Halton Housing is working with AI and smart-energy start-up Informetis to trial a new method of ensuring its elderly and vulnerable tenants are safe using data from electrical appliance usage in their homes.
Informetis is a spin-out from Sony’s former energy R&D division. Its aim is to enable the collection, analysis and reporting of electricity usage in a home and to monitor unusual activity.
Informetis recently created an itemised view of an electricity bill showing how much energy each of the main electrical appliances uses in the home. As a by-product of this, Informetis launched a new ‘assisted living trial’ that Halton Housing is now rolling out among some of its customers who volunteered to take part.
The trial involves using AI-based sensor technology to help support some of Halton’s elderly customers in their own homes. With a single sensor fitted to the main fuseboard in each property, it can estimate the operational status and power consumption of key appliances.
By using cutting edge AI, the Informetis software will learn the normal pattern of behaviour of appliances, such as kettles, cookers, fridges or televisions, and will be able to then spot any abnormal patterns, in turn generating an alert on a dedicated app for close family, friends and carers. For example, if the kettle is always used at least twice a day and on a particular day it hasn’t even been used once, this will raise an alert.
Lee Reevell, lead disruptor, Halton Housing, said, “We are very excited to be working with Informetis and using the latest technology and innovation in elderly care systems. By tracking the behaviour of electrical appliances in some of our elderly and vulnerable customers’ homes, we will be able to pre-empt when we need to intervene to check on their welfare.”
Jay Chinnadorai, senior board advisor, Informetis, said, “We have already launched this solution commercially in Japan and look forward to working with Halton Housing to do the same in the housing sector in the UK. Our company philosophy has always been about using ‘technology for good’ and this assisted living service is a great example of putting that into practice.”