Researchers are developing a new intelligent avatar that would be able to detect whether people are in pain and alert the emergency services so as to help the elderly remain independent and be in their own homes.
The avatar may appear as a TV screen figure, a tablet computer or as a hologram, according to the University of Kent, which is taking a leading role in the project to support the UK's ageing population.
A university spokesman said that the avatar could then also be used to monitor heart rate and BP, remind people to take their meds and it would know if someone had fallen over or was in pain, alerting the doctor or the emergency services.
The avatar will be able to analyse one's speech, movement and facial expression to detect their mood and respond accordingly.
The project, known as Responsive InTeractive Advocate (RITA), is being headed by Kent's Centre for Child Protection and has won a share of 2.4 million pounds (4.5 million dollars) in funding from the UK's Technology Strategy Board (TSB).