Delivering Video-Based IST services into European Homes






European Commission (EC)


IST Programme

IST@HOME has build a series of EC R&D projects providing low-cost set-tops for video-telephony, requirements for remote medical supervision, solutions for network QoS, powerline domotics, video services workplaces and other components. The project built an affordable and usable video-telephony system to design home and care-provision systems for elderly people. It comprises a small movable camera, a set-top box for a TV and a handheld service pad. Together, these components enable users to see, talk to or seek assistance from professional carers in real time, over the Internet. The IST@HOME systems are on show in Portugal Telecom’s exhibition centre and have been demonstrated by Johanneswerk, a service provider under the German social welfare organisation of the Protestant church, and hospital/care providers. The project partners, funded under the European Commission’s IST programme, installed the complete system in homes in Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal and tested it for six months. They also produced portable video-communications devices which can be carried from room to room. With the size of an A4 sheet of paper, these devices are standard tablet PCs with a video camera.
Older users and service staff expressed great appreciation for the project’s services and systems, with most of both groups saying they would like to use them in the future if possible. Both groups also rated the video quality acceptable to very acceptable at the data rate used, which was typically 256 kbits/second.