Introducing SERVUS system in Slovenia for greater independence

http://www.yhd-drustvo.si/YHD has started a co-operation with a company which is introducing the SERVUS system in Slovenia. The company has approached us, because a few years ago we already had a successful cooperation with one of its managers, getting brand new computers and software to 20 users of the Independent Living Programme. This new co-operation is about introducing a new technical aid that allows severely disabled people to manage their home with their voice.

How would a possibility to open and close the doors and windows, to switch the lights on and off, to manage phone and TV all by your-self contribute to independence, quality of life or maybe even reduce the need for assistance hours?  All similar systems that we knew of were complicated and expensive (only affordable by National rehabilitation institute as the model solution).

Cooperation started with 2 personal assistance users who would benefit from SERVUS, to get it installed with the support of donors. After the presentation, they both saw the great potential the system has, and plans were soon made for configuration and installation. We plan to make a promotion video after first two installments and to follow-up the use and benefits of the system in order to get as much information about it as possible.

Both of the users especially stressed enthusiasm due to the possibility to unlock and open the front door. This would contribute greatly to the household management, without having to think who has the keys and who doesn’t, and above all to the feeling of safety in their own home (without having to reconstruct it totally, as it doesn’t need any building interventions).

Hopefully we will be able to show that with a system like SERVUS people can have a better quality of life, greater independence and more control. And hopefully a greater number of people will be able to benefit from it, if it becomes subsidized by health insurance.

Following is a presentation of the system and its features given to us by the provider:

“The story about the SERVUS system begins with Professor Miroslav Vrankić, M.D., M.Sc. from the Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka. The idea for the Servus system was born through volunteer work with people with disabilities. He and his closest colleagues, experts in the fields of information and communication technologies, digital signal processing, speech recognition and synthesis, acoustics, electronics and automation, had one desire, which was to use all of their expertise and knowledge of modern technology to help all people living in difficult circumstances due to physical disability, old age, illness or disability in general.

Servus is an electronic system which enables users to control their home through voice commands and it is the first and currently the only intelligent home system that makes home control in the Slovenian language possible. Servus is designed to be a good and loyal companion always willing to assist the user. Servus enables its users to independently perform basic everyday activities in their homes. Executing commands is simple and intuitive – one can operate the system just by giving a simple voice command in the Slovenian language. Servus is primarily intended for people with a high degree of disability, who besides being bound to a bed or a wheelchair have serious problems with hands and fingers coordination and often cannot even use a remote control.

The Servus system consists of a central unit that communicates with the user and on the basis of his or her requests sends commands to the appropriate actuators installed in various places in the user’s home. Communication with the actuators is carried out through existing wiring, so it is not necessary to lay extra cables.

Even the simplest everyday tasks present problems for people with disabilities, what often makes them completely dependent on other people’s assistance. We believe that the key to solving this issue and bringing independence back to these people can be found in the use of a modern technology.”

Servus provides the user with following features:

  • voice controlled home,
  • door communication,
  • turning the lights on or off,
  • unlocking the doors (with video surveillance),
  • voice controlled heating, air conditioning and various energy using devices,
  • voice controlled phone and multimedia,
  • hands-free calling,
  • voice controlled TV, DVD, radio, stereo system,
  • security,
  • emergency calls,
  • gas leak, water or smoke detectors – due to integration with the existing alarm system,
  • voice controlled IT services and everyday life management,
  • weather forecast, sports news, received e-mail notification,
  • alarm clock, reminders to take medication or of a doctor’s appointment (especially important for elderly and demented people), etc.

An example of a dialogue between the Servus system and the user:

USER- “Servus”
SERVUS- “Yes please”
USER- “Turn on the light”
The light comes on
USER- “Turn on the television”
TV switches on
USER- “Channel three”
The television changes channel to channel three
USER- “Thank you”
SERVUS- “You are welcome”

After the user gives the “Thank you” command, Servus will turn to stand-by state.

To continue the operation user must call out “Servus” again.

Advantages of the Servus system:

  • Servus is available in the Slovenian language,
  • Servus is the first and currently the only voice controlled „intelligent home” system that supports Slovenian language,
  • Servus installation is quick and does not damage the existing installation,
  • Servus system installation is done in one day and usually requires minimal intervention in the house, without breaking walls and laying new cables,
  • Servus is upgradeable,
  • Servus is a system that is available at an attainable price

Installation of the Servus system enables people with limited mobility to become more independent and free while decreasing the engagement of a support staff.

Official partner for Slovenia: Projekt gt d.o.o., Tobačna ulica 5, 1000 Ljubljana (See the web, in Slovenian only)

More info on e-glas servus system web (In English, Slovenian and Croatian)

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