Seamless integration. Total control for ease of living. Security with a tap. These are some of the benefits that come to mind when we think of smart homes. But what if a home could mean more? What if it meant empowerment? What if it meant independence?

For a severely wounded veteran, the everyday tasks we take for granted can become nearly insurmountable challenges. Rather than home being a sanctuary, it can represent a constant battle. Even the most mundane actions often require the help of another. But smart home technology can do a lot to return self-sufficiency–and dignity–to a veteran. 

More accessible than a simple swipe

For amputees or those with paralysis or limited range of motion, gesture and voice control provide more accessibility than a phone app. “Disability is often highly individual, which is not reflected in machine learning,” Valentin Gong, Xiaohui Wang and Lan Xiao, the developers of a gesture-recognition system called Dots, explain. Dots uses two silicon discs that detect movement between body parts, allowing amputees and people with disabilities to use smart devices more effectively.

Voice control provides instant access for those with limited mobility. Shades, which could be out of reach, lower or raise; doors open for easy access; with smart bathrooms, tubs fill and toilets flush; lights, TV, music, security systems can all be programmed or controlled with a single command. Smart appliances like stoves and coffee makers help restore control of the kitchen to those who have felt relegated to the side lines. This return of independence also means one less thing the user needs to ask their caregiver to do. 

Calm in the storm

For those with PTSD, the feeling of security is paramount. Devices like Ring, which send alerts directly to your phone whether you are home or away, help cultivate peace of mind. Easy to install and user-friendly, the inconspicuous camera and doorbell technology keep watch on important areas in the home, such as entrance points and the backyard. The ability to see who’s out front without going to the door or checking in on home while out to dinner can help ease anxieties. Unexpected noises, voices, or visitors can be triggering; the ability to see a live stream of your home’s surroundings, wherever you may be, can help cultivate a sense of control and peace of mind.

Pawsitive smart assistance

A service dog is trained to act as a veteran’s arms and legs, remind them of important things like when to take medication, can alert medical personnel in case of an emergency, bring a sense of calm through their presence, pick up on subtle cues like shifts in body language or scents triggered by chemical reactions in the body, and can act as a barrier against a threat. Smart tech can also help a veteran’s essential companion.

A virtual assistant tracks reminders, like “Alexa, set a timer at four o’clock for me to feed Scout,” alleviating fears for those with memory impairments. iFetch tirelessly launches balls for chasing during quality playtime. Smart pet doors open via a smart collar or microchip, so no manual door-opening is required. And Furbo dispenses a well-deserved tasty treat to a good boy or girl. 

Bespoke for veterans

Programs such as those offered by the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) and Tunnel to Towers Foundation provide specially customized homes for severely wounded veterans and their families outfitted with a wide range of smart home technology, built for each veteran’s individual needs.

Smart home technology allows us all to more easily navigate and control our homes, but for these members of our armed forces, that ease and control is a path to previously unimagined independence. 

Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.

If you would like to learn more about integrating new systems into your smart home system, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.

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