After my blog post last week, Assistive technology in care – money saving or life changing I was contacted by an inventor, Tony Ellis, who dedicates his time to creating advanced assistive care products. It has really struck me over the past few days how easy it is to be unaware of the challenges that others face in every day life.
If you know about Smart technology then you know about the Echo dot and how Amazon Alexa is transforming lives. For those with mobility issues, speaking commands are enabling increased independence, but what if you have difficulty speaking? This is where Tony has stepped in and developed a device that allows Alexa to be controlled using breath only! Have a watch of the device being demonstrated here.
It hadn’t even occurred to me that some people would need this, and I guess that’s the point isn’t it? People like Tony, who has also invented an AT robot, are here to make us aware and through their ingenuity they make the world more accessible for more people. It shows the importance of how we can, and should, continue to learn, to understand and become less ignorant to the needs of others.
So have a look at what Tony has to offer and when you see it available to buy, when someone is ready to invest in his brilliant ideas, you can say you saw it here first!
Do you remember watching ‘Back to the Future 2′? I mean the first time around, that’s right, thirty three years ago! I’m not mentioning this to make you feel old (age is just a number, right?) it’s got more to do with how futuristic predictions can turn into reality.
The film correctly predicted the following: robots – seen in the film refuelling cars, in reality using in manufacturing; hologram cinema – 3D now comes as standard for many fantasy/sci-fi films; wearable tech – smart watches and although not mainstream yet, Google glasses; drone reporters – drones are often used in all kinds of news reporting to get the best pictures; hands-free video games, projection home-movie screens, video-calling and best of all, voice controlled kitchen equipment. It’s quite a list! It may have seemed out of reach then and may even have influenced today’s tech-developers when they were kids, but what interests me most is that today, in the ‘future’, we don’t see them as ridiculous. They enhance our lives, make it more efficient, enjoyable!
I came across an article last night that I wrote in 1999 about how the Internet would soon become an integral part of phone usage and daily life. In it I ask whether using a phone to access the news of the day or book restaurants was just hype – I predicted that it wasn’t hype and it turns out I was right! (wipes brow).
Twenty years on and I’m still working in the technology industry, embracing smart technology and all that it has to offer. Just as Marty McFly in his fictional 2015 future is able to rehydrate his mini-pizza using voice control, I too am enjoying being able to talk to various devices around my home. The difference being that I can control my lights, heating and security system both from within my home, and when I’m out and about, not only for convenience but to maintain my home security and to be eco-friendly. I prefer to prepare my pizza from scratch before sticking it in the oven, though. Slower but ever-so-slightly more appetising!
When Ugot came onto the Smart Integration scene in 2006 it was to cater to the needs of the early adopters who were ahead of the pack where technology was concerned. The first iPhone hadn’t even been released and here we were installing home control systems in substantial hi-end pads. But as you’d expect, things have changed. Now, we’re installing in every-day homes, homes where Alexa is playing the homeowners favourite tune and ordering next-week’s shopping.
Smart integration isn’t something reserved for the younger generations either. If you can talk, or are able to use something to control a screen, you can create a friendlier environment for the way you live. A home owner with mobility restrictions can answer their doorbell, open the door, turn lights on and off, control their heating and even cook their dinner all from the comfort of one place. The one thing that people dread with ageing is losing their independence, the reality now is that Smart homes can enable extend independent living with simple, secure, user-friendly devices.
We love that the future is here now, that we’re at the forefront of technological changes that benefit every generation, but what’s coming next? Can we predict the direction Smart homes will go? With the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) it’s highly likely that all we have to is think about going home at the end of a long working day and all of our Smart devices will interoperate, working in sequence to ensure a welcome arrival, a prepared dinner, clothes washed and dried, a prepared bath and a pre-heated bed with sleep-ready lighting all tailored to your personal timetable. I’ll check back in a few years’ time and see if I’m right!`