A significant opportunity exists to aid AD/Dementia patients by engaging them in activities they enjoy, like gardening, to stimulate the brain and reinforce memory pathways. This use case explores utilizing smart eyewear enhanced with audio capabilities to assist in such activities. Equipped with GPS and sensors, the device could detect when the wearer enters their garden. Moreover, AI could enhance this detection by recognizing specific gardening patterns, such as rows of plants. GPS functionality ensures the wearer remains within the safety of their own garden.
Envisioning this application, two primary interaction methods emerge: automatic detection when Carol enters her garden or manual initiation by Carol, regardless of her location. For instance, Carol can activate the system by asking, "Let's check on the garden." Assuming conditions are suitable (daylight and mild weather), the system, affectionately named "Seymour," acknowledges the request and reminds Carol to wear her gardening gloves. Seymour then monitors Carol's movements towards the garden, offering guidance if she deviates or appears uncertain.
Within the garden, Seymour becomes an interactive guide, identifying weeds, signaling ripe fruits, and naming plant species. This technology, while existing, requires fine-tuning to foster a conversational dialogue that encourages Carol to recall and engage, thereby stimulating her cognitive functions.
Seymour would ask prompting questions like:
"Hey Carol, can you name that flower?"
"Hey Carol, does that tomato look ready to pick?"
"Hey Carol, do you see the butterfly on your left?"
Rather than providing answers, Seymour encourages Carol's active participation, adjusting the conversation based on her response times, confusion levels (detected through gesture recognition, and voice tone), and overall comfort. If Carol shows signs of frustration or agitation, Seymour adapts its interaction style accordingly.
This approach involves intricate interaction design and extensive testing to integrate seamlessly into any modern design system, ensuring it meets the nuanced needs of AD/Dementia patients engaging in gardening.
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