SAM3 (Sensors and Analytics for Monitoring Mobility and Memory) is a collaborative project created by Bruyere Research Institute and Carleton University.
Objective: Design a physical product and user interface concept for caregiver and patient with dementia (PWD) using the existing technology from SAM3 Product.
Team Members: Sydnie Ho, Chris Lee, Drew Robinson
Duration: 3 Weeks
Context: Room 318 of the Bruyère retirement continuing care facility, for a couple where one resident is autonomous, while their significant other suffers from dementia. Scenarios tackled by our team include elopement through the front entrance, kitchen hazards, falling, and general wandering behaviours.
My Problem: Patients with dementia (PWD) get up in the middle of the night, likely to go to the bathroom, but at some point during these bathroom trips they open the entrance door to go outside the residence and may leave it open.
Mood Board
Key considerations for PWDs are:
PWDs usually wake up during the middle of the night to go to the washroom or to grab something to eat or drink. However, during the middle of the task, it is likely for them to forget where he/she is or what time of the day it is. Therefore, the main goal of the design is to remind PWDs about the current place and time, and guide him/her back to bed.
Concept 1:
An LED lighting system outlines the shape of the apartment room when the significant pressure change is detected by the pressure mat. The LED lighting system guides the PWD to the bathroom/kitchen/etc., and visually blocks the unnecessary entrance.
The SmartThings door sensor is activated when the front entrance is opened. The sensor also activates a smart-phone alarm to notify the caregiver.
Concept 2:
The smart screen displays photo(s) when the motion sensor detects movement during the night. Photos of night scenery are displayed to indicate that it is still night time and family photos are displayed to indicate that the apartment is the PWD’s home. A smart home device is also activated to play a lullaby or sound track related to the theme of night.
The visual aspect of the second concept and the auditory aspect of the third concept are the elements that make each concept unique. These two concepts were combined to create a multi-sensory system.

The light path is powered by three main physical products:
Night light motion sensors that are connected to a light path, a smart home device (e.g., Google Home), and a caregiver’s smart-phone.
24” modular LED path with bluetooth connectivity.
A smart door sensor that is connected to the caregiver’s smart-phone.
The smart light system has the capability to outline the entire area of the apartment.
When both the caregiver and the PWD are sleeping, the motion sensor functions as a normal night light. The motion sensor activates the light path system when a motion is detected.
The light path is designed to help a PWD (and caregiver) walk through the apartment without interfering with unseen obstacles.
The light path use Gestalt’s closure theory to visually block the front entrance. However, not everyone reacts to or notices the visual signal. Therefore, a smart home device is activated and plays night-related soundtracks when the motion sensor near the front door detects movement.
When the PWD leaves through the front door during the middle of the night, the smart door sensor triggers the alarm system to notify the caregiver as soon as possible. The notification application guides the caregiver step by step to locate the PWD quickly and efficiently.
Back to Top