Home Automation: The New Path to Freedom and Independence for those with Disabilities

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For those living with any kind of disability, some of the most mundane, everyday tasks can become extremely difficult. Everyday living can often be the hardest to deal with for those faced with physical and mental challenges—even their home wouldn’t be a reprieve from these struggles. Until now. We all know about smartphone apps that can help those with disabilities, but what about smart homes?
With the advent of home automation and the rapidly growing advancements in technology, those with disabilities are able to experience some relief from the challenges they face at home. Let’s explore some important advances in home automation for people living with disabilities.

The Basics

The most simplistic home automation systems are still pretty staggering when you think about the fact that only a few years ago, they were the creations of sci-fi films. Most home security companies offer home automation services that allow users to control aspects of their home (like lighting, locks, and temperature) from a central panel or remotely via a computer or smartphone. This means that the user can, for example, have the system automatically unlock the doors everyday at 5:30 PM when they get home from work or turn the lights on at 7 AM when it’s time to wake up. They can even simply lock up and turn off the lights with their phone—from the comfort of their own bed. This is perfect for those who are forgetful or physically limited and unable to constantly get up and down to turn lights on and off.

The Next Steps

Belkin WeMo switch

One of the easiest ways to automate literally any electrical item in your home is with the Belkin WeMo Switch. Simply plug the appliance into the switch, which in turn, plugs into the wall. From there, you can use the company’s app to control all the devices connected to switches in your home. Being able to remotely monitor and automate all the appliances in a house means those with disabilities and their loved ones will no longer have to worry about the stove or a curling iron being left on, which could potentially be fatal. It offers freedom for those with disabilities and peace of mind for their loved ones who are able to digitally “check in” on them.
revolutionary

Housekeeping

iRobot from Roomba
iRobot from Roomba

Cleaning can be physically impossible or even dangerous for the disabled. Anyone with a disability may find it hard to reach the gutters, mop the floors, and clean their yards, among other chores. Robots can perform a wide range of tasks that maintain a home—the most famous of which, the iRobot from Roomba, does all the sweeping and vacuuming on its own without any intervention from its owner. One of the most dangerous activities a homeowner can do is clean their gutters. How many times have we heard horror stories about someone falling off the ladder and breaking a bone or worse? The Looj 330 takes that completely out of the equation with its gutter cleaning robot. This area is ever-expanding and recently saw the addition of some window washing robots as well.

Looj 330
Looj 330

As you can see, with the right combination of products, the possibilities are endless when it comes to home automation. They offer people living with disabilities a degree of freedom and independence that simply wasn’t available to them before and gives their loved ones and caretakers peace of mind.

This blog post was written by Emma Bailey. Emma is a blogger in the greater Chicago area with a keen interest in technology, astronomy, and anthropology.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks Venkat for posting such an amazing post. It really do half of the work of us. Smart home automation system is the most needful thing in our busy life.

  2. At CES this year was the smart watering controller, Blossom (http://myblossom.com/the-app/). Using wi-fi and Powerline technology. There is an app (android and iOS) that lets you adjust the amount and frequency of watering. There is also up to a 30% water savings.

  3. Yes its new path of freedom. please check Buildtrack Smart Home Automation Kit to control Home Appliances from anywere.

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