“Homes of Tomorrow” aren’t just scenes from Back to the Future anymore. GE has plans in motion to create incredibly efficient homes that will save you time and energy. For seniors, this will be a huge help.
“Home 2025 is about reality-based innovation that will be possible over the next decade,” says Lou Lenzi, director for GE Appliances Industrial Design Operation. “This isn’t about the Jetsons or pie-in-the-sky ideas.”
Similar to how the smart phone combines a camera, music player, telephone, alarm clock, and computer, GE seeks to combine counter-top appliances into multi-use “uber-appliances.” For instance, the smart faucet provides filtered water, carbonated water, ice, and customizable drink cartridges. So if you love almond milk to make your bones strong, it can dispense it at the touch of the top screen. For a health conscious senior, there are sensors that can tell you your hydration levels. This would be amazing for early Alzheimer’s patients who can’t remember to stay hydrated.
Smart sinks would read how much bacteria is on your veggies and fruits and tell you when it’s safe to stop washing. It can handle washing small loads of dishes, while cleaning an attached cutting board. The scraps from the cutting board can be fed to a compost section that turns your leftovers into garden growing gold. In the later years of life these seemingly easy tasks present a real challenge. Smart combined appliances would take some of the strain of the daily upkeep a home demands. This would help make aging in place much more possible for seniors.
Kitchen islands, re-imagined as The Hub, can help remind your aging loved ones how to prepare their food with a large screen-counter-top. It can keep them on track and make sure they finish their meal. Sometimes a little instruction is all a senior, or anyone else, needs. We would all benefit from something like this. You could even video chat with your elderly loved one and show them how to prepare their meal from home on your Hub.
Senior Specific Advancements
Because of the strong senior population, GE focuses on making technology more intuitive. They are trying to help people who are not so comfortable with technology to continue to live independent lives. Even a nightstand will have a heat-sensitive counter that can be used to leave messages or can sense the temperature of what is placed on it. A hot cup of tea in the morning is especially inviting for those with stiff joints.
You could put your hand to your mirror, and the Medical Dispenser would read your vital signs and decide the type and amount of medication you need. The machine can combine, process and dispense the medication. Medication cartridges can be easily reloaded by the senior or a home health aide. This would be a huge advancement in senior safety for those who choose to live independently.
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