Smart House Simulation: Devices and Services

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This page is about the smart house activity in the Cloud4all project (November 2011 – October 2015) and is now outdated.

This is a draft list of devices for a smart home simulation proposed by HdM. This is part of the work being done for the Smart House Online Simulation.

General note: at least some devices should support auditory indicators/output (in addition to the visual output that they normally have); the user profile can then determine whether auditory and/or visual output should be used.

Question: What would the Cloud4all/GPII effect be on the items marked with @@@ ? Why include them in demo if no Cloud4all/GPII impact? Some look like they could be affected - but there is no note to do so.

Currently, only the devices in bold are certain to be included; the inclusion of other devices depends on the outcome of the matrix that connects devices/services with adaptations based on user preferences.

Note: The devices and adaptations selected for the simulation are listed on the page Smart House Matrix.

Devices and Services by Room

Living Room

  • Home controller (gateway)
    • A smart phone or a tablet may be used as UI
  • (Smart) phone
    • Phonebook would allow to add a picture and a sound or voice recording to be added to each contact; the user profile would then determine how the list of contacts is displayed (list, grid, one by one), and determine font size, colour, etcetera.
    • May also be used to display who is calling at the front door, and open and lock the door. @@@ 
    • Support user interface adaptations such as foreground and background colour (for better contrast), font size etcetera
    • Note: Phone adapts ringing tone and volume, and the use of non-sound indicators to the user profile: see use case of user with hearing impairment.
  • Multimedia system: TV screen, DVD & CD player (with integrated Internet radio):
    • Integrated remote control for TV, DVD & CD player and radio.
    • Rendering of captions (= for hearing-impaired users), subtitles (= translation), default volume, default brightness depend on user profile.
    • DVD player: rendering of captions, subtitles, DVD menu language, contrast, ... depend on user profile.
    • Built-in displays: language, contrast, font size, ... depend on user profile.
    •  ?? Default volume for particular types of music (CD player) and different programs or radio stations also depends on user profile.
    • Note: UI language adaptation according to user profile: see use case of Bulgarian (with Down syndrome) staying in Germany.
    • Note: Volume and captions or subtitles dependent on user profile: see use case of user with hearing impairment. However, other residents may find the volume for the hearing-impaired user too high, so a compromise setting is sometimes necessary, for example, normal volume combined with captions.
    • Note: font size for subtitles, contrast (i.e. foreground and background colours) in menus and button size adapt to user profile: see use case of cook with astigmatism and deuteranomaly.
  • Medication dispenser & medication reminder system
    • Reminders may be provided through the (smart) phone (or another UI that the user happens to be using)
  • Remote control for HVAC
    • Note: remote controls supports vibration in different patterns when HVAC is turned on or off or the temperature is changed (cf. use case for blind user).


  • Fall detection device: possibly a sensor mat on each side of the bed  @@@ 
  • Bed occupancy sensor @@@ 


  • Gas detector (can sends message to smart home system, which sends alerts to wherever necessary; not in every room, since one gas detector per floor is sufficient) @@@ 
  • Flood sensor (can send alerts to the smart home system and automatically close the water flow, there is one where there is risk of flood, as kitchen (under the sink))
  • Stove with sensors to detect if a cooktop or the oven is turned on or off (fire prevention if left unattended) @@@ 
  • Coffee machine with a sensor to detect if it is turned on or off (fire prevention if left unattended) @@@ 
  • A toaster with a sensor to detect if it is turned on or off (fire prevention if left unattended) (interesting prototype of weather forecast toaster@@@ 
  • Refrigerator
    • Has a door sensor (to enable reminders in case it was accidentally left open). @@@ 
    • Has a system to track what is still in the fridge (to remind occupant of the house of shortages) and a display. The display properties (colours, font size, etc) would depend on the user profile.
  •  ?? Nutrition advisor (see UniversAAL reference use case #1)
  • A dishwasher with a display for its settings @@@  Astea: We might be able to configure the display - e.g. contrast, font size, etc.
  • Note: adaptation of contrast (i.e. foreground and background colour): see use case of cook with astigmatism and deuteranomaly.


  • Washing machine and dryer
    • Both have a display to choose between programs; contrast, font size etc would depend on the user profile.
    • Both support voice output.
    • Both can send reminders to the TV (if it is on) or the (smart) phone when the washing or drying has finished. (@@@Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  
  • Body weight scales
  •  ?? Any devices that collect physiological data ??(Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  

At the Front Door


  • Doorbell and camera:
    • Enables caller to be seen on the TV screen or the phone (or another device, e.g. a tablet PC)@@@
  • Smart mailbox:
    • Sends a message (e.g. to smart phone) when new mail has arrived@@@ (Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  


  • Smart door lock:
    • Doorlock can be opened from the phone, possibly also controlled through Web interface or Internet (e.g. to let somebody in when you are not at home)@@@ (Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  
  • Panic button next to the front door (inside)@@@  
  • Output device (display & speakers) for reminders:@@@ (Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  
    • To remind resident of open windows or doors and of appliances that are in use (and which might cause a fire when left unattended) when leaving the house.

In Each Room

  • Window sensors (detect whether window has been left open)@@@
  • Door sensors (detect if a door is not fully closed) 
  • Motion sensors (detect if there is something or someone passing or moving at the sensor range)
  • Light sensor (detects the amount of light, usually is placed in the ceiling)
  • Blinds actuators (can be closed automatically if for example the user is leaving the house, or can be opened when the light sensor detects there is not enough light for reading)
  • Fire detector (can sends message to smart home system, which sends alerts to wherever necessary)@@@ (Where displayed and how displayed dependent on user profile?  
  • Light switches with dimmers (can e.g. be switched on gradually if person leaves the bed during the night)@@@  
  • Speakers for reminder system (also next to front door)

Fall detection sensors (e.g. as sensor mats) could also be added in the bathroom and other rooms where falls are frequent.


Smart House Mock-Ups

Paper Prototype


Floor plan with front door, work area, bathroom or washing area, living room, dining space, bedroom and another bathroom

The same floorplan in 3D, which would be used in the simulation:

3D view of the floor plan with the front door, the work area, the bathroom and washing area, the living room, the dining space, the bedroom and its bathroom, and the corridor connecting some of these rooms

Clicking on each of the rooms would result in a 3D version of the corresponding plan below.

The living room:

Plan of the living room with a multimedia system on the right, the air conditioning system and the phone at the top, a table in the middle, couches or other types of seating to the left and below the table, and other devices that would be displayed as icons.

The bedroom:

Plan of the bedroom with the bed, a lamp and light switches on each side of the bed, a bed occupancy sensor and a fall detection sensor.

Note: There are different ways of implementing a fall detection sensor. One way that is easy to visualise in a simulation is the use of sensor mats that would be placed at each side of the bed.

The bathroom:

Plan of the bathroom with the shower, the basin and mirror, the body weight scales and the washing machine.

The kitchen:

Plan of the kitchen with the coffee machine, the stove, the dishwasher and the refrigerator.

The front door:

Plan for the front door with a door bell, a camera and on the outside, and smart doorlock, a smart mailbox and a device for reminders that are output when someone leaves the house.