The project builds an ecosystem for collaboration between SME and seniors, on which these two groups are the main actors, thus strengthening the European experts workforce and maintaining their productivity and usefulness to the society and increasing the skills pool in the European Union.
The special Eurobarometer on Active Ageing showed that the 41% of people aged 55 and over tend to be keener on working beyond the age at which they are entitled to a pension, in contrast to younger respondents. Almost two thirds of Europeans believe that they should be allowed to continue working beyond the official retirement age to an age that involves greater choice. As well as preventing older people from remaining in the work place this has the additional effect of preventing people with many years of experience and knowledge from being able to transfer skills, knowledge and experience properly to future younger generations of workers. Elders-Up! targets this gap by making it possible for older people to remain in the workplace longer if they choose.
The main innovation of the Elders-Up! system is that will monitor the end user state through its interaction with the collaborative Elders-Up! workspace in order to:
- Adapt the interface and content of the workspace to the cognitive conditions of the user applying the necessary changes to provide them an easy interaction and usage.
- Engage and motivate the elderly in optimal collaboration in the work team for a prolonged period of time.
- Protect the elderly from fail into apathy and frailty after their retirement by providing them means to keep their minds active and to transfer their valuable knowledge.
The Elders-Up! concept is based on the principle that the system needs to automatically adapt to the capabilities of its users, thereby enabling seniors with cognitive impairments to immediately use the system without having to manually adjust the complexity of the system. Therefore, a set of sensors (e.g. touchscreen, webcam, microphone and others) continuously gathers information about the way the end user interacts with the system. The system is able to extract data from these common sensors which are currently available in many devices as tablets or SmartTVs, to get useful information about the cognitive abilities and engagement level of the end user.
To fulfil its ambitious goals, the Elders-Up! project will provide four services:
- Skills Matching Service: The Elders-Up! Skills Matching Service will provide two main functionalities: (i) discovery of skills and (ii) the multidisciplinary elderly workforce construction. Discovery of skills functionality is achieved by searching the Users Skills Knowledge Base to identify elderly end-users that have registered skills that semantically match the ones required by the small companies.
- Sensors and self-report data gathering: The merely interaction of a user with a device as a tablet, a laptop or a SmartTV could provide valuable inputs for gathering information about him. Elders-Up! project will gather information about the end user cognitive limitations and the levels of motivation.
- Adaptation Decision-maker Service: The goal of this service is to automatically decide and select the best configuration for presenting the information to the elderly by using the Elders-Up! system.
- Collaborative & adaptive workspace: The Elders-Up! Workspace will be an interface fully customizable either visually and with additional functionalities.