• Will lead to delivery of intelligent buildings for aged people
  • Uses large-area graphene surface sensor technology developed by Imagine Intelligent Materials
  • Ambient Intelligence is a field of AI that will enable design of spaces for living and working

Imagine and Deakin MInD Labs have established a research collaboration into how Ambient Intelligence can be generated using Imagine’s Smart Surface technology to deliver improvements in aged care.

Ambient Intelligence utilises non-intrusive sensing to generate data from the built environment. Imagine’s sensing surfaces enable surfaces to become massive data engines. The objective is to make life easier, and more efficient by interpreting information about how a space is used. Ambient Intelligence operates in the background to enable buildings to go beyond the notion of “smart” and to be imbued with intelligence.

Imagine has developed a surface sensing platform using graphene that can be manufactured at scale and incorporated into floors, walls, roofs and furniture. Imagine’s sensing floor technology is currently being trialled in Germany in office buildings, but the company sees the residential aged care market as one of the most important areas for early commercial impact.

Funded in part by an Innovation Connections grant from the Australian government, the project is led by Professor Tuba Kocaturk at Deakin’s School of Architecture and Director of the Mediated Intelligence in Design (MInD) Labs and Dr Phillip Aitchison, VP of R&D at Imagine.

Caption: The Imagine smart floor after a installation in a German office complex

Prof Kocaturk commented “It’s about getting rid of the computers, the hardware, and embedding intelligence in a space. This is a completely new approach for sensing. Ideally, ambient intelligence improves the way we interact with a space – without us even realising it’s there. We want people to feel more in tune and comfortable in the presence of technology. Right now, it’s not the case for many ordinary people. This would be especially useful in a place like an aged-care facility, where the technology needs to be non-intrusive: functional, but not flashy. This gives a lot of comfort to potential users and in aged care especially. This is a very sensitive issue, not only for the elderly, but also for their relatives who are paying for these services.”

Dr Aitchison explained that “Our sensing surfaces using graphene cover 100% of the surface at low cost. The graphene is incorporated into the floor coverings, the wall lining and the roofs and ceilings. We shift the electronics to the edge of the sensor so there are no wires or devices embedded in the surface. The coatings are durable and the hardware can be upgraded at will. With advanced digital signal processing, we can extract out the significance of the events in the signal and present them for further analytics specific to the need, such as fall detection in aged care or monitoring truck loads in logistics.”

CEO of Imagine Chris Gilbey said “I believe that technology should serve humanity and not the other way round. I also believe that one of Australia’s great untapped strengths is its leadership in materials science research and development. This research project will ensure that we focus Imagine’s technology development very precisely to deliver solutions for people.”

Caption: An Imagine F3+ sensing device in the German office complex installation

About Imagine Intelligent Materials:

Imagine IM is an Australian graphene sensing company, founded in 2014 by Chris Gilbey and Phil Aitchison. Imagine has developed a licensing and certification model that assures participants in the supply chain of the replicability of graphene functionality and quality. Imagine was the first Australian company to build a commercial scale graphene manufacturing capability. Imagine was the first company in the world to develop conductive geosynthetic materials using functionalised graphene and is the first company to be able to deliver large scale surface sensing using graphene.