”eKlarA” - A clothing cycle assistant system supporting functionally impaired people
Ancona, 30 October 2014. Functionally impaired people have problems with choosing and finding the right clothing. So, they need help in their daily life to wash and manage the clothing. The goal of the work presented by Thomas Walzer is to support the user by giving recommendations to choose the right clothing, to find the clothing and how to wash the clothing. The idea behind eKlarA is to generate a gateway based system that uses sensors to identify the clothing and their state in the clothing cycle. The clothing cycle consists of (one and more) closet, laundry basket and washing machine in one ore several places. The gateway uses the information about the clothing, weather and calendar to support the user in the different steps of the clothing cycle. This allows to give more freedom to the functionally impaired people in their daily life.
Modern living environments are surrounded with sensors and networks to support people’s life: lightning, heating or surveillance systems are some examples. However, the area of clothing is not equipped with sensors although clothing expresses to a high extend the attitude and external appearance of a person. Especially for functionally impaired persons it is not easy to find the right clothing combination. For example, a blind person has problems to find the right clothing. The hardware system contains two kinds of devices. The main device is the gateway that is based central at home and connected with the internet. It is the point where the necessary information for the system is collected. The system could be an normal PC or a device like a Raspberry Pi. The second device is the cycle control device which is placed at the clothing cycle stations. It is used to identify the location of the clothing. For this, an RFIDreader is used with the Arduino Yun. The database chosen for the implementation of eKLarA was PostgresSQL. It is usable as an object rational database. The main datatype for the system is the clothing. For the recommendation, eKlarA needs the information of the clothing , the weather and the calendar. The information of the clothing consists of color, size, category, washing advises and buying-date, among others.
At the moment the system is under development. The first step was to find the right information structure for the clothing and to fill the database with these information. On the basis of the filled in information, guide rules will be formed. Special attention will be given to the rule-based style descriptions, which are the basis of the recommendations. Parallel to this, a general concept for the interaction will be created.