Keeping in Touch Every Day

For the KITE (Keeping in Touch Every Day) project, we developed two prototype devices in collaboration with two people with dementia and their carers. The devices were intended to assist the particular individuals involved in the project in the maintenance of solitary activities outside the house and help alleviate fears they or their carers may have about them becoming lost. One of these people was a woman who wanted a device to support her visits to friends and family (she drove a car) and the other was a man who wanted to use it while out running. The first device was embedded in a specially design notebook, and the second took the form of an runner’s armband.

The devices incorporated both GPS (for positioning) and GSM communications. When in use, a device continuously reported a user’s location to a central web server that, when requested, would transmit the last known location for the device to a mobile phone or computer. If the user was concerned that they were lost, they could press a panic button on the device that would trigger the server to send a text message to their carer’s mobile phone. The text was accompanied by a map showing the person with dementia’s location.

Part of the KITE: Keeping in Touch Every Day project.