Warm Technology Challenge

The Warm Technology Challenge

A student competition to improve the lives of people with dementia

Are you a student and do you have an innovative idea that can have a positive impact on the lives of people with dementia? Join the Warm Technology Challenge 2023 for unique opportunities to gain entrepreneurial competences, expand your professional network and win cash prizes!

About Warm Technology
Dementia is one of the biggest challenges of our society as incidences of age-related diseases are increasing worldwide. The societal views on dementia have drastically changed from addressing people with dementia by their symptoms to people with unique life experiences. Attention is shifting to living well with dementia, and how non-pharmacological interventions such as technology can play an important role to support this. However, there are still many challenges ahead. Technology is often devised without full consideration of the target user group, or a thorough understanding of the context in which it is to operate. Furthermore, technology is often perceived as impersonal, complicated, and cold. The TU/e Centre of Expertise on Dementia & Technology (ECDT) has developed a novel approach to technology design that we call “Warm Technology”, which we apply in the domain of dementia.

Warm Technology is inclusive, person-centered, and focused on the abilities and aspirations of people living with dementia and their caretakers, rather than merely compensating for the loss of motor function or cognitive ability. With Warm Technology, we aim to contribute to the well-being of every person through reinforcing dignity, supporting agency, and providing feelings of comfort and safety.

The Challenge
In this student design competition, we challenge students to contribute innovative and ground-breaking examples of warm technology that can have a meaningful impact on the lives of people with dementia and their loved ones. We highly welcome submissions that address the ethical challenges of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), socially assistive robots (SARs), or virtual reality (VR) and expand the notion of warm technology for people with dementia. Submissions can be in the form of mock-ups, functional prototypes, design probes, videos, future ideas, conceptual visions.
The submissions will be judged on:

1) impact on quality of life of people with dementia and their social surroundings;
2) relevance to the concept of warm technology by supporting inclusion, dignity, and empowerment;
3) novel and creative application of emergent technologies such as AI, VR, or SARs.

Selected submissions receive coaching throughout the challenge by experts from industry, academia and care practice. The selected submissions will also receive technical support in prototyping to transform their idea into viable demonstrators or products. The challenge ends with a final exhibition and large finale where an expert jury will select three winners and award cash prizes alongside unique network opportunities facilitated by Alzheimer Nederland.

Submission Guidelines
The 2023 edition of the Warm Technology Challenge was held in July. To stay informed, please subscribe to the ECDT newsletter or follow the ECDT on LinkedIn!

Warm Technology Challenge 2023

After the success of the first edition, in 2023 a second edition of the Warm Technology Challenge was held. On June 6th, the finale took place. The jury this year? An composition of true experts, including Richard Dehne (innovation manager at care institution Savant), Minke Kooistra (Alzheimer Nederland), Charlotte Uil-Perdon (innovation manager at care institution Vitalis) and neurologist Peter van Domburg. A total of 7 teams entered the competition, being judged on items as:

1) Resonance with the concept of ‘Warm Technology’
2) Positive impact on Quality of Life of people living with dementia
3) Degree of readiness for implementation and finish of the product
4) Innovativeness

From left to right: Maarten Houben (ECDT), Minke Kooistra (Alzheimer Nederland), Wouter Witteman & Tom Huijben (Suweve), Peter van Domburg (neurologist), Richard Dehne (Savant), Sanne Metten (Window to Nature), Wisse Raaijmakers & Rutger Hooftman (MEMORAMA), Charlotte Uil-Perdon (Vitalis) en Ans Tummers (ECDT)

Winners of the second edition

With humble pride, we present to you the winners of the second edition:

2nd place: Window to Nature

Sanne Metten

Being in nature has many advantages, but can be challenging for residents with dementia with limited mobility or difficulty navigating outdoor environments safely. To bring nature into the nursing home, Window to Nature was developed. It aims to connect people with dementia in nursing homes to nature through multisensory stimulation.

Window to Nature

1st place: Suweve

Tom Huijben, Wouter Witteman

This wheelchair accessory allows to transform any manual wheelchair into a hybrid wheelchair that can be pushed in reverse. This improves social interaction during walks, enabling people with dementia in a wheelchair to look the person pushing them in the eyes. This enables non-verbal communication and eases verbal communication.

NOTE: The Suweve has also won the TU/e Contest’s Audience Award!


3rd place: MEMORAMA

Wisse Raaijmakers, Rutger Hooftman

MEMORAMA utilizes the myriorama artwork, which consists of interchangeable panels, as a tool for fostering creativity, self-expression, and social interaction among individuals with dementia. MEMORAMA integrates soundscapes into the myriorama activity to enhance storytelling, reminiscence, and social engagement.


Warm Technology Challenge 2022

On June 30 (during DDAI 2022), the finale of the first edition of the Warm Technology Challenge took place. The jury members (composed by director of Alzheimer Nederland); a designer, an ECDT employee and a caregiver; had a hard job of deciding upon the three winners.

Particular attention was paid to the following points:
1) Positive impact on the quality of life of people with dementia and their social environment;
2) Relevance to the concept of warm technology by supporting inclusion, dignity and human connection;
3) New and creative application of emerging technologies such as AI or VR;
4) And perhaps most importantly, does the design or concept fulfill a need or desire of a person with dementia?

From left to right: Wijnand IJsselsteijn (ECDT), Marco Blom (Alzheimer Nederland), Finn Timmermans, Yvon Ruitenburg, Bibi Vermeulen en Rens Brankaert (ECDT)

Winners of the first edition

Warm Smile App

Finn Timmermans

A video-calling application that puts a smile on the face of the person with dementia and gives him or her a feel-good moment. The family of the person with dementia who uses the app feels more involved, close and reassured.

Warm Smile App


Yvon Ruitenburg

Favorite recipes can be put together via a simple application and the instructions can be easily followed on a large sheet of paper via a board. Happje aims to give people with dementia back control and self-confidence during the cooking process.



Bibi van der Meulen

A glove that simulates human warmth and touch. People with dementia, especially in later stages of the disease, need human contact. This design can help to give the person with dementia a sense of security and to have a calming effect during anxious and nervous behaviour.