Georgia Tech's Aware Home Showcases Smart Home Technology for Maintaining Independence as We Age

A stove at the Aware Home can sense when it has been left on, and alert the user with colored lights by the stove as well as the front door, or even on a wearable device. Brian Jones, Senior Research Engineer at the Interactive Media Technology Center and Director of the Aware Home Research Initiative (AHRI) said to CNN the main two concerns were associated with cooking and running water. "One of the concerns they had were around unattended cooking. [Also,] If you forget that you have turned on the water to draw a bath or to wash the dishes, that can cause significant damage in the home." 
Smart home devices can learn and adapt to the user as well and can provide customized reminders for important events such as times to take medication and doctor appointments. Elizabeth Mynatt, a professor and executive director of the Institute for People and Technology wrote, "They will learn more about your habits, your likes, your dislikes, your routines, when you're most likely to forget to take your medication, what are the aspects of your health that need the most attention. They will become as personalized to you that you just can't even imagine living without them."
These devices can be powerful tools in helping caregivers and loved-ones care for an aging person. In addition to tracking activity, smart home devices can also detect changes in ability, such as gait pattern. According to Mr. Jones, these early alerts "might also help in informing a family when someone may need a caregiver," and ensure they receive the care they need in a more timely manner. 
Georgia Tech's Smart Home devices are a few of a growing number of tools available to assist the aging population in maintaining their health, independence, and happiness. Source: Jacqueline Howard, CNN.



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