A group of Singaporeans have allowed the government to install sensors in their homes and trial out new technology with them.

Two trials have started with a group of ten families. The first is trialling an elderly monitoring system, which sends text messages to family members when the sensors identify irregular patterns of behaviour in the home. This will help families to know if an elderly parent has fallen over, for example.

A survey found that the families did not find these systems to be intrusive, and that they did not notice the sensors installed in their flat. The test is running from October to April 2016.

The second system monitors utility usage, giving them a weekly update on their mobile phone to help them reduce energy consumption. It also allows them to switch off appliances remotely.

Next February, the technology will be offered to all 3,200 residents of Yuhua – a housing estate identified by Singapore as a test bed for new technologies.

Earlier this year, the estate installed smart waste management technology, with sensors monitoring waste disposal to better time refuse collections.

The Housing Development Board (HDB) has also installed a rainwater harvesting system, a pneumatic waste conveyance system that uses suction to transport waste to a centralised bin centre, green roofs and vertical greenery.