GLASSISTANT: Virtual assistant which supports people with MCI using smart glasses


Start date: 01.02.2015
Duration: 2.5 years
Funded by: BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung)
Local head of project: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André
Local scientists:  Michael Dietz, M.Sc.

About the project

GLASSISTANT uses smart glasses like Google Glass to support people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Thereby the current stress level of the person is monitored with wearable sensors which detect when the user probably needs help. If this is the case then GLASSISTANT analyzes the current field of view and displays additional information about objects and situations using augmented reality.


The diagnosis mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is characterized by subjective and objective limitations in the areas of memory, attention and intellectual capacity. Although daily living skills of people with mild cognitive impairment are not affected, they might have difficulties with complex tasks. Furthermore MCI often represents a pre-stage of Alzheimer's disease, which means that about 10-20% of all elderly people with mild cognitive impairment get Alzheimer's disease within a year. Even if there is no dementia developing during the course of life, mild cognitive impairment still has a negative effect on mental health, life satisfaction and independence in old age. Because of the increased risk for dementia people with MCI also require increased attention during the further course of their lives. Especially the early stages are uncomfortable for affected people because they still can participate in everyday life without or with just little help but often forget things and sometimes need assistance in daily situations. Thereby people with MCI often find it difficult to deal with their impairment openly in social environments. This is the reason why even small problems like a forgotten way, a forgotten name or a forgotten appointment can lead to very unpleasant situations. The project GLASSISTANT will recognize those situations and support people accordingly by providing an unobtrusive assistant which offers help as needed to ensure that affected people can enjoy their everyday life independently and in a familiar social environment.