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Improving safety and comfort with smart home and IoT (Internet of Things) technology


The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a category of new technologies that have experienced significant growth in the consumer market over the last several. They are generally small, intelligent, and networked devices that integrate with otherwise non-digital items. Smart watches, IP security cameras, and self-driving cars all fall under this general category, as they bring everyday objects “online”. Smart home technology is the application of IoT devices to improving the comfort, convenience, and safety of the user’s home. The smart home configuration outlined below is an example of a simple setup that will demonstrate the uses of these technologies in apartment and senior living.


  • Amazon Echo Show ($180): voice and touch controlled smart home hub with a tablet-like screen that serves as the command center of the smart home
  • Amazon Echo Dot ($40): small voice controlled home assistant, and can be used in conjunction with the Echo Show
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick ($40): turns any TV into a Smart TV, allowing the user to play videos and music from the internet through their TV
  • Amazon Cloud Cam ($100): cloud-based security camera that can be used to check in on one’s home from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Lifx Mini Light Bulb ($30): smart light bulb that can turn, turn off, or be dimmed through voice control

Practical Uses

While smart home technology can be used for a wide range of tasks, the lists below highlight a few of the most common, and in particular those that will be most useful in a senior living setting.

  • Voice control from anywhere in the home
  • Cast Netflix, Hulu, Spotify or other streaming music and video services to home TV
  • Set lighting schedules to suite time of day (e.g. lights on in the morning, dimmed lights at night)
  • Easily set timers, make list, or set recurring alarms
  • On demand news and weather, delivered by the home assistant
  • Hands free, voice-activated video and voice calling
  • Monitor home remotely with access to IP security camera


IoT (Internet of Things) technology is modular by design, so any initial setups could easily be scaled up or down to meeting future needs