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* SMART Home for children – Make the  house safe for children, lock doors, keep cabinets locked, give alerts to the parent, turn down the hot water. Important: Cost (USE perspective).
* SMART Home for children – Make the  house safe for children, lock doors, keep cabinets locked, give alerts to the parent, turn down the hot water. Important: Cost (USE perspective).

= Project definition =
= Project definition =

Revision as of 13:40, 20 May 2017

Group Members

  • Sjoerd van Helden 0893960
  • Stijn Middelhuis 0947014
  • Roy Niemark 0956824
  • Andrei Pintillie 0980402
  • Dennis Struver 0955477

General information

Below the progress after the first two weeks is given. There has been worked on several different assignments and the work of the first week is improved.

Meeting outcome

Agreements for meetings: Monday after presentation/feedback we have a meeting of 1 hour. After that we can work on the divided Self Study Assignments (SSA’s) if we want but that is optional. When needed, there can also be a meeting planned at thursday afternoon.

Keep our wiki up to date, the wiki will be checked on Sunday evening for the feedback on Monday.

Chosen subject:

  • SMART Home for children – Make the house safe for children, lock doors, keep cabinets locked, give alerts to the parent, turn down the hot water. Important: Cost (USE perspective).

Project definition


The safety of a child. For a parent this is all that matters. But keeping their child safe all time is a very time consuming job. Having to constantly watch the child and making sure the activity the child is performing is safe costs a lot of time and effort. In the USA and EU: Roy’s Part (het gebeuren van ongelukken en verwondingen in huis, welke en op welke schaal.

Technology has been making a lot of progress over the years and this will keep on going. Since there is a lot possible nowadays, more ideas can be realized. One of the new technologies that is growing fast is a SMART House system. A SMART House is becoming will be more well-known and will extend more as we go into the future. The concept that has been conceived is an extension to the concept of a SMART Home. This SMART home will not be focusing on solely on luxury or care giving, but on enhancing the safety of children. This system will focus on preventing certain dangerous situations and reduce the accidents that occur at home. The concept will be installable in every house with the implementations that are relevant. The house will then provide certain actions with the equipment that it has available to keep the children more safe. The system needs to be able to detect where a person is in the house or in a room, but also recognize if it is a parent or a child. When it is able to do that, it also needs to be able to communicate with its other components that can prevent danger in the house, and take action when the child is approaching such a dangerous situation. When it is able to distinguish parents and children, the parents will not experience any obstruction from the system. Also it does not need to take the same actions when the child is with a parent because this situation is a lot less dangerous.

The concept can be used for children of an age between 1 and 9 years old. In this age-category, children are most likely to have serious accidents at home. Also, children at that age are able to move around the house and interact with objects by itself, but are not able to stay at home by themselves. The accidents and injuries that are going to be focused on reducing are injuries due to poisoning, falls and thermal injuries. The concept of this SMART Home will keep the child away from dangerous situations and/or objects, and when it is not able to take appropriate action it will alert the parents. For example, when the system detects that the child is near a sink with hot water, it shuts down the hot water so the child can not burn itself.


Since today's technology goes pretty far already, there is a lot possible considering a SMART Home. Yet when this needs to be adapted and be a perfect fit for your child's safety, some factors and aspects need to be researched and designed for this purpose. Our goal is to reduce accidents and injuries of children in their home by extending the concept of the SMART Home with respect to child safety, while keeping the technological, ethical and financial aspects in mind. In this project a specific part of a home will be addressed and a specific accident category will be targeted. To extend the concept of the SMART Home we will research and design the system needed for the part that is going to be addressed, evaluate this in detail and look at the concept and how this can be applied to other parts of the house. How this will be achieved will be explained in the Approach and Objectives.


To reach our goal it is necessary to gather specific and discrete information about frequent occurring accidents and injuries of children. Then such a SMART Home system with its focus on the safety of the child will be researched and the possibilities and the techniques will be exploited. Therefore, detection hardware systems that satisfy the requirements of this system will be analysed and researched and the best option for this concept will be recommended. The requirements for this system and what the possibilities are will be elaborated further on in this project. Since the detection is the most important part of this system this needs to be viable in order to let the system work and will get the most attention. In this project a part of such a SMART Home system will be addressed and elaborated. The focus will lie on one accident category and in the end of the project a specific part of the system will be designed and evaluated in detail. Finally the designed part of the SMART Home system will be applied to more parts in the house. With example situations and simulations the designed system for the specific part and other parts of the house will be evaluated. In this project, it is important to evaluate the impact of the system, to stay close to the users and user needs, to address the ethics and USE-aspects and to keep in mind the cost and benefit. Thus when designing the system the users, cost and benefit will receive a lot of attention and the final stage of the project will be dedicated to the evaluation with respect to impact, USE-aspect and overall benefit.


Following the approach and considering the goal of this project the following objectives can be derived:

O1: Gather information about frequent child accidents and injuries in the home

To be able to implement a system that enhances the safety of children, it needs to be clear where the most accidents happen, what kind of accidents actually happen and how severe the injuries are. Then different situations can be considered and different safety issues can be targeted.

