A Study on the Smart Home Technologies and Their Applications for the Disabled and Ageing

Topics: Disability, Home automation, Technology Pages: 14 (4328 words) Published: September 30, 2012
A Study on the Smart Home Technologies and their Applications for the Disabled and Ageing

Swati Khuraniya Student, Manipal University Dubai swati.khuraniya@gmail.com

M.I. Jawid Nazir Manipal University Dubai jawid_nazir@manipaldubai.com

In an ageing world, maintaining good health and independence for as long as possible is essential especially for the elderly and the disabled who need to rely on others to take care of them. Now, due to advances in technology, inhabitants of these smart homes do not have to depend on anybody but with the help of these smart homes, these individuals can manage their daily lives specific to their own needs. Thus, the “Home of the Future” is now not only a possibility but also a reality. Smart home technology is a collective term for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as used in houses. The technology can be used to monitor, warn and carry out functions according to selected criteria by the disabled people. Smart home technology makes the automatic communication, via the Internet, fixed telephones lines and mobile phones. The purpose of this paper is to examine the technologies used to help people to overcome their dependence and health problems.

Keywords: Assistive technology, Disabilities, Ethical issues, Smart homes, Technology acceptance

1. Introduction
As we outgrow each phase of human life not only do our needs and requirements change but so do our views and beliefs on life. One integral part of our existence is independence, which we crave for all throughout our lives and fight hard to keep near the end. Thus, ageing becomes a sour truth in the existence of every inhabitant of the ageing world. In addition to the physical limitations such as blindness, deafness, mild hearing or sight problems, the aged feel emotional dilemma in every aspect of their lives. Keeping with the needs and demands of the disabled and elderly people, Smart Homes were built in the developed countries using a wide range of modern technology with an aim to provide a better quality of life and health to the disabled and the aged. Moreover, support from young individuals working in home and health care for the elderly is not certain. Therefore, the concept of smart homes becomes much more important. “Advances in technology will continue to reach far into every sector of our economy. Future job and economic growth in industry, defense, transportation, agriculture, health care, and life sciences is directly related to scientific advancement.” - Christopher Bond [1]

2. Objective
The main objective of this paper is to take a detailed look at smart homes along with the current technologies and how these technologies can be used by the disabled and the aging. Also the different options they can opt for depending upon their preferences and suitability. Finally, and most importantly, the impact with these technologies and the challenges faced in the acceptance of smart homes, by these particular users will also be discussed.


3. Smart Homes and their Assistances
„Smart home‟ refers to residences accoutered with technology that serve to integrate all the devices and appliances in an individual‟s home such that it is all controlled by a single remote . Figure 1 shows, several tasks can be controlled by a single remote. The postman, upon the ringing the doorbell can at once be scrutinized over a monitor installed in the living room. At the same time, in the kitchen, an oven begins to preheat, blinds cover the bedroom windows and the burglary-alarm is switched on – all by means of the operation of a miniature control device.

Figure 1, a remote controlled Smart home One of the best examples is Bill Gates house, which is built across from Seattle, on the shores of Lake Washington, and it is the 'Home of the Future' with all the automated hi-tech appliances. One of the important building components, aside from glass and recycled wood, is Silicon. Software that controls 100 micro...
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