Nicholas Horan

Nicholas Horan

Integrated Product Design MSc
2011

The Active Frame

Reducing loneliness in older people through ambient communication

Lack of contact and interaction with friends and family can contribute to loneliness, depression, senility, Alzheimer's and dementia in older people. These conditions are expected to require an estimated extra £190 billion of expenditure each year until 2050 to manage healthcare requirements for the ageing population in the UK. The Active Frame is designed to reduce loneliness, using ambient communication with sensory functions, thereby enabling contact with friends and family wherever they are. Wealth within the older demographic is increasing and older people are becoming more discerning consumers and choosing high-end brands. The Active Frame deliberately embraces a high-end brand, creating a truly inclusive product that anyone, of any age, would enjoy using, whilst being particularly helpful to older users. The Active Frame is a portable, multi-platform, remote-updatable, digital photo frame. It allows friends and family to send photographs from any location on a wide variety of platforms and also has the ability to sense when a person suffers a fall and offers the opportunity to identify their location. Further functions include a home direction pointer and automatic emergency messaging service. The Active Frame creates an inclusive solution mitigating the issues surrounding loneliness, often felt by older people, as a result of increasing distances between family members.