O2: Research the potential dangers, and potential prevention When the kind of accidents that happen frequently are known, we want to know how these can happen and how this can be prevented. When the potential dangers are known, it is important that the system is able to recognize these dangers or to know how it can reduce them. The dangers that have to be prevented need to be implemented into the system, and the action that belongs to preventing the danger also has to be implemented.

O3: Find the best option for detection and recognition

To be able to distinguish an adult from a child, the system has to be able to recognize different subjects. The system will need to operate mostly when a child is alone or not supervised.

O4: Define and work out a specific accident category and situation in the house

We want to narrow down the concept due to the time window that is available for this project. We will choose a specific situation and target a specific accident category that is of higher importance but also that will use a concept that is suitable for different situations as well.

O5: Design and evaluate the part of the system for the specifications determined in O4 Consider all the important factors, such as user, ethics and cost, to design a concept for the specific situation that will reduce a certain risk of an accident category. Take into account safety margins and user needs, but also possibilities for extensions.

O6: Simulate different situations to show usability, operating and impact of the concept When a concept is designed we will use simulations to visualize how it works and what it can do. Also this will show extensions and possibilities.

Project planning 1

For a project it is important to have a good project planning. Below the planning for this project is given. The weekplanning and a role distribution is made to keep track of the progress and provide a guideline while working on this project. The planning follows the process and sets several milestones that are important to achieve. The planning is made at the begin of the project and has some room for adjustments, if necessary. The first two weeks are dedicated mainly to doing background research and problem defining. In the third week the subject will be conceptualized to a more specific and detailed design question. In this week, there is also a start made with the research about the detection possibilities which will be done until week 6. Weeks 4 and 5 are also dedicated to working out a designed system that satisfies the design question. The process, decisions and problems should be checked and elaborated. In week 7 conclusions concerning the research about the various detection technologies should be made and the designed system should be evaluated with different situations, simulations and an analysis. During every week, the wiki should be updated with the progress made up until that point. The last week is dedicated to preparing for the final presentation and finalizing the wiki. The weekplanning below contains some more specific detail to the different steps that need to be taken in this project.

The general approach of this project consists of the following milestones:

  1. Research background, state of the art and similar existing systems
  2. Research detection and recognition technologies with the respect to our subject
  3. Conceptualize and working out a specific and detailed design question
  4. Make conclusions and recommendations for the detection possibilities
  5. Evaluate the designed system with simulations and work out possible extensions or adjustments
  6. Evaluate the cost, benefit and impact of SMART Home system and the detection possibilities


Week 1

  • Determine the subject
    • Formulate the problem
    • Create idea’s for a concept
    • Objectives
    • Involved users
  • Research about background, state of the art and similar existing systems
  • Create planning and presentation

Week 2

  • Continuing the research
    • Children and accidents
    • Existing SMART Homes and its collaboration with safety measures
    • Typical house environments for children
    • State of the art technology that could be implemented or used.
    • Existing systems made for safety of children
    • User benefit
  • Determine important and critical points of interest
  • Look into the subject from a USE perspective and determine relevant USE aspects

Week 3

  • Finish the background research (Milestone 1)
  • Start research about the detection possibilities
    • Existing technologies
    • Requirements and options for this project
    • How and what can be accomplished in our project with which technology
    • State-of-the-art options
  • Conceptualize the subject to a specific and detailed design question (Milestone 2)
    • Composition of the room
    • Components (technological) which can be used
    • Elaboration of the design requirements

Week 4

  • Continue the research about detection possibilities
  • Work out a design that satisfies the subjects design question
    • Design
    • Requirements
    • Implementations

Week 5

  • Continue research about detection possibilities
  • Continue working out the design
    • Adjust and/or extend the conceptualization definition if necessary
    • Use of the research that is already done
  • Start with the simulations of the design
    • Determine the best way to do this
    • Determine different situations

Week 6

  • Finish research about detection possibilities (Milestone 3)
  • Start making conclusions and recommendations for the detection possibilities
  • Finish the designed system according to the design question (Milestone 2)
  • Elaboration of the designed system:
    • Process, decisions, result and problems on the wiki
    • List of possible extensions
    • Approximate cost and risk prevention for this design
  • Continue the simulations with the finished design

Week 7

  • Finish the detection possibility analysis (Milestone 4)
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
    • Implementation in the SMART Home system
  • Evaluate the SMART Home design and work out possible extensions (Milestone 5)
    • Simulate different situations and elaborate
    • Optional implementations/extensions
  • Evaluate the cost, benefit and impact of the SMART Home system and detection possibilities (Milestone 6)
    • Impact and shortcomings
    • Cost and benefit analysis
  • Create presentation

Week 8

  • Finish, prepare and give the presentation
  • Finish the wiki
    • Reorganize if necessary
    • Check the progress
    • Complete the final wiki page

