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How the Aware Home Works


The Sandwich Family
Devices like this message center could help family members keep in contact with each other on busy days.
Devices like this message center could help family members keep in contact with each other on busy days.

In the case of a sandwich household, many of the technologies on the last page could prove very useful here too. But there've been other potential ideas kicked around that could also assist families with children -- especially if those children have developmental delays, learning disabilities or emotional disorders.

Starting when children are born, their development could be monitored and tracked so parents can see if any behavioral or developmental trends are developing that they should be aware. Children have many milestones in their early years, and knowing which ones to check off the list can be critical if there are issues. Plus, you'll never get a better baby monitor than this house.

In the same manner t­he Aware Home could help with organizing the healthcare of a senior, it could also assist with therapy of children with disorders such as autism. Keeping track of the progress a child makes with their parents, as well as any other caregivers and therapists, could be important to successfully monitoring their progress and introducing improvements. The Aware Home could also provide a safer environment for a child with asthma by monitoring his or her breathing through something as simple as an mp3 player.

But helping with the kids and knowing (through force-sensitive Smart Floor tiles) who's raiding the fridge for a midnight stack wouldn't be the extent of an Aware Home's usefulness. It could also provide a digital message center -- a neat and organized way for everyone to stay current with each other's plans. Or it could be connected to a home security system, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors -- and emergency services in case one of them goes off.

Raising kids, working full-time and possibly juggling the care of an aging parent doesn't leave a lot of free time. Long searches for crucial items like car keys, wallets and cell phones can throw a day totally off track. An Aware Home could be able to come through and save the day, guiding you to them in just a few seconds. It could also help save some cash by taking care of gray water reclamation, swinging the blinds open when it's sunny and flipping off the lights when no one's in the room.

And let's not forget the enhancements an Aware Home could bring to home entertainment. For example, sharing videos collections and photo albums on social networking and personal Web sites is becoming increasingly common -- but how much time does uploading, tagging and captioning everything waste? One of the ideas behind the digital media research is to give people back the time they now spend processing photographic and video memories so they have more time to enjoy having memorable moments in the first place.

­Ready to kick back and let your home help you out with some of those tedious chores? On the next page, check out some links with more information about networking.


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