The SOPARNO Project Set to Make an Impact

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SOPRANO stands for ‘Service-oriented Programmable Smart Environments for Older Europeans’  and it is an integrated project in the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme (IST Priority 6th Call on Ambient Assisted Living or AAL). The SOPRANO project sets out to develop and provide highly innovative ambient assistance to a range of living situations. The objective of the SOPRANO project is to develop affordable, smart ICT-based assisted living services with interfaces, which are easy to use for older people and are familiar in their home environment. The Soparno project was started in January 2007, and will have a duration of 40 months.

The societal trends SOPRANO is responding to are the rise in the proportion of older citizens in the population due to demographic change, which is a particularly  prevalent phenomenon in Europe, the scale and type of needs of older citizens which societies must plan to meet, the rejection of current ICT-based services by many older citizens, the steady deterioration of non-ICT-based service provision in the information society, the poverty of offer of ICT-based services usable by older citizens, and the difficulty of designing ICT-based services usable by older citizens. At the same time, research has shown that a large segment of the growing number of older people in Europe can be offered AAL services, which can radically improve their quality of life, provided usability of ICT systems can be  radically improved. The opportunity to do this is given by recent developments in ambient intelligence and new abilities of software systems to communicate with users in something approaching natural human to human interaction. The new European Commission’s Programme on AAL, of which SOPRANO is a part, was launched against a background of this accelerating demographic ageing across Europe. The EC research is to show how technologies such as computers, the Internet and mobile communications

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