Imagine an intelligent system designed to remind the elderly to take their prescription medication or to alert the authorities if a senior citizen falls and can't get up.
Such technology may not be literary devices of science fiction any more, thanks to researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering in Germany where a new system is being developed to collect detailed environmental information through small sensors.
If the technology is implemented into a home, it may potentially save lives.
"Risks can be detected and it is possible to assess whether the situation appears to be deteriorating, or most importantly, whether an emergency exists," said Dr Martin Becker, head of the Ambient Assisted Living department at IESE.
One example of the innovative technology is the company's Assistive Bathroom Environment.
The electronically-equipped bathroom's toilet will recognize when a person enters the room and will automatically adjust itself to a suitable height.
The system will also have a way to monitor how much toothpaste is being used.
According to IESE, the bathroom could be helpful for older people who may become confused at everyday tasks.