What technology will help us live forever

Interactive technologies for health and quality of life

Interactive technologies

Consciously designed technology allows people to live and work more safely, flexibly and independently. The research program “Together through Innovation” tackles pressing societal challenges, which interactive technologies can make an important contribution to overcoming.

In addition to various research topics from the fields of health and care, the focus is also on social and technological innovations for people's everyday environment. This creates and designs rooms worth living in.

Digitally supported health and care

Interactive technologies can help support quality-oriented health and care.

Tomorrow's healthcare will increasingly rely on digital applications to identify, treat and prevent diseases. For example, in order to obtain information about the behavior of a patient, her daily movements can be recorded. The use of such personal data can motivate people to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The possible fields of application of digital technologies in the health sector are diverse. For example, a doctor benefits from interactive technologies in the operating theater, while a patient can carry out psychotherapeutic measures at home thanks to digital solutions.

Digital technologies can also make an important contribution to good care by relieving caregivers physically and mentally in everyday life and improving the quality of work in the care professions over the long term. For example, through the use of smart glasses, caregivers can get to the information they need for good care more quickly and easily.

Living spaces: smart, sustainable and innovative

Interactive technologies have the potential to make private and public spaces worth living in and to make a significant contribution to better social coexistence. You can make life on site more comfortable, safer and more independent - whether in the neighborhood, in the city, in suburban regions or in the country.

Technical solutions should relieve people of their daily routine tasks and simplify contact with one another. Smart, virtual assistants can give people more free time by coordinating appointments and helping with decisions.

Interactive technologies can achieve improved communication, greater social closeness and participation in society, even when they are at a distance. The interpersonal exchange is intensified and in some situations even made possible in the first place. By allowing people to work remotely and to participate in social life, interactive technologies give people more freedom in choosing where to work and where they live. As a result, rural regions can become more attractive as a business location or place of residence and can be strengthened overall.

Smart systems can also be used to improve distance learning. This would enable students, for example, to stay in the country, even if there is no university there. Municipalities should be supported with better communication and data usage - of course, at all times, securely and in compliance with data protection regulations.

Methodological and technological basics

The use of technology always harbors opportunities and risks. When interactive technologies are developed and widely put into practice, they also determine how we will live together as a society in the future. Researchers should be able to question their own actions and reflect on the values ​​with which innovations are designed.

That is why the research program “Together through Innovation” pursues integrated research. This means that in addition to technological research questions, ethical, social, economic and legal implications are also taken into account. For this purpose, researchers in the funded projects develop the methodological basis for innovations further and new. This applies, for example, to the areas of ecological and social sustainability.

Future research will also focus on future-oriented topics such as service robotics and mixed reality. Service robotics is continuously developing and there is a need for innovation with regard to the social interaction possibilities of service robots. Service robotics should never be in competition with humans. Rather, through intuitive usability, for example with simple voice and gesture control, new areas of application should be opened up and more people should have access to the technology.

Far-reaching events such as pandemics, but also climate change, mean that people will meet and interact with one another even more frequently in virtual worlds in the future. Technologies based on virtual reality and augmented reality will fundamentally change people's everyday lives in the future and must therefore be made suitable for everyday use.

The BMBF supports measures with which the transdisciplinary cooperation of all those involved in a research project is to be strengthened. The common goal is to implement more sustainable forms of life and business through innovative technologies and thus to ensure better social coexistence. This means that all those involved take a participatory approach and have an active influence on the development of the technologies at all times.