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Technology
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Thesis Proposal
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The Evolution of Elderly and Disabled Individuals being Assisted using a Voice Controlled Home Automation System (Thesis Proposal Sample)

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INFORMATION Paper Format: Number of pages: Number of slides: Number of questions: Number of problems: Academic Level: Type of work: Type of paper: Abstract page: Sources needed Harvard 4Single spaced 0 0 0 Undergraduate Writing from scratch Report No 5 Subject Technology Topic Project Proposal - The Evolution of elderly and disabled individuals being assisted using a voice controlled Home Automation System Paper details Background Write a Background to the research problem, summarizing and if necessary adding to the Literature-Based Report (Assessment 2) prepared earlier. The purpose of the Background is to provide a rationale/justification for the research proposed. You will critically synthesize and evaluate existing knowledge and relevant facts with reference to sources of high quality information, such as reports from government, NGOs, industry or market research companies; ICT industry or business magazines and journals; white papers; books and book chapters. You may also include academic journal articles and conference papers. Cite sources of information using UTS Harvard style. Research Significance and Innovation · Firstly, explain the significance of the research and the importance of the problem, with justification from the Background. Identify how the research will improve ICT knowledge, technical capability and/or practice. · Secondly, highlight the benefits to society or industry from your proposal research. From a social or business perspective, why is it important to solve the problem you have identified? · Thirdly, describe the innovation of your proposed research project. How is it new? How will it contribute in some novel way to the operations of a company or to ICT knowledge generally? Will it improve existing technologies or approaches? Justify your claims with reference to the Background Research Methods Describe research method(s) appropriate to investigate your topic and throw light on the research problem. Justify your choices in relation to your research problem: · Define the activities your team will undertake. · Is your research exploratory, descriptive or explanatory? · Is your research design fixed or flexible? · Are your research techniques going to yield qualitative or quantitative data? · What overall approach would you use to carry out your project (e.g., case study, field study, design research, field experiment, laboratory experiment, action research)? · What specific techniques would you use (e.g., survey, interviews, focus groups, measurements of performance, website hits, log file analysis). · How will you measure progress and what constitutes success, i.e., how will you know when you have succeeded in achieving the research objectives?

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Project Proposal: The Evolution of Elderly and Disabled Individuals being Assisted using a Voice Controlled Home Automation System
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Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384839593"Background  PAGEREF _Toc384839593 \h 3
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384839594"Research Significance and Innovation 5
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384839595"Research Methods 6
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384839606"References 7

