A ground-breaking University of Edinburgh trial aims to revolutionise independent living for people with disabilities and older people through the use of smart meters.
The Smart Meters for Independent Living (SMILE) project will develop and test machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) methods to analyse energy usage data from consenting residents’ smart meters, creating a view of their daily routines and spotting unusual changes in behaviour which could cause concern.
The trial is being led by School of Informatics’ Dr Lynda Webb, in partnership with innovative housing and care specialist Blackwood Homes and Care, and Scottish Innovation Centre, The Data Lab.
Blackwood Homes and Care provides a range of accessible housing for people with disabilities and older people. The SMILE trial began in November 2019 and, despite some delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is currently analysing energy usage data in several homes across Scotland. The results of the trial are expected to be published in autumn 2021.
Dr Webb said: “It is very exciting to be working collaboratively with Blackwood Homes and the industry partners on this project. It provides an opportunity to apply the machine learning outputs from our previous EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) research project, IDEAL, in a new real world setting for social good.
“The fact that we are also co-designing the service with Blackwood customers means we can take forward the research in a way that is adapted to people’s true needs.”