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Virtual reality and ubiquitous computing can significantly improve the general public's quality of life worldwide from birth to old age because they allow monitoring, awareness and support in real and digital worlds thanks to sensors, actuators, remote connections, and dedicated knowledge bases. However, age influences their usefulness and appropriateness due to growth and decline as well as changes in activities and uses of technology. Based on the cognitive, physical, physiological, and sensory characteristics of young people and older adults, we discuss dedicated systems that exploit intelligent environments, wearable computers and virtual reality. Our most significant contribution is the analysis of the potential and limits of ubiquitous computing and virtual reality to improve quality of life, taking into account all age ranges.
Date of Conference: 28-30 Aug. 2008