Founded By: POR FESR 2014-2020

Start date: 10 Sep. 2020          End date: 28 Feb. 2023

Grant: € 3.099.480

Partners: Rete Innovativa Regionale Venetian Smart Lighting (VSL; Coordinatore), Rete Innovativa Regionale ICT for Smart and Sustainable Living (ICT4SSL), Rete Innovativa Regionale Veneto Clima ed Energia (VCE), Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre, Università of Padova, Università di Verona, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, T2i – Trasferimento Tecnologico e Innovazione

HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli, Patrik Pluchino, Valeria Santus, Filippo Zordan

The SAFE PLACE project focused on the development of technologies to create healthy and safe living environments, considering the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Functionalities and ergonomics (e.g., usability) of hardware and software technologies were innovated and refined to ensure personal protection and compliance with safety regulations, thus supporting efforts to counter the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These devices and applications, based on the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm, were integrated into complex architectures to create highly cyber-secure IoT systems deployed in various real-world scenarios, such as commercial establishments and indoor public spaces. Throughout the design and development of SAFE PLACE systems, ethical considerations and privacy protection for individuals working or visiting environments equipped with the project’s technologies were carefully addressed. The HTlab research group provided a portfolio of qualitative and quantitative methods during the design and development phases, as well as in the subsequent evaluation of the technological solutions installed in real-world contexts. Participatory research activities, including Focus Groups and interviews, were conducted to identify the preferences, needs, and expectations of end-users and stakeholders in terms of technologies (e.g., UV lighting systems for surface and object sanitization, air circulation) in various real-world contexts (e.g., retail, businesses, public education, etc.).

The team also contributed to the development of the control interface for mobile devices (e.g., smartphones) within the project. Furthermore, the HTlab unit engaged end-users (employees or visitors to locations where SAFE PLACE technologies were implemented) in trials conducted in four real-world settings to analyze the interaction with the control interface, considering usability, accessibility, and perceptions related to the presence of SAFE PLACE devices in terms of perceived safety and acceptance, using questionnaires and interviews.

Lastly, the HTlab research group collaborated on the design and development of the SAFE TALK application, a software aimed at supporting interpersonal relationships during forced isolation (e.g., pandemics, long-term illness) and providing access to professional psychological support when needed. The latest prototype version of the application was tested with end-users (elderly individuals) and professionals (psychologists), highlighting high accessibility, usability, and an overall positive user experience.


Pluchino, P., Nenna, F., Bettelli, A., Santus, V., Zordan, F., Spagnolli, A., Borgo, M., Gennari, G., Cordibella, S., Zanella, A., & Gamberini, L. (2023, September). Safer Spaces: Enhancing Compliance and Perceived Safety with IoT in Public Environments. XIX Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia per le Organizzazioni (oral presentation; 6-8/09/2023, Cagliari).

Gamberini, L., Pluchino, P., Nenna, F., Santus, V., Zordan, F., Spagnolli, A., … & Zanella, A. (2023, July). Accessible and Inclusive Mobile Application for Social Support and m-Health in Forced Isolation: SAFE TALK. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 518-530). Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland.

Pluchino, P., Nenna, F., Bettelli, A., Santus, V., Zordan, F., Spagnolli, Renoffio, N., Marani, P., Delfitto, P., Zanella, A., Paoli, A., Moro, T., & Gamberini, L. (2023, June). SAFE GYMS: IoT systems for safe and healthy sports environments. ForItAAL 2023 12o Forum Italiano Ambient Assisted Living (oral presentation; 14-16/06/2023, Bari).

Cunico, F., Capogrosso, L., Castellini, A., Setti, F., Pluchino, P., Zordan, F., … & Cristani, M. (2023, April). The Post-pandemic Effects on IoT for Safety: The Safe Place Project. In 2023 Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE) (pp. 1-4). IEEE.

Capuzzo, M., Zanella, A., Zuccollo, M., Cunico, F., Cristani, M., Castellini, A., … & Gamberini, L. (2022, August). Iot systems for healthy and safe life environments. In 2022 IEEE 7th Forum on Research and Technologies for Society and Industry Innovation (RTSI) (pp. 31-37). IEEE.

Gamberini, L., Pluchino, P., Bacchin, D., Zanella, A., Orso, V., Anna, S., & Mapelli, D. (2021). IoT as Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions for the Safety of Living Environments in COVID-19 Pandemic Age. Frontiers in Computer Science, 3, 733645.

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