How Smart Technology is Helping People with Disabilities
The concept of a smart home is simple: A smart home is a house in which interconnected devices and home appliances perform tasks that humans used to perform manually.
Smart home technology is everywhere. According to Statista, there are currently seven smart devices in over 70% of homes across the U.S. That number is projected to reach 13 per household over the next three years. While smart home devices offer convenience, they also serve a greater purpose in that they can empower individuals with disabilities to experience greater independent living.
Smart Technology Can Save You Money
How does smart technology reduce costs?
- First, you can program smart technology to automatically come on and off only when you want it to. For instance, you can schedule your thermostat to turn on and off at certain times while monitoring and regulating the temperature. When these devices are not on all the time, they are not wasting energy and money.
- Second, devices such as smart lights only turn on when you enter the room. They have sensors that instantly recognize movement. If there is no movement for a length of time, the lights automatically turn off.
When you can control how much energy a device uses, then you can reduce the energy usage and, in turn, reduce the energy costs. Which devices are the most energy-efficient and affordable? Visit the ENERGY STAR website to find out more.
Voice Recognition Devices Can Perform Hard-to-do-Tasks
There are dozens of devices on the market now that make it easier for those with disabilities to get around and perform a wide range of tasks at home or work. One of the most accessible and useful devices are smart voice recognition devices or assistants. Some of the most popular include:
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Home Assistant
- Apple Siri
- Microsoft Cortana
Voice assistants activate and operate by listening to your voice command. This simple function allows your virtual assistant to perform endless hands-free functions. When paired with other smart devices, you can use your assistant to operate different systems in your home.
For instance, with Google Home assistant, you can control your thermostat, lights, entertainment system, window blinds, appliances, computer, and home security system. You can also perform simple tasks like checking the weather, playing music, browsing the Internet, or finding answers to common questions. You can even play trivia!
Smart Technology Creates a Safer Environment
For people with disabilities, creating a safe environment is crucial to living peacefully in the home. There are several options now available to make your home more secure. Some examples include:
Biometric (Recognition) Technology
Recognition technology is nothing new. However, it is now available for devices and systems in the home. You can use facial, eye, or fingerprint recognition technology to unlock devices or turn security systems on and off
By placing cameras inside and outside your home, you have an added layer of security. Cameras now connect wirelessly to devices such as televisions, smartphones, computers, and tablets. So, if someone is outside or inside the home, you can see who it is by viewing a video on your device from anywhere in your home.
Smoke & Water Leak Alarms
No matter where you are in your home, you can get an alert on your device if there is smoke or a water leak. During the winter, water leak alerts allow you to call a plumber so that you can take care of the leak before your pipes freeze up and burst.
Door Locks & Doorbells
There are numerous options for locking/unlocking your door or receiving an alert when someone is at the door. Smart technology allows you to lock or unlock your door instantly using a voice assistant or an app on your phone or computer.
If you are not sure where to start, Ambient recently released this 2019 guide for smart security and home technology.
Smart Technology Suited for Your Specific Needs
In many ways, smart technology for disabled people is no different from technology for anyone else. We’ve all seen the benefits and convenience that these devices have brought to our lives.
One of the most significant benefits is that we can utilize these devices according to our specific needs and lifestyle. So, the smartest way to buy technology is first to determine why you need it and what you will use it for. Once you determine your needs, then start small and simple. You may want first to purchase a voice assistant and then go from there. Too much technology too fast can be daunting for anyone. The good news is that, no matter what your individual needs are, there is probably a device or a system out there that can match them.
Remember that, at its core, smart technology is designed to save you money, reduce energy consumption, and make your life easier regardless of your disability. It is also intended to make your life more secure. So, choose your products wisely and make sure that you can make the most of the product, as it helps you with your day-to-day living.
About Rise Services
Rise Services offers a wide range of opportunities and services that move individuals from institutions into family settings. We support children, adults, and families with a variety of needs. Some of our services include residential settings, day programs, employment assistance, managed care, and home and community-based services. To find out more about Rise, visit our contact page and learn about services in your state.