IoT and Disabilities

“The question won’t be what devices are connected – it will be what devices are not connected.”
Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest

I recently attended a symposium on the Internet of Things (IoT).  Depending on how you count, this is either the Second or Third Industrial Revolution or the second part of the information age.  Most likely, it is the merger of the industrial and information ages.  It will also be disruptive.

The major theme for IoT is Connectivity.

Everything communicates with everything else.

When your thermostat talks with your alarm clock and your alarm clock talks with your coffee pot and the candle stick dances with…. oops, that was another movie.   But everything is connected so when you set your alarm clock, the thermostat automatically sets the temperatures and the coffee pot time and orders the driverless car to arrive at the appropriate time. All you need to do is say to Alexa/Siri/Cortana is, “Get me up at 07:00 AM”

When this technology becomes widely available, it will be less expensive than devices that might be just for AT more mainstream.

What does this mean?

It’s a given that the US Population is aging.  From 2000 to t2010, the population grew at a faster rate in the older ages than in the younger ages. The over 62’s accounted for over 16% of the population.

With more AT available at a lower cost, the older population will be able to stay in their own homes longer with less physical monitoring needed.

Worried that your aging parents didn’t take their meds today?  Their medical bottle will tattle on them – not only will it be able to tell if the cap has been opened but can count the number of pills as well.

Worried about them falling at home and not being able to summon help?  Their floors and walls will be able to alert emergency services if they’re sensed not moving or in a strange position.  They won’t even have to tell Alexa/Siri/Cortana to call for help.

They’ll also be more mobile, with driverless cars, they won’t have to worry about keeping their driver’s licenses.

There will also be a reduced need for doctor’s visits since wearable technology will be monitoring their vital signs.

It’s going to be a connected world whether we want it or not. For those with special needs, it will be a boon.