I have been passed a project by a city council to look into the possibilites around home / device automation and communication systems for the elderly / disabled, etc. and cannot shake the idea that LinuxMCE needs exploring here. If this has already been done, then please point me to the correct thread.
The project is pretty broad and includes device / home automation for those with limited movement (X10 stuff) and also communications / media delivery. I have been given a small residential flat and a budget to kit out said flat and showcase the benefits of modern technology as applied to common problems faced by people with restricted movement, memory problems, etc. This will be presented to the City Council and various Healthcare providers (technical Luddites), so there is scope for some real opportunities here.
Just wondered if anyone here would have any ideas or recommendations that they would be willing to share?
The reason I am being so vague is because, although familiar with Nix (been running Red Hat servers for years), device control is a new field to me. About 3 years ago I came across the LinuxMCE demo video and was utterly blown away. I wanted to test it out, but had no compatible devices (or at least could not get the devices I had to work with it). Moreover, the video seems more aimed toward media than home automation, though I can see massive potential in this latter field.
There are two broad aspects to this project: automatiing devices and social isolation. For the former, I am looking into X10 devices / Marmitek controller and an HCF for security / monitoring. For the latter I am still in the thinking stage and I have a feeling that MCE could offer something solid here. This challenge really centres around old / disabled / immobile people, technophobes who don't want "a computer" in their house, but do like the idea of being able to video conference / social network with their kids, grandkids, etc. They are interested in things like Skype, but need a really user friendly interface that integrates seamlessly into their environment - preferably something controllable via a device that they are already familiar with (i.e. TV remote) and presented via the TV. It would be possible to bolt a small form factor PC to the back of their TV, thus getting the computer in the door without them objecting, but the front end to MCE is WAYYYYYY too complex for a newbie technophobe.
iPads are the obvious solution, but I can't stand them, they are expensive and too limited.
Would anyone be willing to discuss this? Anyone got any ideas?