About T-Seniority

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T-Seniority is a "SaaS"(“Software as a Service”) which will be acccesible in dedicated European areas via digital TV. Its main aim is to empower Independent Living for older people and meet their varied needs. The end game is to contribute to and improve independence for older people through a set of services that puts them as the central stakeholder. Services will be accessed via the TV, as it is the most widely used and in many cases the preferred electronic channel, needing little introduction or maintenance.

T-Seniority Services are designed to be accessible to the greatest number of people and thus wants to minimize designs that are excluding them from the benefits of Information Society, by thinking beyond the conventional media and creating a better overall experience throughout TV.

T-Seniority focuses on digital inclusion and by using digital TV hopes to help in the Prevention and Early Action side of the Social Care. To this end the set of services that will be made available are focused solely on the end user and their carers, whether formal or informal. The service will also be of value to informal carers such as members of the family, neihgbours and friends who are involved in the care of an elderly or ageing person. This is of particular importance as it is well known that older people may have a network of people who care or simply keep an eye on them, and some of these people may also be digitally excluded.

T-Seniority will complement exiting methods an technologies in place to care of older people. Stakeholders such as formal carers, local government, primary care trusts, charities, local help groups and so on will interact with older people using conventional and in many cases traditional means. This may be face to face, home visits or via the Internet, using PDAs, mobile phones, etc. to provide or monitor the services they provide. However by deploying a Care e-Services platform like this, T-Seniority ensures the creation of a digital virtuous circle to aid and enable older people's independent living.

In order to make a coherent classification about the type of T-Seniority care e-Services that is possible to reach through TV”, T-Seniority divides the Interactive Digital TV business in 3 main branches: DTT, IPTV and IP-HOME-NETWORKING (IPHN), working on all of them and ensuring the highest deployment potential of its services at the same time:

  • DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) is a free-to-air broadcasting model (public service) of interactive TV. It is dominated normally by public broadcasters and it is being developed with the support of National Governments laws. With a general target switch-off of analogue broadcasts by 2012, with some countries having earlier targets from 2007, this alternative will be highly deployed, but its interactivity features are quite limited. Many DTT set top boxes do not have the ability to take advantage of “built in return path” services
  • IPTV(Internet Protocol TV) is a private broadcasting model supplied over ISP infrastructures (broadcasters are often big Telecoms Companies). TV broadcasting is offered over digital subscriber lines (xDSL) under payment. This alternative could be strongly deployed in a next future, and it would provide a higher (but still limited, as is based in proprietary platforms) interactivity level.
  • IPHN (Internet Protocol Home Networking TV). “Hidden” PCs are beginning to play a more central role in how content is managed for the viewer. Key to this is the fact that the TV’s role will change and viewers will use a range of display devices for different activities and services delivered to them. IPHN is a way to combine TV broadcasting services with high interaction services (including Voice and Video over IP). IPHN is deployed by plugging small media centres (mini-PCs, Play Station or X-BOX devices, for example) to a TV screen. Then, normal TV broadcast can be naturally integrated with very interactive and personalised (at local level or at personal level) services. This interactive TV alternative is being deployed by small local providers in a very fragmented way across Europe, business ISP deployers of WIMAX – WIFI and so on.

NOT ALL the care e-Services will be available on every TV platform, as it depends of the level of interactivity of each TV delivery mechanism. And usually TV interactivity is inversely proportional to the impact that has on target users. TV can be an ideal vehicle for reaching the segment of people that are not (will never be) PCs users. T-Seniority uses the same “User-friendly interfaces” for all sorts of TV systems, taking into account that many elderly people have impairments in vision, hearing, mobility or dexterity and without forgetting the informal Carers.

What is the added value for the T-Seniority user?

T-Seniority tackles the main factors in digital exclusion:

  • Availability: People disadvantaged due to lack of geographical coverage.
  • Affordability: People do not have access to digital media due to a lack of resources. Either the average income of a potential consumer is too low or it is not profitable to provide service due to actual operating costs.
  • Accessibility: This has two elements: 1) people with disabilities such as visual, audio, speech, cognitive or mobility related 2) people who are lacking in ICT skills.

To tackle properly these issues is considered by T-Seniority Consortium as the most outstanding added value for users.

What are the requirements (for a user) to run T-Seniority?

1) Have access to TV STB (small investments directly or indirectly done, previously to offer): Availability and Affordability

2) Be acquainted using the remote control to make decisions: Accessibility. In this context, T-Seniority wants to bring simplicity to users as the first step towards digital engagement.

T-Seniority will offer interactive services on TV capable of perfectly coordinating with the structural, technological and usability restrictions peculiar to set top boxes and remote control devices widely available in the market.

Based on those facts,T-Seniority expands to the realm of TV the benefits of care e-Servicesto better reach those audiences that cannot be captured by using the traditional ICT channels (PCs, PDA or mobile phones). This is the most outstanding added value for the users of T-Seniority. A second most outstanding added value for the users of T-Seniorityis the ability to present a consistent service model and, using the same “User-friendly interfaces” for all sorts of TV systems.

T-Seniority model is agnostic to a specific technology and acts as a black box. The TV technology is left to the TV provider who has to make sure that the requirements of the broadcaster are met. For example, abstract requirements in T-Seniority include:

  • (i)avoiding multi-platform authoring and
  • (ii)ensuring a high quality of service with a free-to-air (FTA) or broadband connection experience for the user.