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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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5.2 Microsystems

5.2 Microsystems Technology Lab on Substrate © Fraunhofer IZM/Döring les the physician to control the course of therapy. One can also imagine using these sensors to measure data such as blood pressure, pulse or weight. Thus, critical status changes can be detected at an early stage. In the section Intelligent Systems and Robotics at the FU Berlin a project is currently running that even wants to partially restore vision to the blind: they are researching micro-optical reading glasses, i.e. software and control for an active camera for the blind, which specifically searches for ambient documents, records them and reads them via a synthesizer. The company Vistac in Teltow in Brandenburg also offers support for the blind. It has developed a blindman’s stick which scans the environment via laser and warns of obstacles. The principle is also used in sensors for collision avoidance. Long blindman’s stick with a laser sensor for upper body protection © Vistac GmbH Technology that makes a self-reliant life possible Especially in view of demographic change, such services are likely to bring large benefits to health and self-reliant living in the coming years. The keyword “Ambient Assisted Living” includes technologies which enable the elderly to lead a comfortable, independent life as long as possible. Considering only the capital region, 15% of people in Berlin and already 18% of people in Brandenburg are older than 65 years. According to forecasts by the Federal Statistical Office, by 2030 these numbers will change to 18.5% and 26%, respectively. There is no shortage of ideas for ambient assisted living: telemonitoring systems are a promising approach to the care of heart failure patients, especially if they can be connected with “wearable computing”. Sensors integrated into clothing could completely invisibly measure health data, i.e. without stigmatizing the wearer of the garment. Technology demonstrator of a nursing bracelet, which monitors skin moisture and temperature reliably © Fraunhofer IZM/EMFT Another application area in this context is the “smart home” or intelligent living. In particular, these include lighting, heating and air conditioning controls, as well as alarm systems which can signal emergencies. There are also audio and visual guidance devices, which may remind you to drink enough and to take important medications. Even robots for residential pickup and delivery services are conceivable. How this could work can already be practically experienced in Berlin-Brandenburg: Already in 2008, a Wildau housing association equipped a model home with innovative wireless technology from the regional provider Eldat GmbH. Using a remote control, light throughout the home can be controlled, for example. If worst comes to worst, one could also call for human help from other rooms or the neighbor's apartment. Another example is a project funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research called SELBST (German for 'self') – “Independent Living for the Elderly with Microsystems Technology”. In this joint project, the pme Familienservice, together with the Fraunhofer IZM, the Berlin system technology company Esys, the SIBIS Institut für Sozialfoschung GmbH (Institute for Social Research), the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and the Center for 84

5.2 Microsystems Technology Microsystems Technology (ZEMI), develops a user-friendly communication platform with integrated service concept. In the center is a SELBST control pad as communications center and a sensor kit for easy retrofitting. Easy operation and a multitude of functions will promote the communication of older people with distant friends and family members and relatives while at the same time relieve those from care. In conjunction with the pad, the sensor kit wants to replace the attentive neighbor and assure distant family members at any time that everything is in order. VERNETZTES LEBEN in Berlin-Brandenburg 2011 THE GERMAN CAPITAL REGION excellence in ict • media • creative industries In a study whose title is also “Connected Living”, the TSB already demonstrated the potential of the region and derived recommendations for actions – especially in the areas of networked home, telework and locationbased services, which put living, working and life in the city front and center. This study can be downloaded from the TSB website ( Study “Connected Living” © TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH Ambient assisted living is by no means the only area where microsystems technology makes life easier and simultaneously develops its economic potential. But it is an area connected with the many hopes for the future. Contact: Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lang Fraunhofer IZM Phone: +49 (0)30 / 46 403 179 Email: SELBST control pad © pme Familienservice GmbH Another regional project is “MIDIS - Microsystems Technological Service Innovations for the Elderly.” This is a more fundamental project: substantive principles are developed and methodological approaches for the collaborative development and successful commercialization of such AAL concepts. As an open platform, MI- DIS will provide all interested parties an opportunity to contribute their ideas. Furthermore, through this project the cooperation of service providers and manufacturers of microsystems technology will be organized and the methodology will be tested. Of great importance is usability: the less aware a user is of technology, the greater its acceptance. Within the framework of the project “1,000 Apartments in Berlin - Living with Innovative Technology”, over the next five years homes in the capital will be equipped with retrofittable, intelligent assistance and support systems. To enable older people to live a self-reliant life, appropriate services will also be integrated. Through inclusion of industry and crafts, the players in healthcare, medical and nursing care insurance, the housing and building industries, one wants to find viable, comprehensive solutions. To promote the activities in this direction and to emphasize the importance of the subject, the action group on “Connected Living” was initiated under the lead of the TSB Innovation Agency Berlin. In close consultation with the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, the project aims to promote use of information and communication technologies, with the goal to unburden people in their living and working environment. 85

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