Technology Has Changed How We Live In and Outside of Our Homes
How Does the Internet of Things Work With Home Devices?
All of the technology mentioned above has been made possible because of the Internet. New websites, platforms, and applications will continue to revolutionize the way we live our lives. However, the latest Internet technology isn’t always accessible on screens, and it’s called the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things allows everyday objects to be synced up to the Internet through Wi-Fi. This synching makes their usual functions accessible remotely and automated through data available on the world wide web. It may sound complicated, but it’s the same technology we’ve been using for years, just now accessible through different objects.
The Internet of Things can help to significantly improve aging in place and at-home safety, especially for seniors living with conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. IoT devices are designed to monitor health at home, aid with mobility, and provide continuous monitoring.
Some examples of objects that use IoT today include driverless cars, fitness trackers like Fitbit, thermostats, and doorbells. Objects that use IoT are also commonly referred to as smart objects (think of smart TVs).
We’ll use the example of a smart thermostat to describe how it works. By connecting to the Internet, you’re able to use a smart thermostat remotely through your computer or smartphone. These systems usually have their own applications that you can open and control no matter where you are. For example, what if you’d like to cool the house down while you’re away? All you would have to do is open the smart thermostat app to tell it what to do.
Because these devices are so “smart,” you usually don’t need to do much when using them. The sensors on these thermostats are specifically designed to optimize your home for energy efficiency. Once you set your desired temperature, the thermostat can work on its own to keep your home at the best temperature. The thermostat won’t waste energy by staying on longer than needed.
Using Technology for Shopping
When you’re too busy or don’t want to leave home, online shopping is an easy way to buy what you need. You’re only a couple clicks away from getting the things you need thanks to the many options for online retail. There is no hassle and no need to make several trips to different stores.
If you aren’t as mobile as you used to be, online shopping makes it so everything you need can be delivered directly to your doorstep. While we still encourage as much daily exercise as possible, it can be too hectic and even hazardous sometimes for seniors to be out running so many errands.
Your average yard sale is even now online. With websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, you can browse listings from people in your area. These are people who are looking to get rid of their used furniture, clothes, appliances, and more. Using these websites, you can view items based on what you need and your budget. Just like the technologies we listed above, these online marketplaces use secure payment methods that don’t require cash.
Using Voice Assistants
If smart devices seem overwhelming to you, there may be an easy solution: voice assistants. These include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. With a voice assistant, you can control all of the smart devices in your home and access the Internet by speaking voice commands. It’s as easy to use as having a conversation.
When it comes to shopping, these devices allow you to create a shopping list out loud and then have it automatically transferred to your phone. This makes the whole process easier for seniors with mobility issues with writing or who would rather speak out loud than make a list on a phone. Many of these devices even integrate directly with online shops. With the Amazon Alexa, you can immediately make Amazon purchases without ever having to go online.
To make everything in your home easier to access, you can integrate your voice assistant with any smart device to make it accessible via your voice. If your home needs temperature adjusting or you want to turn some lights off, you can do it all through a series of simple voice commands.
They’re also handy to have inside your home for one of the most basic uses of the Internet – finding information. All you need to do is ask your voice assistant a question, and it will give you an answer found online.
Most phones these days are also equipped with different versions of voice assistants. If you’re hesitant about purchasing a unique voice assistant device, try testing out the software that lives on your phone. You can ask it to set reminders and alerts through your phone without having to search through settings. For seniors, voice recognition software can significantly improve the ability to live independently by making everyday tasks easier, aiding with medication reminders, and simply providing a more accessible, intuitive way to use technology.