Updated 2 July
In 2005 to about 2009, ‘smart home’ concepts were the cat’s pajamas, as universities (Florida, Virginia), organizations like FutureAge (the 2009 AAHSA House), communities like Diakon (article) and electronics/security installers fairly tripped all over each other to integrate home health into home controls for lighting, environmental management, security, etc. Ed. Donna in her QuietCare days had some dealings in this area, but it was way too early on the curve and it was a tough sell. Then it went dormant as 1) a recession put anything ‘home’ on hold and 2) mobile and tablet technologies changed the playing field.
But the pause seems to have been well spent in further developing the concept out of academia and CCRCs. The trade group CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) closed out CE Week in NYC with a press visit to the Savant Experience Center in Manhattan’s Soho district to show us the ‘intuitive home’. Every aspect is iPad and mobile driven to interact with the needs of the homeowner to manage their environment, entertainment and security. We could touch the iPads and wall monitors in every ‘room’ (set up as a mod living loft) which alongside racks of high end McIntosh audio and Savant control equipment were quite ‘design for living’. (A design challenge for more traditional styles, though.)
Implications for home health: In the CEDIA presentation (link good until 9 July), #9 in the Top 10 Emerging Trends and Technologies was–digital home health. A number of eHealth companies have been active in the home technology area–notably GrandCare Systems, CloseBy (built on the popular Control4 home automation system) and BeClose which is affiliated with Alarm.com. Not a lot of traffic. So …another integration vector for eHealth developers and startups?
The “Smart Home” concept has been around for some 40 years but still has not been able to cross the chasm from an industry niche of professional installation in high-end custom homes to mass market consumers. One reason is that any new device or change of behavior required a technician to come out and reprogram the house rules again.
For some other reasons and a broader perspective, read “Caregivers and the ‘Smart’ Homes of Tomorrow” at [url]http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2012/04/smart-homes/[/url].