Role distribution

Task name Start End Duration (days) Role distribution
Determine the subject 24-4-2017 25-4-2017 1 Everyone
Create the planning 24-4-2017 1-5-2017 7 Dennis, Roy
Background and state of the art research 24-4-2017 8-5-2017 14 Sjoerd, Andrei
USE perspective and aspects 24-4-2017 8-5-2017 14 Stijn, Dennis, Roy
Research detection possibility 8-5-2017 22-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Roy, Andrei
Conceptualize and design 8-5-2017 11-5-2017 3 Dennis, Stijn
Elaborate the design 22-5-2017 25-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Stijn
Research processing 22-5-2017 25-5-2017 3 Sjoerd, Dennis
Simulations 25-5-2017 7-6-2017 13 Roy, Stijn, Andrei
Evaluate the research 7-6-2017 12-6-2017 5 Dennis, Roy
Evaluate the design 7-6-2017 12-6-2017 5 Sjoerd, Andrei, Stijn

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart.PNG


The primary users of the system are the parents of the children and the children themselves. The parents are the one that will buy the system. The parent will have the system installed into their house, and will expect the system to help them protect their children. The children are the ones that the systems is designed for and are therefore also primary users, however the children will barely know that the system is there. The secondary users of the system are older children, nannies and other people who visit the house. The secondary users will know that the system is there and will sometimes notice it’s actions, but will not be affected by it most of the time. When a secondary user is in the room with a child that is protected by the house, the actions of the system will be slightly different since the child is under supervision at that moment. The tertiary users are the technicians. The technicians have to make sure that the system is easily installed and removed. They will also be the ones that conduct maintenance when necessary.


Being able to stay in touch with your customers is the best outcome that a salesman can achieve. The business model for smart houses is just at its beginning, which means that there is plenty of space for new developments and ideas that can create a strong bond between the users and the merchants. Even if there are few sectors that might suffer because of this new created area, most of the actors in the project are going to benefit. As main enterprise actors can be included the retailers, companies that provide technology and the safety companies. In the vision of this project, a safe smart house is intended to keep the children safe from most dangers that can occur.

But how exactly will enterprise profit by this new area of interests[1]? First, it is necessary to be specified that the entrepreneurs will take a significant role in the safe smart house area. They are going to provide the necessary technology and safety regulations. So, the next three points represent the main interests of the enterprise:

  • Increased products sales
  • Pay-as-you-go house services
  • Service bundles and loyalty-based models

The first point is stated as Increased hardware sales. A safe smart house contains more than just ordinary hardware that has to be created. It needs smart products which have been tested and do not represent a problem for most types of users. A product that shall be able to connect to the house facilities and integrate properly. As you can speculate, this means a lot of revenue from selling these items. A second point is represented by the pay-as-you-go house services. Besides the payment for the smart technology that might occur, users shall be able to pay for their health and safety, which means that the retailers could improve the software of a machine to increase the safety level on the amount of money you are willing to pay. Also, new devices could be added later as you pay when you think you need them. The last point is represented by service bundles and loyalty-based models which include the creation of packages that can be bought cheaper than the actual cost of all the devices together. For example the Vivint smart home project aims on selling subscriptions instead of individual devices, which can increase the amount of money gain in time.

A smart home would enable retailers to develop a close relationship with their clients through the smart devices which are placed in the home. It means that in case of a problem that occurs, retailers will be able to find a solution or to recommend new products directly to the customers. Retailers could treat the smart-home devices exactly like automobiles and possibly allowing 3rd party companies to create hardware and software for the project. The greatest achievement is represented by the possibility to seduce young people, “tech savvy consumers”[2] and the fast possibility of adds presentation and close connection to the users.

The enterprise point of view of this project would not be much different than a normal smart house. The addition of making it safe will involve some more actors like people that provide hardware tools for safety and software developers that need to develop more than just a self-aware house that can notify the user. It should also react and protect the kids. As an entrepreneur, everything related to this idea is reduced to money. On the other side of this new possibilities offered by this technology is the security aspect, both in physical and software ways. In the software ways, smart houses are going to be the target of hackers[3], which can use the technology designed to keep you safe in wrong ways. That’s why the entrepreneurs have to invest a lot of money in secure software and invest even more when their products are hijacked. Besides the financial costs, the missing security in software can turn the population against the usage of such a technology.


Parenting can be stressful and there can be multiple reasons for that. Among those reasons are: time demands, relationship demands (related to time demands), protective instinct/uncertainty and a lack of alone time.[4] [5]

Stress is bad for the parents itself but it also affect the child negatively. Parental stress can lead to mental health problems (depression, anxiety, internalizing behaviour) among children already at a young age and it negatively affects their externalizing behaviour.[S3][S4][S5] Externalizing behaviour is usually associated with multiple disorders like Antisocial Personality disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder, pyromania among others.[6] It has also been shown that parental fatigue can have a negative effect on a child but also affects parental practices.[S7]

The problems that result from parental stress and fatigue are detrimental for society. Children with mental health issues will need to get treated for that which cost money and time and it might never be fully healed. For example the risk of recurrence after a first major depressive episode is 50% and increases with subsequent episodes (Post, 1992, Kupfer et al., 1996, American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Children with mental health problems will perform worse in school and other places than healthy children. If their mental health problems are never healed it will affect their adult lives as well. Parental fatigue might lead to bad parenting which also isn’t desirable.

