The Project “FoSIBLE” was established to support social interaction in the daily life of the elderly with regard to their individual living circumstances, needs and interests. Many people prefer ageing in place over institutional care, whereas remaining in the community in later life can result in problems including the loss of companionship, which can in turn contribute to isolation, depression, decreased socialization and may have negative impacts on the general health status. While social support aims to facilitate social interaction within the neighbourhood, social interactions beyond the near environment with remotely living family members and friends seem to be equally important.

To support social interaction for an improved well-being of the elderly the project addresses the development of different applications, which offering services for the elderly. Those will be summoned in a TV-based Social Media Center, a technology supporting communication and interaction in the context of the television infrastructure, using entertainment console and media center technologies to provide communication, broadcasting and entertainment services.

Our efforts include the promotion of existing local communities, as well as personal networks to allocate information about the neighborhood or facilitate participation of group meetings without being physically present. Furthermore, it is possible to offer channels for communication and social experiences with friends and relatives – or even strangers with similar interests or problems – through a console-based community platform. Besides the available social entertainment, users are engaged in training mental and physical fitness.

The organisation of FoSIBLE is designed specifically to address issues related to usability, user acceptance and accessibility. Because many elderly people do not accept modern technology based solutions, a major challenge within this project is to develop user interfaces that match the living worlds of the elderly people instead of forcing them to learn concepts and usage pattern that are new to them. Therefore, all user interfaces will be designed as non-intrusive as possible and will be evaluated in a realistic setting.

Project Partners

  • University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
  • University of Siegen (Germany)
  • Fraunhofer Institute IMS (Germany)
  • University of Technology of Troyes (France)
  • Cure – Center of Usability Research and Engineering (Austria)
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria)
  • Mauser Einrichtungssysteme GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
  • Kaasa Solution GmbH (Germany)
  • Malakoff-Médéric Centre Les Arcardes (France)

Project Funding

The FoSIBLE project is funded by the European Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Program together with BMBF, ANR and FFG.

Related research topics


Jürgen Ziegler

Full Professor

Further contributors

Katja Herrmanny

Former team member


Das Projekt FoSIBLE – soziale Interaktionsförderung durch interaktives Fernsehen

AAL-Workshop "Lachen kennt kein Alter"

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Nutzerorientierte Technikforschung und -entwicklung im Feld Ambient Assisted Living: Ergebnisse aus dem AAL-Projekt FoSIBLE

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