A Living Lab Test Appartment for autonomy improvement of elderly and disabled people.

Prof Patrick ABELLARDa, Dr Alexandre ABELLARDa

a Université de Toulon, I3M


In order to take into account the societal problem of aging, the Direction de l'Autonomie (social section for elderly and disabled people) of the Var Conseil Général expressed the needs to get a 3D tool using Virtual Reality enabling elderly and/or disabled people to experiment assistive technologies and to inform and educate professionals involved in housing affordability, in order to facilitate information on in-home support/care services, know-hows, existing innovative technical solutions.

Material / Method.

3D design of the apartment is the result of a discussion between patient, family, caregiver,therapist....It is carried out with the 3DSMAX Autodesk software by integrating AEC (Architecture Extended Objects) tool, which makes it completely open to all requests. The 3D integration of all elements in the virtual apartment is carried out with UNITY3D game creation engine (Unity Technologies), enabling to do animations and actions on environment with scripts programmed in C# or JavaScript. All orders are made thanks to a virtual tablet, integrated to ATOLL.


ATOLL enables a fully customizable virtual apartment whereas user can move as if he is its tenant. Codesign involving both the designer who conceives and the future real life user seeks an optimum autonomy. It implements the latest techniques used in home automation and allows the choice of works to be done concerning new constructions, purchase of technical aids, case studies of achieve an optimized adaptive solution to the situation of the elderly/disabled, the formalization of his needs and likes through virtual testings... All the elements are a basis for discussion among the elderly/disabled, members of his family, an architect , an artisan... and sustainability of funding.


Our society takes time to adapt to this "revolution" of advanced age. In fact, the elderly are too often victims of discrimination and appear only as individuals with a minor or non-existent social role. It therefore becomes necessary to adapt our mentalities and this requires a greater work against discriminations and adaptation of housing for older people to remain in their homes as long as possible.


Keywords : Gerontechnology, Living Lab, Virtual Reality, Autonomy.