Houses are becoming more intelligent. Just like watches, phones and many other everyday devices, modern homes will one day be able to automate processes that are inconvenient or impossible for people with disabilities.
Just like how wheelchair vans have offered freedom and independence to wheelchair users, smart devices will one day offer the same independence when around the house.
Smart devices are already creeping into household technology. Here are a few of the most prominent devices and what they can offer the disability community.
Lights, Thermostats and Locks
Simple household tasks such as turning on and off the lights, locking or unlocking a door and adjusting the temperature of a room have been made easier with smartphone technology. It’s not hard to find devices that can be controlled and adjusted with the simple click of a button on a smartphone, making it a much more manageable task for people with degenerative disorders such as muscular dystrophy.
Motion sensing technology is also on the rise, and there are now high-tech outlets that can be integrated with devices to turn them on when movement is detected in the room. These can applied to light fixtures, fans and other household necessities.
The Problem is Affordability
While smart devices are widely available, the problem comes down to cost. While something like a run-of-the-mill thermostat can cost anywhere from $25-$50, smart thermostats can cost $250 or more. When considering the cost of adaptive technology like wheelchairs, etc. these are added costs that families and independent residents cannot often afford.
Over time, as with most devices, we will likely see the price of these devices fall as they become more widely used. For now, they remain too expensive for many people. However, we are still better off than we used to be. We can compare this to decades ago, where smart house technology was something only seen in science fiction. Now, we have something to look forward, the prospect that one day our homes will be completely accessible to everyone.
What do you think of smart house technology? Have you used it? Let us know by commenting below!