Smart home devices are seen by most people as providing some fun and convenience. The ability to control lighting and temperature automatically can not only provide some security but save on electricity. However, smart home technology is seen as a way for the elderly to continue living independently rather than have to go into assisted living, according to a recent piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Older people like smart lighting and thermostats. However, a suite of sensors that can detect incidents in which an older person has had a slip and fall or some other medical emergency and automatically alert care givers and health care providers can be the difference between swift help and a tragedy.
Another smart home device that is becoming available is a robot companion that can engage an older person in conversation. The robot can help keep a senior’s mind sharp by engaging in brain teasing games. The robot can also inquire about an elderly person’s health and, if necessary, contact a health care provider.
One of the great innovations in smart home technology is in the form of voice-activated interfaces. Many smart home devices are controlled by a smart phone app. However, many seniors find it more convenient to speak a command, using a device such as Echo or Alexa, to control their smart home technology. A voice-activated device can do everything from controlling the television, to dimming and bringing up lights, to reading a book on a Kindle device, all very useful for people with mobility and low-vision issues.