How can technology improve our living conditions? How will we interact with 'smart' housing? What information can and should be shared? What future legislative framework for this data? Supported by the CNRS, the University of Montpellier and the University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, the HUman at home projecT (HUT) project is looking into these questions thanks to an inhabited "apartment-observatory" since October 2018.
In the autumn of 2018, two student volunteers moved into an 'observatory flat', a study area for some sixty researchers. Lawyers, economists, electronic engineers, computer scientists, architects, specialists in language and behavioural sciences, marketing or health... the questions they ask themselves can only be explored in a relevant way by studying a permanent living space. If they don't set foot on site, the researchers exploit the valuable data produced by the "co-HUTeurs".
In concrete terms, pressure sensors on the floor and movement sensors in certain rooms are used to evaluate the movements and gestures of occupants in their living space. This information can be of interest to both architects (to identify areas avoided by the inhabitants and optimise the layout) and health professionals (movements and postures can be indicators of well-being or ill-being). Sensors for pollution, opening of cupboards or windows, water and electricity consumption, etc., are used to devise new services.
Linguists and cognitive science specialists are studying the interactions of occupants with so-called 'intelligent' systems. Research on the sensors themselves aims, for example, to make them energy self-sufficient (energy harvesting).
Research also focuses on the management of the data produced by connected objects - both technically (how to organise these "data lakes") and ethically and legally. An independent ethics committee has been set up to protect the privacy of 'co-HUTeurs'. Its role is to examine all scientific projects, and it can be consulted at any time by residents and researchers, or it can take up the matter itself.
To design this flat, the consortium benefited from a modular platform at the Maison des sciences de l'Homme Sud. It can be converted into different rooms of a dwelling and allows for day experiments to be carried out in parallel with the long-term experiment conducted in the apartment-observatory.
The first occupants left the flat in the summer of 2019. The flat was then "reformatted" according to the first results and new research avenues, before being offered again free of charge to two other volunteer students.
Become a CoHUTeur and experience the connected habitat of tomorrow!
To apply, all you need to do is to be enrolled in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral programme in Montpellier; to be a volunteer, motivated by the project, attracted or not by the technologies; to agree to produce/share data on a daily basis within the framework of the project, exploited only by the researchers and members of the project.
- Fill in the application form before 21 May 2021.
First, we will analyse your application. Then, if you are pre-selected, you will take part in a second stage of meetings and exchanges in June to enter this innovative and experimental shared apartment.
Finally, the results will be communicated to the selected coHUTeurs in early July. Moving into the flat will be possible from 1 October.
At the crossroads of disciplines
This research project brings together in a consortium a local authority (Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole), seven companies (Delided, EDF, Nexity, Oceasoft, SensDigital, Synox, Weda) and a dance association with a research and artistic creation project ("Comme ça"), alongside the Maison des sciences de l'Homme Sud and 12 laboratories:
- Dynamiques du droit (CNRS/University of Montpellier);
- Muscle dynamics and metabolism (Inra/University of Montpellier);
- Epsylon (University of Montpellier/Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3);
- Espace-Dev (IRD/University of Montpellier/University of the West Indies/University of Guyana/University of Reunion);
- EuroMov (University of Montpellier);
- Institute of Electronics and Systems (CNRS/University of Montpellier);
- Computer and Production Engineering Laboratory (IMT Mines d'Alès);
- Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics and Microelectronics (CNRS/University of Montpellier);
- Innovation, forms, architectures, environments laboratory (Ministry of Culture);
- Montpellier Research in Economics (University of Montpellier);
- Montpellier Research in Management (University of Montpellier);
- Praxiling (CNRS/Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3).