This means that society benefits from a solution to parental stress and fatigue which our SMART home provides. Our SMART home can tackle the reasons mentioned in the beginning and help reduce parental fatigue.

However a SMART home that protects a child from any kind of harm within the house can be negative for the child’s development and mental health. Multiple studies have shown that overprotective parenting affects the child’s mental health, anxiety disorder is the most common one.[S8][S9][S10][S11][S12] This wouldn’t be beneficial to society because this would impair a child’s productivity and quality of life. More recently the Dutch institution VeiligheidNL argued that parents should allow their children to take on more risks, because that would be beneficial to their development.[7] [8] [9] The potential benefits that a SMART home would have for society would be offset by these problems.

[S3] Costa, N.M., Weems, C.F., Pellerin, K. et al. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2006) 28: 113. doi:10.1007/s10862-006-7489-3

[S4] Jones, H.A., Putt, G.E., Rabinovitch, A.E. et al. J Child Fam Stud (2017) 26: 225. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0547-x

[S5] Bayer, J. K., Sanson, A. V., Hemphill, S.A. et al. J Applied Developmental Psychology (2006) 27: 542. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2006.08.002

[S7] Cooklin, A. R., Giallo, R. and Rose, N. (2012), Parental fatigue and parenting practices during early childhood: an Australian community survey. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38: 654–664. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01333.x

[S8] Oldehinkel, A. J., Veenstra, R., Ormel, J., De Winter, A. F. and Verhulst, F. C. (2006), Temperament, parenting, and depressive symptoms in a population sample of preadolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47: 684–695. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01535.x

[S9] Heider, D., Matschinger, H., Bernert, S. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2008) 43: 266. doi:10.1007/s00127-007-0302-0

[S10] Nishikawa, S., Sundbom, E. & Hägglöf, B. J Child Fam Stud (2010) 19: 57. doi:10.1007/s10826-009-9281-y

[S11] Overbeek, G., ten Have, M., Vollebergh, W. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2007) 42: 87. doi:10.1007/s00127-006-0115-6

[S12] Martina K. Gere, Marianne A. Villabø, Svenn Torgersen, Philip C. Kendall, Overprotective parenting and child anxiety: The role of co-occurring child behavior problems, Journal of Anxiety Disorders (2012), 26: 642, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.04.003

First Research outcomes

Stats and state of the art

In the United States on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age died each year from an unintentional injury.

For children less than 1 year of age, two–thirds of injury deaths were due to suffocation. Drowning was the leading cause injury death for those 1 to 4 years of age. For children 5 to 19 years of age, the most injury deaths were due to being an occupant in a motor vehicle traffic crash.[10]

An estimated 9.2 million children annually had an initial emergency department visit for an unintentional injury. Each year, approximately 2.8 million children had an initial emergency department visit for injuries from a fall. For children less than 1 year of age, falls accounted for over 50% of nonfatal injuries. Falls was the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups less than 15. For children ages 0 to 9, the next two leading causes were being stuck by or against an object and animal bites or insect stings. Nonfatal suffocation rates were highest for those less than 1 year of age. Rates for fires or burns, and drowning were highest for children 4 years and younger. Children 1 to 4 years of age had the highest rates of nonfatal falls and poisoning. [11]

In the EU between the ages of 1 and 4 and for all five-year age groups between the ages of 10 and 34, accidents were the single most common cause of death. [12] For children aged 1–4, the most common causes of death are external factors (22 % in 2011). In particular, 20 % of deaths in children aged 1–4 occurred due to accidents (transport accidents, falls, drowning and submersion, poisoning and other external causes). [13] Neoplasm is the main cause of death among children aged 5–9 (accounting for 28 % of total causes for this age group in 2011), followed by external causes of death (25 %). [14]

Opening door mechanics:



Door locking method: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_lock

Child safety devices

There are already some child safety devices on the market that can help with keeping a child save. Below the most common technologies have been summed. These child safety devices have been investigated so it can be implemented in our system if it can have a positive contribution.

My buddy tag

My buddy tag is a bracelet for kids so parents can keep an eye on them even when they are nog in sight. The buddy tag consists of a GPS tracker to follow the kid wherever they are. The bracelet communicates with a mobile application so the parents can see when there is something wrong. The bracelet has a couple of features. It has an out of range alert, so parents get an alarm when the kid is outside a specific range set by the parents. It gives an alert when the device is soaked in water, so possible drowning is covered. And it consists of a panic button so children can give an alert when they are afraid. My buddy tag is a child safety device especially for outside. The environment of our model is inside the house, so the range of where the child is able to come is a set value. Also drowning is not a possibility in our environment. The panic button is a nice feature. If there is something wrong and the system was not able to detect it, the kid himself can take action and warn the parents. But this is only possible if a child is older, and the age group of our model consists also of children who are not able to do this.

Other child protection methods are simple devices which can be used in houses. For example safety catches and locks for kitchen drawers, safety gates for staircases and socket covers to prevent electrocution. All these safety devices are cheap and easily implemented in the house. Our system can communicate with these devices to keep the environment save. These devices therefor have to be modified a bit with actuators and sensors so it can close ore lock itself when the system indicate it has to.

