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Falls are a major health hazard for the elderly and a major obstacle to independent living. The estimated incidence of falls for both institutionalized and independent persons aged over 75 is at least 30 percent per year. In the SIMBAD (Smart Inactivity Monitor using Array-Based Detectors) project, we've developed an intelligent fall detector based on a low-cost array of infrared detectors. A field trial and user research indicate that SIMBAD could significantly enhance the functionality and effectiveness of existing monitoring systems and community alarm systems.