PhotoCaring is an interactive surface that displays shared photographs belonging to residents of an elderly home.

The photographs are displayed in a gallery format on a wall in one of the home’s common spaces, such as a hallway or lounge. Interacting with and sharing these personal photos will promote social well-being, nurture identity and will provide a sense of home to the entire building.

As context for the Graphical User Interface course, we used the elderly home insights we discovered in our User Research course for developing concepts for the GUI final project.

Design Process

After conducting user research in two local elderly homes, we began a lengthy and intensive concept development process for products that could improve the lives of elderly people (the only requirement being it had to contain a GUI). We returned to the elderly home one more more time to conduct user testing with paper prototype for two concepts. Once our final concept was selected, it was refined and then presented to the class.

How does it work?

  • E-Wallpaper displays photos behind physical photo frames
  • RFID tags communicate with the wall when someone is present
  • The wall can display contextual information based on who is present
  • An intuitive touch interface allows residents a variety of options for exploring photos on the walls using an old-fashioned slide projector as a metaphor
  • A “favouriting” feature allows people to save photos and vote for special exhibit
  • When more than one resident is present, several mechanisms are in place to encourage learning about each other through photos
  • Staff members have a variety of options for controlling the display of photographs, including establishing themes (i.e. Christmas, pets, grandchildren, etc…).