Documentary release: smart homes for seniors

Smart Homes for Seniors joins a group of older people in regional Australia on their six-month journey of living with smart home technologies in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This film is the result of the Intelligent Home Solutions project – a collaboration between the Emerging Technologies Lab at Monash University, the Deakin Research Team at the CADET Virtual Reality Lab, Deakin University, and McLean Care Aged Living.

McLean Care was awarded a $1.15 million innovation grant fund to trial smart home technologies for older Australians. Partnering with specialist researchers from both Deakin and Monash Universities, the McLean Care project explores how technology might support positive ageing and create increased opportunities to age in place without loss of independence.

“Emerging Tech Lab is proud and delighted to release Smart Homes for Seniors. The film brings the experiences of a group of elders learning to live with smart home technologies to the screen. We invite viewers to account for their insights as we ask how to better design for wellbeing in an increasingly automated future. We thank the participants and our research partners whose collaboration made this documentary possible”.

Sarah Pink, Director Emerging Technologies Research Lab

The film shares the joys, frustration and wisdom of Edna and Bob, Beryl and David, Hilda and Owen, Shirley and John, Helen and Ken and Robert as they and their pets learned to live with digital voice assistants, smart lights and kettles, and robotic vacuum cleaners.

The voices of seniors need to be accounted for when designing the technology and services which will support older generations to stay safe, independent and active at home. Smart Homes for Seniors brings their priorities, needs and experiences into view.

Watch the trailer here

Smart Homes for Seniors (2021)
32.5 mins.
Director: Sarah Pink
Producer: Citt Williams
Film development team: Melisa Duque, Yolande Strengers

Screening details for Melbourne and Sydney are to follow

AccoladesAccolades for SHFS


The McLean Care research has been funded from the Department of Health with older Commonwealth Home Support Program recipients. Credits and copyright for visual and audio material © Emerging Technologies Research Lab

Project team

Monash Emerging Technologies Research Lab: Associate Professor Yolande Strengers, Professor Sarah Pink, Dr Melisa Duque, Dr Larissa Nicholls, Mr Rex Martin (PhD candidate)

Deakin School of Engineering: Associate Professor Ben Horan, Dr Michael Mortimer

McLean Care: Sue Thomson, Chief Executive Officer; Mrs Alicia Eugene, Project Manager; Nikole Fletcher, IT and Communications Manager; Ross MacMahon, Technical Support and Logistics Administrator.

Learn more
about the Smart Homes for Seniors project, or access the Final Report.

View the Media Release.