It can seem that everything in the modern household is interconnected – there’s good reason for this perception. The government invested £24m into IoT (Internet of Things) appliances over the past three years, with analysis finding that this had led to serious investment in consumer appliances.
The result is that there are now gadgets that can slot into a wide range of everyday tasks, helping to create an automated, assisted lifestyle. For those with mobility requirements, the proliferation of mobility-focused devices is good news. The ability to control your home without the need for specific access to certain areas, and often from the control of your mobile phone, enhances mobility in the home.
Managing household appliances
The gas and electricity smart meter is now widespread as a result of the government’s £11bn scheme to have smart meters as standard by 2019. In many ways, this digital interconnectivity of what is typically a difficult to access and archaic device lays the foundations for IoT accessibility. Vodafone, in particular, has led the way in producing wireless technology to integrate smart meters into mobile devices and the home as a whole, allowing for accessible and straightforward access to meter readings, and offering online services that clearly outline possible changes to cheaper or clean energy led heating solutions.
Household water controls
The home of the past often worked on a boiler or immersion heater system. The former required access to bulky and non-accessible boxes, and the latter isolated cupboards that are also inaccessible or difficult to maintain. Both on a city-wide, infrastructural level, and in the home, UK Water have detailed how new technology is enabling better water control, and is also enabling those with mobility requirements to gain independence. American product Aquanta enables full smart device integration, making water heating possible from out of the house and creating further flexibility in the home.
Using the wireless network to cook
According to the London School of Economics, cooking is key in considering mobility. Amongst a range of other measures, a comprehensive study listed it chief amongst many factors that determine the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) index. New devices optimised for accessibility allow cooking to be done a) remotely and b) without the normal requirements placed on the body. For example, one device allows sous vide cooking with the minimum of effort and can operate on a totally automated process.
What the Internet of Things also allows is networking. Automated messages can be sent across a network for assistance, support, and ideas, effectively reducing isolation and creating a safety net. With SCOPE finding that nearly half of all disabled people report feelings of loneliness, this is a great way to improve social interaction whilst also benefiting nutrition and safe cooking.
The internet of things poses a real opportunity for people diagnosed with mobility conditions to have a say in their own living circumstances. By controlling household tasks, even including cooking, these crafty devices are creating new and exciting ways to benefit those in need. For yourself, or a relative, they could be a great way to boost independence and make the home work in the best way possible.