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Electronics And Apps For The Universal Home

Electronics and Apps

Last week we talked about the design elements that are being incorporated into home designs and remodels that make a home livable for all ages and needs.  Today we are going to discuss the emerging electronics and apps that will be incorporated as part of the new Universal Home.

Currently there are what I call general use apps that are applicable regardless of age or disability.  These already exist and are in current use.  In the future, these apps will be incorporated as part of the home and will be either voice directed or motion directed.

Most of this technology already exists, but with the rapid advance of technology there will be many more added in the future.

“We’re no longer in the realm of future tech — today you can control and automate your home right from your smartphone without spending a fortune and without a centralized home automation system” Grant Brunner

In the future, these “apps’ will be part of the home construction.  The Universal Home will be “wired” with what we currently can only get through a smartphone app.

Current Apps Available:

Phillip Hue:  This is a lighting system that has the ability to dim, brighten, and change the color of its bulbs on command

Nest Thermostat:  Once you have it installed in your home, you just treat it like a normal thermostat. You turn it up when you’re home, down when you leave, and up again when you wake up. Soon it will learn what your pattern is and you’ll always come home to a house that is the perfect temperature. This kind of learning system is a huge step forward in the smart home.

Wemo:  This is a combination of a switch, a motion sensor, and an iOS app. Once this devices installed in your house, you can control any device you have plugged in right from your iPhone. Did you leave the light on downstairs? Do you want the TV to be on for you when you come home from work? Put it on a timer. With the motion sensor, you can even have everything turn on when you enter a room, and turn off when you leave.

Video Intercom or Smart Door Bell:  A video intercom is great for your house because you can see who’s at your front door before you open it.

Smart Alarm:  The installation of a smart home alarm system will provide security levels at home alerting to potential emergency situations in the home.

Smart Leak Detection:  Detects water leaks from a number of sources ranging from leaking pipes to refrigerators.

Smart Energy Control:  The IL 2.0 paradigm supports a number of energy saving devices ranging from motion sensors and wireless light switches to smart thermostats and energy monitoring units.

Smart Cameras:  cameras allow you to view live video images on your smartphone. Additionally, they can be configured to record live video when an alarm is detected.

 Current apps specifically for seniors that in the future will be a standard part of the Universal Home:

  • Smart stove alarms alert older adults to potentially dangerous situations in the kitchen. More than just smoke detectors, which only sound when smoke is actually present, new stove alarms sound alerts before toxic gases are produced, helping older adults prevent potential fire hazards.
  • Smart medication pillboxes offer audible or visual cues for older adults to prompt them to take their meds. at the proper time.
  • motion-activated lights that can be installed in the homes of those wishing to live independently. Motion-activated reminders can be installed and customized to the routines of older adults.  For instance, a motion-sensitive device by an entrance way can be set to trigger a reminder for an older person to lock the door or check the identity of the person knocking before opening the door

motion-sensitive device by an entrance way can be set to trigger a reminder for an older person to lock the door or check the identity of the person knocking before opening the door

  • Smart thermostats that can be activated by remote control or even by voice command, thereby eliminating the need to get up to adjust temperature settings. Such devices can also be monitored remotely by caregivers to ensure that temperatures in the homes of older ones remain comfortable and safe.
  • large, high-visibility displays that are both easy to see and manipulate with stiff fingers; key-less entry locks for those with arthritic hands, and curtains or blinds that can be operated with remote control devices.
  • Safety and security features that allow an individual to activate an emergency call to emergency systems
  • ADL Systems: An ADL system will help you age in place by continuously providing key information to your loved ones and caregiver.
  • Health monitoring Wearable: Monitors health status and can report to an emergency provider of family member if there is an identified issue

Our world is changing rapidly. The home of the near future will allow all of us regardless of age or degree of disability to continue to live in our own homes.  Truly aging in place

Ginny Kenyon

Category: Blog

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