Robot localisation:

There have been multiple localization methods devised over the last couple of years. The first one discussed is Active Badge, a badge that a human wears so that he/she can be tracked by a robot.[L16] The Active Badge operates as a beacon, regularly signalling a unique code to a network of sensors distributed around the area to be monitored. Sightings are gathered by using a master processor which polls the sensors through a network provided for the purpose. The name and location of a badge wearer can be ascertained by looking up the badge ID in a table and looking up the location where the sighting was made. It has been continually improved on to make it more accurate.[L17] Because of these improvements this technology is applicable for the SMART home, because it is able to track multiple people, even through walls and it isn’t expensive to implement. A disadvantage is that the users will have to wear these badges which might be considered inconvenient and a child might not wear it or even destroy it. Also if the badge is attached to a piece of clothing and the child can remove that clothing the system won’t be able to track the child.

Figure L.1: The functionality of a PIR sensor

Another method is using Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi systems for localization. we propose a novel indoor localization system that is based on Wi-Fi signals which are free to receive, and they are available in abundance in the majority of domestic spaces. This proposed system receives Wi-Fi signals from a large number of existing Wi-Fi access points (up to 170 access points), where no prior knowledge of the access points locations and the environment is required. This kind of method proved to be accurate in multiple scenario’s including a typical residential home. This system is easily deployed and low cost which is a huge benefit for the SMART home.[L18]

The last method discussed is using a Wireless and Pyroelectric Infrared sensory fusion system(WPIR). The PIR sensor transforms incident IR radiation into an electrical signal. Figure L.1 shows that PIR detects changes in temperature coinciding with movement of a person (or object) in the detection area. A human walking through a PIR sensor detecting region and the corresponding output signal is shown in figure L.1. A Radio frequency localization signal is in combination with the PIR sensor so an accurate localization method is created (WPIR). It has been proven that this system is indeed accurate, able to track multiple targets and is low cost. These conditions make it a good potential localization system for the SMART home.[L19]

[L16] R. Want and A. Hopper, "Active badges and personal interactive computing objects," in IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 10-20, Feb 1992. doi: 10.1109/30.125076

[L17] Y. Zhao, N. Patwari, P. Agrawal and M. Rabbat, "Directed by Directionality: Benefiting from the Gain Pattern of Active RFID Badges," in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 865-877, May 2012. doi: 10.1109/TMC.2011.89

[L18] T. Garcia-Valverde, A. Garcia-Sola, H. Hagras, J. A. Dooley, V. Callaghan and J. A. Botia, "A Fuzzy Logic-Based System for Indoor Localization Using WiFi in Ambient Intelligent Environments," in IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 702-718, Aug. 2013. doi: 10.1109/TFUZZ.2012.2227975

[L19] R. C. Luo and O. Chen, "Wireless and Pyroelectric Sensory Fusion System for Indoor Human/Robot Localization and Monitoring," in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 845-853, June 2013. doi: 10.1109/TMECH.2012.2188300

Week 3


Home related accidents

Nowadays, there is a big factor that influence the life of children all around the globe which is represented by the dangers in their own environment, in their own homes. According to rospa article[15], more than £275 million a year is spend for these types of accidents. Even if the word “home” should mean a high level of safety, relaxation and good mood, there are cases where it might endanger the life of people you love. According to another article[16], most of the accidents take place at home. Children below nine are more exposed than the older kids, mostly because of unconscious acts that they do not percept.

As presented in the diagram above, children below one year have the highest chance to be implied in an accident, mostly because of suffocation and choking caused by their curiosity to examine things around them by putting the objects in their mouths. The most severe injuries are associated with heat-related accidents and falls from high places, so even if the most accidents were encountered in the living/dining room, the most serious ones happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. According to the World Health Organization[17], most of the heat related accidents happened because of hot liquids(scalds), hot solids(contact burns), or flames(flame burns). These accidents regularly lead ask for hospitalization and longtime recovery. Often it leads to a lack of self-esteem and public rejection, which for a kid could affect the entire life. So, a good way to stop the curiosity of children to play with matches or taste hot liquids is more than necessary. Regarding the falls, around 10 children die each year by this accident. But, mostly, children that fall from stairs or high places encounter trauma and possible some visible post-accident problems.

Other home related accidents are poisoning and drowning.

Another study[18] states that more than two million calls per year are about exposure to poison, from which almost all of them occur at home and 80% are related to children between 1 and 4 years. As stated in the same article, the first tip to prevent poisoning is to install locks/childproof latches on all cabinets to restrict access to children, but in most cases, to keep a physical key is not really easy and it costs you a lot of time to lock/unlock it. Also, you might forget to lock it back, in case which just one mistake can cost the life of your beloved child. This tip is strong enough because it includes most of the others inside it(“store … out of reach and out of sight of children”, “make sure medications are in child-resistant containers”).

Related to drowning it is known that infants do not know how to swim, float or avoid dangerous situations, so just a few cm height of water can provoke drowning. According to CDC article[19], children aged between 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rate. From all the possible accidents, almost one third are related to drowning which often occurs in the home swimming pools. In this case, the parent shall be almost in permanent presence of the child, but in any special circumstances, a system that will announce you in time, or prevent the accident can be handy.

