• 2019

  • Next Gen

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Daniel Griffin

Designed In:


Winnie is a social companion to help seniors remain engaged and socially connected. Winnie is designed to prevent social isolation by facilitating the interaction between seniors, friends, family and their community. It also creates feelings of self-worth by promoting participation in meaningful and satisfying activities.

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  • Living a socially engaging life is one of the most important needs for seniors, ranking relationships with friends and family as the second most detrimental factor determining quality of life. Despite this there is a growing number of seniors experiencing social isolation. Some of the major issues preventing the social engagement of seniors are; - A loss of independence. - A Lack of motivation. - Concerns about age related declines. - Feeling like a burden to family or careers. The challenge is to overcome these outlined issues, helping to reduce social isolation and provide a higher quality of life.

  • The solution is a social companion named Winnie. Winnie’s aim is to prevent the social isolation of seniors, creating a relationship with the user and motivating them to participate in meaningful activities and engage within the community. Winnie helps to facilitate the communication between seniors and their friends, family and society through an intuitive interface, body language and the use of voice recognition. Additionally Winnie provides users with the ability to commute confidently by functioning as a backup mobility aid.

  • When Winnie detects familiar sounds within the home such as the noise of a TV it will activate, displaying and vocally suggesting a possible activity to engage in. There are numerous prompts that could be suggested based on the users interests, live information such as events or friends in the area, communicating with family and friends or volunteering and community activities. These prompts are designed to motivate the individual and link seniors with volunteer work and activities that match their interests. This will improve the sense of community within the area and provide seniors with a higher quality of life.

  • Reducing mobility and physical declines are major challenges for seniors; rendering individuals less mobile, with worries about commuting especially when solo. Winnie uses a remote to create a familiar way of interacting with the user, with the large scroll wheel being easier to use than buttons and providing the ability to scroll through options on the screen enabling a simplified user interface. The remote additionally enables Winnie to track the location of user when holding the remote. With the additional help of an arrangement of sensors Winnie is able to accompany the user if desired, shadowing them on journeys and providing storage to carry belongings. When needed Winnie lowers itself, hunkering down to the ground and folds into a seat with armrests and controls becoming a mobility aid. This provides seniors with a back up transportation and confidence to get out into the community without worrying about fatigue or simply wanting to go further.