the open-plan office: instructions followed as to where the journey was to take
us. Further details remained secret. That’s how they always do it, Kurt and
We changed the
train at Zurich main station. After only 1 stop we left the train at the
station Zürich Hardbrücke. A small walk between the tall buildings led us past
pubs. What? Why not to the pub? Looks pretty dusky in there…. Where would we
In front of
a lounge cinema we stopped and entered. Wow! Special and inviting, it was good.
After pulling off the jackets we were allowed to order something arbitrary to
drink. Time for a Cüpli (a little bit of Champagne), Aperol Spritz or beer.
Small groups formed at bar tables. One chatted, nibbled chips, was immersed in
coloured light that shone down on us from the blankets. Pure relaxation.
were told we could take a seat. Various two-person sofas with many cushions,
for sitting comfortably or even lying down, were now allowed to be confiscated.
Immediately we let ourselves sink into the pillows. While music videos were
faded in on the screen and we tried to guess the singer, small appetizers were
served to us as a starter. It was delicious. “Food porn” could not be missing.
the light was switched off and the film started. We watched ” The
Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” in English with German and French
subtitles. Equal conditions for all.
film paused so that the main course could be served. Our vegetarians had to be
patient, because there seemed to be misunderstandings when ordering in advance.
Nonetheless, the error could be corrected. However: meatless snacks were
exchanged with other dishes. We helped wherever we could. And if someone didn’t
want to eat his bowl completely, there was still a hungry soul who was happy to
went out again, the film started again. The cozy sofas made us forget that at
some point that evening we were forced to travel by train back home. When the film was finished, there was
time again for conversation and small talk. Some talked about cosmetics, others
dessert incl. coffee or espresso was excellent. But soon it was said that the
connections from Zurich Hardbrücke to Zurich main station were problematic, we
should go to the main station early so that there would be enough time to catch
the right train for the way home.
station, some started running, others went on the track, the rest like lemmings
behind. All this just to find out that the train had already left. Our group
broke up into smaller groups, to kill the waiting time the station was roamed
through. Finally everyone took his train.
after that? Some came into the office, others took a day off. Maybe someone
stayed overnight at Zurich main station to sleep it off? Fun aside. 😉
Jonas and Kurt for this great event, even if you always make a secret of it!
On June 7, 2018 we visited the iHomeLab of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. How can energy consumption be reduced thanks to intelligent buildings? How can the elderly live in their own four walls for as long as possible? This is exactly what the iHomeLab team is researching.
Since I had informed myself in advance, I was curious to see what will be shown to us during the tour. How far is today’s technology and are there components that I can already incorporate into my everyday life to make my life easier? With these and other questions I started on my way to iHomeLab with the Fluance team.
When I arrived on site I realized that behind the silver slat protection was a relatively old house. I was surprised and thought that the slat protection was the actual facade of the building. My misunderstanding vanished quickly when Peter Kronenberg started the tour. As he explained to us, the lamellas serve to insulate the heat in the house or to shield the cold or heat from the outside.
“James” is the name of the iHomeLab computer that opened the door to the lab. We entered a room with 2 large sofas, a kitchen and an entrance plant. When we took our seats on the sofas, a film was shown to us. In it, the three main aspects of the iHomeLab were introduced to us. Energy efficiency, comfort and safety – that’s what the iHomeLab team is working on.
After the film we were introduced to the individual aspects as well as everything that the team could already achieve. There is one feature that I liked very much and that I would immediately implement at home: As you walk through the apartment, the TV screen changes from room to room to another screen, no matter where you are. You wouldn’t miss a film clip as you move around the building.
The iHomeLab has too many functions to respond to all of them. What made me think, however, was that all the activities of one person would be taken up. Be it by cameras, the house computer, the identification card that the occupant carries with him so that the house computer can determine his location. If I had to live in the iHomeLab, I would feel uncomfortable over time. Because I would know that with a hacked system everything about me would be revealed: how I live, what I do, when I do it, etc.
Conclusion: The iHomeLab team has developed many good and helpful tools that could make life much easier for older people. But living in a “supervised house” would be “too much of a good thing” for me. The central question is: How secure is an iHome?
At Bern’s college of higher education in Biel/Bienne the research in medical technics is going to be in reach. The process of the production of medicine up to the delivery at hospital’s bedside is shown in an interesting way. The research rooms have been designed as real as possible for letting one’s mind wander.
