By Emily Leon
Our everyday life today is naturally shaped by digital media. F9news has covered an issue earlier about how technology has become the fundamental of living. With the smartphone when traveling find the way, with the tablet read the newspaper on the couch or with the smart TV missed TV program in the library view of a transmitter. These possibilities of digital media use have long since arrived in the realities of people’s lives. The networking of entertainment technology is only part of the digitization of everyday life.
New developments are increasingly focusing on the household and the devices that have so far been operating individually. In concrete terms, this means that more and more everyday objects are networked with one another. You can already control the smart heating using a small application on your smartphone, a so-called app. Windows can also be opened and closed remotely.
4besnews reported that in the future, households of people in need of care will increasingly be equipped with smart technical assistance systems. The aim here is to enable sick people to live independently in their own four walls for as long as possible using modern technology.
Digitization is the key to a networked future
The mainspring of the developments described is the constantly advancing digitization. To understand this term, it can be helpful to imagine the following simplified scenario: There are many people in a room. Everyone speaks a different language and they don’t understand a word of each other.
Everyone lives and works to himself. If it is, communication is very difficult and possible with a great deal of effort. If you now imagine that all people in this room speak the same language, then all of a sudden people can exchange ideas and get in touch with one another more easily, discover similarities and do tasks together. If people were technical devices, it would be digitization.
Example of networked entertainment technology
The digitization scenario just described can be easily understood using the example of today’s living rooms. Just a few decades ago, televisions, radios, record players, and slide projectors were single, independently functioning devices. On the basis of advancing digitization, we are now seeing these technologies grow together. Images that were taken with the digital camera can long ago be viewed on the smart TV in the living room.
You can also watch missed TV programs via online media libraries on your laptop or via an Internet connection on your television if you want to. Even large record collections or well-stocked CD racks are often only of importance to nostalgic today.
Because music is made via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones with the help of so-called Streaming services are increasingly being played directly over the Internet and transferred to the home system, because the music collection is now also digital and is therefore usually available at any time and wherever there is Internet access. If you summarize this development, you can see that various devices and media have learned through digitization to “talk” to each other and to exchange ideas.
More security through a networked home
The digitization of various devices also forms the basis for networking the household, known under the term Smart Home. In addition to the described control options for heating, windows, and shutters, the intelligent home also includes the option of monitoring the apartment using motion sensors and webcams. If a sensor registers movement even though the owners should not be at home, a warning SMS is sent. You can then use your smartphone to check what is happening at home while you are out and about and detect any break-ins. Another application is checking power consumption. An app shows how much electricity is currently being used in the household. So you can quickly see if you have forgotten to turn off the stove.
What initially sounds futuristic has long since become reality. Many electricity providers already offer the option of controlling your own electricity consumption via an app. And in the future, the possibilities of a networked home will steadily increase.
Technical assistance systems help with independent living
It is often difficult for older people to live at home alone as their illness increases. Possible reasons for this are, for example, the risk of falls, the timely intake of medication, and the inability of doctors to react in emergencies. This is where modern technical assistance solutions come in. In doing so, they pursue the goal of enabling an independent life at home for longer through technical solutions. Intelligent home systems can, for example, use movement and fall sensors to detect that an emergency is pending and inform the family or the emergency services accordingly. Smart medication aids remind you to take medicine, and vital signs can also be monitored using intelligent technology such as heart rate monitors and communicated directly to the doctor in the event of problems.
One question remains: How does this technology change people?
If you look at the advancing digitization, it is noticeable that technical changes always change people. On the one hand, this is logical because, from a purely systemic point of view, lifeworlds are subject to an adjustment process as soon as they come into contact with technology. Among other things, you have to learn how to use new technology and understand the consequences of using technology. On the other hand, technical changes also pose social questions to people. This becomes particularly clear when using technical assistance systems in the field of care, because what role do technical systems play? Will this replace the interpersonal contact with technical aids or do these systems form the core of a long and as independent life as possible in your own four walls?
This question can certainly not be answered completely, but it should always be asked in the context of the use of technical possibilities. Because the focus of a digitized and networked future should always be people with their needs and individual living conditions.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)