Unintentional home injury death's

From 1992 to 1999, there was an average of 146.970 injury related deaths annually in the United states, with an average annual injury death rate of 54.90 per 100.000 persons. This is a total of all age groups and all possible injuries, in and outside the house. In table 1, the location of the fatal unintentional injuries are listed.

Category n %
Transportation-related injuries 44.830 49
All other injuries
Home 18.018 20
Other 11.762 13
Unknown 14.596 16
Blank 1.622 2

Of the injuries with known location, an average of 18.048 unintentional injury deaths occurred annually in the home environment. This represents an annual rate of 6.83 deaths per 100.000 persons. Although the location was not recorded for the 44.830 transportation-related injury deaths, some proportion of those deaths may also have taken place in the home environment such as yards and driveways. This are all the fatal injuries with known locations for all age groups, for us only the age group of 1 to 9 is important. In table 2 is listed what the average annual unintentional home injury death rate is per age group. This table also shows how many accidents occured by males and females. This is not interesting for us, only the last group, the total, is relevant.

Table 2.PNG

In this table it can be clearly seen that 10.1 % of all the fatal home injuries which have occurred in the home annual, were in the age group 0 to 9. This is a significant number and shows that fatal child injuries inside a home is a real problem. Key for us is now to determine what the cause is of this big number so the system can prevent fatal injuries on this.

In figure one, there is a graph which clearly shows the major causes of injury fatalities by a range of age groups.


Apparently, fires and burns, inhalation and suffocation and drowning were the leading causes of unintentional home injury deaths among children aged from 0 to 15 years old. Fire/burn deaths were the leading cause for children from 1 to 9 years old and drowning the second leading cause. For children below the age of 1 inhalation and suffocation was the leading cause and fire/burns the second, this is not visible in the graph. Nearly all fire/burn injury deaths among children aged below 15 were the result of residential fires. The majority of drowning deaths among infants occurred in bathtubs.

Unintentional home injury death rates among children varied by age, with infants having the highest death rate. An average of 469 children aged below 1 year died each year in the united states as a result of a home injury, in which the majority were due to choking and suffocation incidents (62,8%). Children aged between 1 and 4 years had the second highest rate of home injury death per year, in which the majority of 75% were the result of residential fires and drownings (43.7% respectively 29.3%). These numbers show that the system really can make a difference with injuries due to choking, drowning and fire/burns. But there is an objection. These results are originating from an average death rate from 1992 to 1999. One can say that the safety then was worse than it is now and that therefore these numbers are not significant anymore. But this is not exactly the case.

From 2000 to 2008, there was an annual average of 30.569 unintentional injury deaths occurring in the home environment in the U.S.. This number is almost twice as high as in 1999 where the annual unintentional home injury deaths were just more than 18.000. In figure 2 it becomes clear that the most unintentional injury deaths are caused by poisoning, fall, fire/burn and choking/suffocation. This does shows that these causes are also the biggest issues from the year 2000 to 2008


In figure 3 the age-adjusted rate of unintentional home injury death’s is shown.


One can clearly see that the 3 major causes of unintentional home injury death of the age group 0 to 9 are suffocation, drowning an fire/burn. Comparing this with the other numbers of the research from 1992 to 1999 is this the same result. It is clear that the fatalities inside a house for children stay about the same looking at the results from 1992 to 2008. Therefor we assume that these causes are nowadays still present and the system can make a difference when looking at Suffocation, Drowning and fire/burn.

Unintentional non-fatal home injury's

The non-fatal injury rate for children younger than 9 years old In the USA was 28054 per 100000 in 2000-2006. For this age group falls accounted for the largest amount of injuries. Getting struck by or against an object was the second largest cause of injuries. For children younger than 1 year old fires/burns accounted for about 5% of the total amount of injuries(compared to 52% for falls). For children aged 1-4 cuts/pierce account for 4% of the total amount of injuries(compared to 43% for falls) and for children aged 5-9 cuts/pierce account for 7% of the total amount(compared to 37% for falls). When children grow older outside related accidents(cycling and car related accidents) become more important.

Table 1: Top Five Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths and Nonfatal Injuries among Children 0 to 19 Years, by Age Group, United States, 2000–2006

Falls from furniture and child care products are the most predominant ones for children younger than 1 year old. For the older age groups injury by falls still predominantly are indoors(falling of stairs, the bed and tripping over objects like toys). For children younger than 5 years old falling out of the window is significant compared to the other age groups. Burns are most often happen in the kitchen or within the vicinity of hot water(bathtub), but hot beverages and food can also cause burn injuries. Especially children younger than 2 years old are at risk to be burned.

A study conducted in the late 1990’s also showed an alarming number of accidents that happen in the home environment. This study however included the yard, porch etc. into their definition of the home environment making the data not as solid, but it will still give a good insight for our purpose of the SMART home. The NHAMCS data indicate that nearly 9.8 million emergency department and 1.4 million outpatient hospital visits were made in 1999 for nonfatal, unintentional injuries that took place in a home environment as shown by table 2. Likewise, data obtained in the NHIS include 12922220 nonfatal unintentional home injuries, excluding poisonings, requiring some form of medical advice. NHIS data also show that ≥750000 persons aged ≥5 years were reported as missing at least 1 day of school, as a result of an unintentional home injury.