From the labor over the storage and the route of transport up to the hospital – there are many possibilities to optimize this process. Thanks to the common bar code GS1 it’s possible to follow the way from a product to the goal. The technology behind could be improved in future.
The name of our virtual patient is Madam Brönnimann and she has to go to the hospital. There she’ll get a little chip which one she needs to carry with her during her stay. Therewith she can be identified and also her data could be saved on the chip for example her medication or disease history. Once the infusion is delivered, it can be verified by the bar code.
If the product barcodes were available in a cloud, the infusion could be tracked back to the creation day and the route of transport. In case of a warning notice, e.g. the infusion is wrong and mustn’t be used, there’s still enough time for interruption so Madam Brönnimann would get an other one. But it get’s even better.
Surgery with hands and feet
During a surgery the surgeon looks at the screen where the little small camera in patient’s body displays the recording. There are a lot experiments concerning steering the screen display during a surgery. A sensitive foot pedal could be used for the navigation. Also a infrared sensor on the table beside could interpret the hand gesture and play it out correctly on the screen. The fantasy has no limitation.
Rather having patient’s data online
Today the physicians work mostly with paper and sticky notes to record quickly the patient’s findings or to review it. The possibility of using an iPad for the daily work is already given. Due to several programs the work could be accelerated, e.g. when the system is able to recognize some aspects and to make suggestions itself. As a example we were explained how it works by typing the body temperature into a special app. This software knows which numbers were in the realms of possibility and proposes only the numbers which weren’t out of question.
Drug on prescription
In pharmacies a new plan will be introduced. At first view it should be possible to see which drugs the patient needs to take, in which dose rate and at what time. The question is how older people would deal with it. What if there are newer information but the patient mixes it up? What if this plan is untraceable?
There are many advantages of the cross-linking of medical institutions. The prescriptions are available at any time, they can be modified online and there would be no danger of confusion.
Technical help at home
If someone cannot get along in the privacy of own home the research can work wonders. People with Alzheimer or such who are restricted in their movements can benefit enormously.
The smart wardrobe
The mirror-clad wardrobe in the bedroom has interesting features: a display welcomes Mme Brönnimann and shows her where which clothes have been placed. It has a led illumination over every shelf board. The display has only three buttons which can be pressed or turned, because old people are often overstrained with new technics and many keys. But how does that work exactly?
Every piece of clothing has an own RFID sewed in the label. The smart wardrobe recognizes the RFID, in which piece of clothes it is and where it is placed. Mme Brönnimann doesn’t has to search for it, but is able to pick it out in a single unerring hand movement.
Sensors under the floor
The security in everyday’s life of elder people is still a subject of research. There is a floor fitted with sensors. It is able to notice where somebody is staying and in which direction the people were moving. If someone slips, fells on the floor and stays there for a while the system could raise an alarm and call an emergency physician.
Conversation with the vacuum cleaner
Assuming that Mme Brönnimann is a lusty pensioner who practiceizes yoga – she might be lying on the floor for two minutes and does some breathing exercises. The system recognizes that she’s lying there unmovable. Before the alarming system calls the emergency, her condition could be verified very quickly. How? With a vacuum cleaner of course!
The vacuum cleaner drives itself to Mme Brönnimann. Thanks to its iPad and Skype installed, he’s able to call some contacts. The first one on the list will be called. Should this call fail, the vacuum cleaner would call the next number. The called person – this could be also a child of Mme Brönnimann – takes the video call and can see her and talk to her. In this way it’s possible to decide if help is needed or not.
Laundry basked updates Spitex
Also the laundry basket in the bathroom has some sensors which give feedback when it’s full. If someone isn’t any more capable to do the laundry, to drag it into the laundry, to bend down or to kneel, the smart laundry basket is the best solution. When it’s full, it gives a feedback itself to Spitex so that somebody should come and collect him. After the laundry is done it will be brought back, dry and folded.
Kitchen and bathroom in the think tank
A smart kitchen or a smart bathroom still are in a think tank at the BFH Biel. The related rooms still were in shell. The students can wonder about special capability of equipments and furniture for a while. Once the plan is finished the students are free to install, screw, fettle and configure.
It’s worth to visit the BFH in Biel. The guidance is very interesting and opens the eyes for the possibility in technics within the healthcare. We’re curious about the future developments.