“Smart” Technology Coming to Senior Living, Bit by (Giga) Bit

December 12, 2017 | The Villager | Reading Time 2:00 Minutes

Imagine waking in the middle of a dark night and wanting a drink of water. The moment that your feet hit the floor, soft lighting comes on and illuminates your path. As you reach the kitchen, the lights there automatically rise. You sip your water and wonder about the weather for the coming day (we have a day trip planned), so you call out: “Alexa, what’s today’s weather going to be?”

Unseen on the counter is a small black computer box. She hears you (her name is Alexa), understands you, and answers. Through speakers planted in your ceiling, she tells you to expect sunshine and 80 degrees.

As you return to your bed, the lights dim behind you. But now you can’t sleep. You’re restless. “Alexa, play Beethoven’s Sixth.” The radio comes on and the familiar symphony lulls you to sleep.

When you wake in the morning, you’re greeted (according to a pre-programmed schedule) by the warm yet automated “Alexa” reminding you to take your pills for the day. A medication dispenser provides you the right pills for your morning routine. You would’ve remembered anyway, but it’s nice having the gentle nudge. Your window shades rise automatically to let the sun in. “Alexa, turn on the TV to CNN,” you say. Who needs a handheld remote when you can control your TV with your voice?

This is SMART Home Technology

Through mostly wireless integration of some cool technologies, you will be able to control your living space in untold ways to make life easier and safer.

There are no cameras. No one is “looking in” on you or invading your privacy. Sensors, mostly along the floor, track your movements.

For instance, you have a light-headed moment and you fall while in the bathroom. If you’re conscious, you can simply call out to Alexa to send for help (no pulling a cord or pushing a button). But if you’re not conscious, the home monitoring system will trigger an alarm on its own if you’ve not left the bathroom after a normal time.

If you choose, you can wear a bracelet that tracks your heartbeat, breathing and sleeping. There are even bracelets on the horizon that may track your glucose and give you reminders to eat.

Amazing stuff! It’s not some futuristic, sci-fi vision. This technology is available now.

Source: Betsy Bale, Executive Director, Friendship Village