Table 2: National estimates of number of nonfatal, unintentional injuries, by location, United States, 1998–1999

Each data set identified falls as the most common mechanism of injury by far, accounting for 36.2% to 45.7% of the injuries or visits to healthcare providers for nonfatal unintentional home injury. The national estimates of the numbers and rate of having lost at least 1 day from work or school due to falls were 2145044 and 757044. Almost 4 million emergency department visits and 4.2 million office-based physician visits were made because of a fall in 1999. The second most common mechanism of injury varied according to data source. For visits recorded in the NAMCS, NHAMCS-OPD, and NHAMCS-ED data sets, being struck by or against an object was the second most common mechanism indicated, with visit rates per 100000 at 439, 63, and 591, respectively. In contrast, the NHIS data set identified cuts and piercing injuries as the second most common mechanism; the visit rate was 649 per 100000.

According to the data set people older than 65 are at the highest risk of getting injured followed by children younger than 14 years old as shown in figure 1. This shows that young children are at risk of unintenially injuring themselves via an accident at home. Among these children falls, cut/pierce and struck by/against are the main causes for an injury which is consistent with the data from the early 2000.

Figure 1: National estimates of the rate of non-fatal unintentional home injuries, or injury visits, by age group, United States, 1998–1999


Injuries are a leading public health threat to children in the WHO European Region. Many children die or experience pain and disability from injury throughout the Region. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries. They need special consideration to safeguard their right to health and to a safe environment, free from injury and violence, as emphasized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every society is responsible for ensuring that this fundamental right is fulfilled. [1]

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children aged 5-19 years. In 2004, 42 000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 years died from unintentional injuries in the WHO European Region. But the impact of injuries is much greater, with millions of hospitalizations and emergency care visits. [1]

Although injuries are a leading cause of the burden of disease and seriously drain health and societal resources, they have not been a high-priority area for action in most countries until recently. The leading mechanisms of death from unintentional injury in children are road traffic crashes, drowning, poisoning, thermal injuries and falls. [1]

The home is of particular importance when analysing child injuries as it is the environment in which young children grow up in and achieve developmental milestones by interacting with their physical surroundings. In just the United Kingdom alone, 75 children under 15 years of age died due to home injuries in 1 year, ∼25% of all child injury deaths. A child’s injury risk within the home is a joint interaction between the caregiver, the child and the home environment. Both unintentional and intentional injuries are of importance as the majority of infant/child homicides occur in the home and so do the majority of adolescent suicides in a teenager. [2]

In different countries from the East and West of Europe with variations in income levels. 60% of injuries to children under 1 year of age occurred in the home environment, compared to 11% in transport. In contrast to fatal transport injuries, which increased as age increased, Table 1 shows the fatal home injuries as highest in children under 5 years of age both in numbers and proportions of the total and then sharply decreasing. For children between 0-9 years the fatal injuries at home account for 38% of the total fatal injuries. [2]

Location of fatal injuries by age, average annual number and percent, 16 European countries, 2002-2004

The top four causes of unintentional fatal home injuries in children 0–14 years in all countries aggregated were drowning/submersion, fire/flames, poisoning and falls(Table 3). These causes accounted for almost 75% of all home injury deaths. [2]

Home injury deaths in 16 European countries, annual number, percentage, age 0-14, all causes, 2002-2004

In comparison to fatal injuries, non-fatal injuries at home account for about 45% of the non-fatal injuries. For children under 5 years 59% of these injuries are caused by falls from height or other falls. As age increases, the home injuries decreases. For children from 5 to 9, 38% of the non-fatal injuries happen at home. [3]

a) Main places of occurence of non-fatal child injuries by age group. b) Mechanisms of home injuries in children under 5 years of age.

So as can be seen in this data, fatal and non-fatal injuries under children happen more than often. Accidents and injuries at home account for a majority of the total injuries. Since these injuries are a big public health threat to children and have a big impact on the society, preventing these risks and accidents have to become more of a priority to satisfy the right to health and a safe environment as emphasized by the United Nations Convention. Since a big part of these injuries happen at home, this can be a good start to implement risk prevention and enhance the safety and decrease the injuries of children.

Sources: [1] http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/83757/E92049.pdf

[2] https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/eurpub/ckq047

[3] http://www.eurosafe.eu.com/uploads/inline-files/IDB_Report_2014_final%202010-2012.pdf

How would benefit USE actors from solving the home related accidents

The main problems that occurred in the USA and EU were related to falls, suffocations, burns, poisoning and drowning. These problems can be solved in different ways, but no matter what, the impact and influence of them is going to be almost the same on the USE aspects. From a user point of view, a solution to all of the home related accidents mean less stress, more time for your activities and less money invested in medications and other treatment methods. The level of stress shall be considerably reduced since the house is self-aware and can handle bad situations for you. Also, the time needed for securing all the objects in the house and make sure that nobody gets hurt is cut off.

