Photos: Meet the first resident of the 'techno-flat'
Life at tech's cutting edge in the house of fun... and lessons
A facility known as the intelligent dormitory 2 (iDorm2) has welcomed its first occupant, Liping Shen, an e-learning researcher from China. She has spent three months testing the flat's gadgets and seeing what it's like to live in the high-tech surroundings and is due to return to Shanghai later this month.
The iDorm2 is a two-bedroom flat developed by the Intelligent Inhabited Environments group, which is part of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Essex.
One of the first gizmos Liping tested was a digital picture frame which lets her see photos of her husband and two-year-old son Zhe in Shanghai. They can see images of Liping with another digital picture frame at home.
Liping is pictured above talking to her son using a webcam via the photo frame.
Liping has been continuing her e-learning research while in the high-tech home and is pictured here testing the 'X-vest', or emotion jacket, to look for links into how her emotional state affects her learning ability.
The X-vest gives an indication of the wearer's emotional state by monitoring factors such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Liping said in a traditional classroom teachers can recognise and respond to the emotional status of their students but this information is missing with remote learners.
An emotion-aware system could provide personalised learning services and give feedback to e-teachers so they can adjust their methods in real-time, Liping added.