Adopting assistive domotics features is not always a simple process. Learn how the integrator can make it more pleasant to the end user.
Residential automation is usually sold for the benefits of increased quality of life that it provides to the end users. Intelligent control under the same system is a major advantage, enabling several interfaces on the same controller. Essentially the concept was created so that the more functionalities it has, the better the smart home project will be.
However, this can be a fatal mistake that an integrator can make. Many professionals ignore the fact that the biggest differential of assistive domotics lies in the need for customization. The utilities and needs of the elderly, won’t always have the same importance to the end users with reduced mobility. Moreover, it is necessary to overcome possible resistances that the user may have to the very utility of the solutions, if they are seen as complex and expensive resources.
How can the integrator overcome these challenges and build high-performance projects for the various automation target audiences?
In this post, you will find the answer to that question and some tips, such as..
- Creating an attractive customer-friendly design for assistive automation
- Develop an efficient cost-benefit automation project for the user
- How to use differentiated interfaces to make your assistive automation unique
IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRATED AUTOMATION DESIGN
The main factor to be developed for an efficient assistive domotics system is the layout of an integrated automation design.
Many doubts arise mainly due to the multidisciplinary nature of the integrated home automation project. Its design tends to be even more complex if planning with a focus on accessibility. Decisions by the architect, integrators, and engineers, if not aligned, can render the functionality of an entire automation system unfeasible.
Nevertheless, the first efficient process will be a direct approach to the client, through interviews and profile mapping. These tools will allow the understanding of the real needs, pains, and feelings about the end user. In principle, every history of energy consumption will be determined, on a monthly or annual spectrum. Second, all user mobility routines will be detailed, leading to detailed insights for the retirement or home construction industries.
This detailing will serve as a purchase decision factor for the user. The features that serve the elderly will not always work for users with reduced mobility, so each argument is unique. Convincing the end user to make the transition to an automated home can be done by explaining the general or specific benefits.
- General (cost-benefit reduction of house costs, real estate valuation, residential security).
- Specific (autonomy or independence, convenience, interactivity through speakers, ease of living).
In addition, it is up to the integrator – the one selling the system- to simplify the product to the customer. Not all functions and terms will be understood by the end customer. For example, the question of sustainability or usability. These relatively recent terms, can be seen directly in terms of reducing energy costs and adjusting automation scenes. This is what we will discuss in the next section.
COST-BENEFIT OF RESIDENTIAL AUTOMATION
The greatest overall benefit of smart homes is undoubtedly the energy and water efficiency of consumption. It is estimated that a home automation project has the potential to reduce spending by up to 30% on household bills. An incredible saving, considering that this value is based on an initial 10% of the automation infrastructure expense.
However, investments will vary by several factors, some specific to the accessibility project.
One concept previously discussed is that every integrated residential automation project has scalability. Both because of its integrated aspect – from which new features can be progressively added – as well as its technical complexity. This is another decisive factor: the higher the budget stipulated for the project, the greater the functionality offered.
However, this does not mean that for an efficient home automation project you will have to spend a lot! In relation to assistive domotics, the most important factor to be considered will be customization as a parameter for the project. The cost will depend essentially on the type of system chosen in line with its ability to reflect the demands of the user.
Today, the best automation solutions provide flexibility for commands in spaces of any size. Wireless systems reduce the price, as it excludes the need for interventions in the home. Another advantage – especially to the integrated design – lies in the fact that these facilitate the work of engineers. By allowing the control of scenes within the range of the WiFi switches, the distribution of interfaces becomes simpler.
This is quite relevant considering the principles of assistive technology. First, by increasing the independence of users by making the operation of triggering lighting more efficient. Also, for the simplification of the use of devices through interfaces that are configured as shortcuts to daily routines. All these principles are properly aligned with the notion of universal design .
INTERFACES THAT MAKE EVERYTHING EASIER
Current projects rely on the incorporation of interfaces that allow the interaction of users, whatever their physical limitations. These features simplify the use of automation without stigmatizing the user. Incorporating the principles of assistive technology into their development, these products are used in a similar way by all users. In particular, for the use of voice assistants that have multiple applications for daily life.
Scene adjustment or specific command of audio, video and lighting devices substantially reduces spatial locomotion. This function is also predictable, being able to inform the temperature and lighting conditions in specific rooms of the smart home. Everything depends on the degree of integration of the residence, the distribution of sensors for capturing the environment and data transmission.
New utilities are also being centralized in the speakers, which enhance the capabilities of the client. For example, Google Home is now able to make phone calls and interact with various applications. The Amazon Echo – a device that already has integration with Neocontrol solutions – offers various services, such as Amazon itself and Uber.
These interfaces act directly on the specific benefits previously mentioned. Let us determine other direct gains besides autonomy:
- Social inclusion: devices put customers in communication with relatives and friends
- Health care: scheduling for medication schedules and events
- Entertainment: access to movie and music applications
The future of assistive domotics, and the introduction of the Internet of Things will incorporate informational accessibility to the environment. Increased connectivity and interoperability between devices will allow full customization of integrated automation projects. The professionals involved in this task will have to rethink the physical space, contemplating it as a network infrastructure with multiple access possibilities.
However, returning to the reality of today’s smart houses, we emphasize the importance of prioritizing user demands on the projects developed. The development of lean structures, framed at the cost of the client is fully possible. The use of wireless systems is a pioneer in this sense, with the partial or total decrease of the total expenditure with automation. In addition, the simplification of installation facilitates the entry of new players in the market as resellers of lighting, security, as well as architects and engineers.