Background
Home automation means the use of information technology and computer to control household features and appliances. Manufacturers of home automation systems employ various actuators or sensors to create smart homes. With the automation, it is possible to control all the household appliance and features remotely. Home automation systems are becoming popular in the contemporary households and a number of studies have are mainly focusing on its development. For many years, home automation has clearly been a key feature of science fiction until in the early 20th Century when it became practical (Kevin et al. 2003 p. 1026). The extensive introduction of power/electricity into homes and the swift progression or advancements of information technology have necessitated the use of home automation systems in homes and among households. For instance, Nikola Tesla introduced the idea of remote control for vehicles as well as vessels in the late 1800s. However, electrical appliances began to emerge between 1915 and 1920. Different companies across the globe have manufactured various voice controlled home automation systems to suit the needs of households (Kevin et al. 2003 p. 1026). A critical assessment and analysis of the elderly and disabled individuals being assisted using a voice controlled home automation system is the main subject of the proposal.
Home Automation Systems would enable the elderly and disabled individuals to stay safe and comfortable at home. It is also a viable option for many elderly and disabled people who would rather stay in the comfort and safety of their homes instead of moving to a nearby healthcare facility (Kevin et al. 2003 p. 1026). The voice controlled home automation system employs almost the same equipment and technology as home automation for entertainment, energy, and security – only that it tailors it toward the elderly. Different NGOs, government agencies and market/industry research companies agitate for implementation of more home automation systems and gadgets for purposes of maintaining safety and independence of the elderly as well as disabled individuals.
Addition of voice to the home automation system will enable the elderly and disabled persons to operate with ease within their homes even when other family members are away. Speaking to the home appliances and features is even simpler through installing a microphone on the computer that contains already installed voice recognition software (Aurell 2005). However, this approach could still be inconvenient particularly in providing long-term solution. That is, voice controlled automation would still not work if the computer with installed voice recognition software is located in a different room from where the elderly or disabled is. As a result, it is imperative that the developers of the technology find a way of placing a microphone in all rooms and carefully combine the signals via a microphone mixer (Aurell 2005). Accordingly, the home automation system will be able to respond to the voice of the elderly or disabled from anywhere or any room in the house.
Meanwhile, interfacing the phone system with the voice recognition computer and picking up any available phone extension to issue the voice commands of the elderly or disabled will be a simpler solution. Voice controlled home automation system can also control any appliance that the system is configured to run/operate (Aurell 2005). For example, the voice activation system will turn off, turn on, or even set dim levels of light if the disabled or elderly person uses light modules. In the same way, the voice activation system will enable or halt the alarm system if the security of the home is configured through home automation system. The voice system may also change the channel if LED transmitters are used with the home theatre system.
Apart from operating the home automation appliances and devices, voice-activated systems may enable the user to ask or inquire from the computer about a number of concerns/questions. For instance, the elderly person could ask questions such as, “How are the stocks selling?” or “What is the weather today.” The home automation system will then download this information/aforementioned inquiries from the Internet and stores that information/data in the hard drive of the computer (Eisenberg 2001). Thus, the information or data would be readily available when the person needs it. It is imperative to state that voice activation systems are and should always be inactive/asleep. This is important because it avoids instances where the computer responds accidentally to some miscellaneous commands especially when the elderly or disabled is involved in a normal conversation with other family members or friends. In essence, the voice activation system would require a “wake up” phrase or word to catch attention of the system (Eisenberg 2001). That is, the elderly will choose a word or phrase that is uncommon to use. The computer will wake up once the person has uttered the word, or phase and waits for further instructions.
Apparently, the commands given to the voice system are scripts or macros. For example, if the elderly or disabled person utters “Bedroom Light”, the computer will search for the phrase in the library (computer library). After finding the script associated with the abovementioned phrase, it will then run the script. Similarly, a home automation command to turn off the lights will operate the same way (Eisenberg 2001). Sensors, controllers and actuators are key elements of the home automation system. Sensors include motion detection, daylight and temperature. Actuators on the other hand include light switches, valves and motors among others. A human-machine interface appliance or device would be essential to ensure the occupant(s) of the home can interact freely with the automation system for purposes of monitoring and control (Eisenberg 2001). The interface device could be a specific terminal or an application that runs on a tablet computer or smart phone. It is important to reiterate that a device or appliance may communicate over a wired network, or over dedicated wiring, or communicate wireless using certain protocols.
Besides, the control system could be centrally placed, or involve the use of multiple intelligent appliances around the home. Many of the manufacturers of home automation gadgets have standardized forms of communication and electronic interfaces, and hardware for constructing home automation systems. While some standards use the control wiring and additional communication, others utilize embedded signals in house power circuit, or radio frequency signals (Onyimadu, Harding & Briggs, 2011 p. 336). Tablet PCs and Smartphone have particularly revolutionized the way people communicate or even interact in the world. These devices have also changed mobile technology altogether. Different software applications running on tablets and mobile devices have further revolutionized the way people use mobile phones (Onyimadu, Harding & Briggs, 2011 p. 336). For instance, tablet PCs and Smart phones contain a wide range of applications that make it much easier to operate even home automation systems.
The elderly and disabled individuals would therefore find assistance using a voice controlled home automation system. Even with this kind of advancements in automation systems, the users would still require adequate training on how the system works. For example, the user would follow a strict command system aided by voice instructions to operate different appliance/devices in the house (Onyimadu, Harding & Briggs, 2011 p. 336). Home automation system will not only enhance independence of the elderly and disable persons while in the house but also improve their safety. In essence, they will always feel comfortable and safe even when other family members stay away from home for the better part of the day. They will particularly feel secure because they are well aware help is just minutes away. They do not necessarily have to worry about the absence of other from the scene.
Research Significance and Innovation
A voice controlled Home Automation System would be vital to fostering the independence of the elderly and disabled people contrary to previous technological advancements that only focused mainly on improving their safety and security. The innovation will contribute immensely to the operations of ICT companies and to ICT knowledge in general (Celler, Lovell & Chan, 1999 p. 518). In addition, it will improve the existing approaches as well as technologies about automation system. Today, every electrical device and appliances, including the heating is voice controlled in most homes using a Smartphone (iPad or iPhone). A voice controlled home automation system is particularly fascinating because it creates an impression that one can live comfortably through a voice command.
Even though installing the home automation system is costly, it has enabled many people to operate appliances and devices with ease. The system will also be crucial to attaining the goals and objectives of previous efforts to develop a device/system. Meanwhile, the applications gadgets also allow people to interact with different websites. With an Internet connection, the elderly can download important information or data through voice controlled home au...
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