technologies including a robotic vacuum cleaner, a motion sensor for detecting falls, wireless cameras for identifying visitors at the front door, wireless light switches, energy monitors and online apps for banking and shopping, with a view of judging their usefulness, reliability and value for money in supporting independent living.
Research from phase one of the I-stay@home project in 2013 found that disabled and older people are keen to use new technology to help them lead more independent lives, as long as the products are affordable and user friendly. The survey revealed that 60% were open to using new technologies to help them in their home.
Glen Joseph, research and policy manager, Habinteg Housing Association, said, “Independent living is central to Habinteg’s vision. That’s why we’re really pleased that we’re leading this practical phase of the project.
“The feedback we are gathering is helping us explain the positive impact that technology is having on people’s everyday lives. As the UK representative on I-stay@home, we will use this research to make the case for effective technology solutions for tenants in the social housing sector and beyond.”
Tenant product tester Bill Smalley said: “I’m really pleased to be trying out this technology and the robotic vacuum cleaner is excellent! I’m all for this project and I know that other tenants would be helped by these new ideas. If we can help other people in the future with this testing, that would be fantastic“.