The system shall lock the objects where kids should have access. If there occurs a special situation that the system cannot handle, the notification system still gets you informed. Indeed the system will save a lot of time to regular users. Regarding costs, this one time investment in a smart house can get long term results for users that, by avoiding accidents do not pay for medical treatments and medicine, which nowadays represents a really big business.

For the society aspects, less accidents mean more happiness and reduce mental disorders. The happiness level would increase hence most of the people feel upset when an ambulance comes into the neighborhood and has to deal with one of their beloved neighbors. Besides that, deaths reduce significantly the happiness mood for everybody. On the other hand, accidents to children can negatively impact the mental health of their parents who can feel irresponsible or bad parenting. These problems in most cases affect people on long term and as said also reduce the level of comfort in their own houses.

By looking at this problem on the enterprise side, solving such problems is reduced in all the cases to fortune and income. The smart houses are not widely popular because of skepticism of people about the efficiency of the products, but as like as smart cars, they will get a good place in the population’s sight in the next years. Since it is almost a new area, there are plenty of ways to earn money by investing in such a concept, for example smart products, sensors, actuators, different types of safety subscriptions or any other type of feature that needs a small amount of money to be bought. And the most important step would be the integration of adds in houses, which as stated in the enterprise aspects above, will generate a huge amount of money.

As a short summary, the solution to the home related accidents can influence in a positive way all the USE actors and their lives aspects.

Week 4

Planning weeks 4 - 9:

At the beginning of week 4 we decided to narrow down our project. Instead of looking at all possible dangers for children in a home and how to tackle them, we now only focus on one of the biggest causes of both fatal and non-fatal injuries, falls from the stairs. This means that we do not have to consider the whole house, but only the stairways and the halls towards the stairways. Therefore we have to change our planning. Here is the new planning for the following weeks:

Week 4

  1. Narrow down the subject and elaborate on the choices
    1. Assumptions made
    2. Determine the deliverables
    3. What is taken into account and what is not?
    4. Why are they taken into account or not?
  2. Research the possibilities of localization
    1. Proximity detection between child and certain points
    2. Badges/bracelets
    3. Ultrasound
    4. Infrared sensors
  3. Research the possibilities of person recognition/detection
    1. Difference between a child and an adult

Week 5

  1. Research the necessary information for design a system
    1. State of the art technology (for stairway gates)
    2. Movement speed of the children
    3. Closing speed of such a gate
    4. Safety settings for the system in combination with the localization (safety margins to be sure the gate is closed in time)
    5. System settings (specified to age and preference of the parents)
  2. Designing the system following the design question
    1. Which localization and recognition/detection will be used?
    2. What technical hardware will be implemented?
    3. How will this be programmed and setup?
    4. How will the system work?

Week 6

    1. Finish the design for the specified purpose
    2. Describe several scenarios
    3. Pros and cons of the designed system
    4. Possible extensions and settings
  1. Evaluated the design for the specified purpose
    1. What can/will it do?
    2. Possibilities and usability
    3. Cost of this part of the system
  2. Application of this part in a SMART home system
    1. Extension to a bigger system
    2. Application of this system in other parts of the house

Week 7

  1. Work out the application in a whole house
    1. Different options for localization/detection
    2. System settings and extensions
  2. Evaluate the designed system
    1. Benefit for the users
    2. Impact from the perspective of USE

Week 8

  1. Accomplish recommendations and conclusion for designing such a system
  2. Elaborate on the different detection/recognition and localization possibilities and their pros and cons
  3. Elaborate and conclude the evaluation and impact of such a system

Week 9

  1. Finish, prepare and give the presentation
  2. Finish the wiki
    1. Reorganize if necessary
    2. Check the progress
    3. Complete the final wiki page


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/freddiedawson/2015/11/27/how-to-make-money-from-smart-homes/#4ff6084e4235
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2016/07/06/vivint-smart-home/#65c4c293525e
  3. http://internet-of-things-innovation.com/insights/uncategorized/impact-of-smart-home-technology/#.WQnYjuWGPb0
  4. https://www.verywell.com/common-causes-of-stress-for-mothers-3144845
  5. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/stress_management.html
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externalizing_disorders
  7. https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/gezin/ouders-zijn-te-voorzichtig-laat-kinderen-meer-risicos-nemen-met-spelen
  8. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/03/31/advies-laat-kind-met-zakmes-spelen-7799114-a1552801
  9. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201403/risk-taking-your-children-how-much-is-enough
  10. https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/child_injury_data.html
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/child_injury_data.html
  12. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Accidents_and_injuries_statistics
  13. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Being_young_in_Europe_today_-_health#Life_expectancy_and_mortality_rates
  14. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Being_young_in_Europe_today_-_health#Life_expectancy_and_mortality_rates
  15. http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/child-safety/accidents-to-children/
  16. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/injuryprev/2/4/290.full.pdf?sid=0e46d567-3cc5-4180-9154-056b903f6cbc
  17. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs365/en/
  18. http://www.webmd.com/children/prevent-poisoning-home#1
  19. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html