To Grandmothers House We Go!

Jane Helgesen had a rough night recently, as nausea kept the 71-year-old retired nurse scurrying to the bathroom. A sensor under the bed recorded her comings and goings, sending alerts to her daughter, Britt, who lives nearby. Feeling better the next day, Helgesen used a doorbell camera to welcome guests, whose images are displayed on her rose-gold iPhone, which she also uses to unlock the front door and tweak the thermostat. The smart gadgets in Helgesen’s three-bedroom townhouse in the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury, Minn., aren’t new. What’s different is that Best Buy Co., better known for hawking TVs and computers than for selling geriatric-care products, is wiring it all together. The electronics retailer, which sells an entry-level package of gear for $389.96 (installation costs an extra $199), also provides a monitoring service for $29 a month. Helgesen’s home is a proving ground for this fledgling unit, called Assured Living, now open for business in Denver as well as the Twin Cities area. If the two test markets work out, Best Buy Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly envisions rolling out a broader business of sensor-based senior services, sold through health-and-wellness departments in Best Buy’s more than 1,000 stores. He concedes it’s a bit of a stretch for the electronics retailer: “We’re not top of mind” in the geriatric-care market. For now, Best Buy is one of a number of consumer and tech companies jockeying for position in a race for a likely $50 billion market to remotely look after grandma. Joly calls it “white space waiting to be captured.” Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are all going after the smart-home market with remote monitoring...

We Have Solved the Problem – People Walking Away and Forgetting Their Cooking Which Can Start a Dangerous Stove Fire

We at the iGuardFire company had recognized the importance for people to stay at home longer while remaining safe and Independent.  This market is the now called Aging in Place. People can lose the ability to interact with a dishwasher but that’s no big deal.  But when they can’t interact with their stove then it’s typically time for a care home.  And as we know care homes are hard to find space in, they are expensive to families and can be very demoralizing on some elderly people who have been independent all their lives I ran into this with my parents many years ago.  Our mother had got cancer and while undergoing treatments the medications she was given were affecting her memory and her low energy levels seriously affected her ability to use the stove. As she was declining at home, she was slowly using the stove less and less and as she slowly lost her relationship with her beloved stove the cooking duties fell into Dad’s lap. On top of Dad not being very experienced in managing cooking he could be easily distracted by mom’s sometimes sudden and immediate need for his assistance. The situation and pressure dad was under with mom‘s situation and now the cooking really started to concern us. My other 2 siblings and I, being in different provinces, would have loved to be able to take an active role in watching what was happening with Dads cooking and his interactions with the stove but it was physically impossible. This just nothing but increase the stress level for everyone.  There needed to be a better...

Over 30,000 Fires Prevented!!

Over 30,000 Fires Prevented The iGuardStove automatically shuts off the kitchen stove after 5 minutes of absence from the cooking. To us at iGuardFire every time that the iGuardStove has to step in to Auto Shut Off the stove is a potential fire that was prevented. As of Sept. 5, 2017, our system recorded just over 30,000 Auto Shut Offs by all the Intelligent iGuardStove devices connected to the server.  This doesn’t include the shut offs from our non-Internet devices which could push that number well over 50,000. This information can’t be got from anywhere other than iGuardFire’s server.  We are the only people who track this information and it is extremely valuable.  Other information This number could be debatable as to whether the cooking was caught right away all the way up to a full-blown home fire but the fact still remains that people are walking away from their cooking more than anyone could ever imagine.  When knowing that the leading cause of a home fire is unattended or forgotten cooking it’s nice to know the iGuardStove is standing guard to step in to save the day.  This is great Peace of Mind to know that your loved ones will be safe while being independent in their home. The iGuardStove has been installed in homes, rental suites, community housing common kitchens, Adult Living communities, apartment buildings university dorms and even the kitchens of fire stations! The iGuardStove is definitely making a difference in making the home a safer place for...

Loved One Fallen and Couldn’t Get Up – iGuardStove Saves the Day

We at iGuardFire are all about keeping people safe and independent in their homes.  Our main priority has always been the prevention of stove fires caused by unattended cooking.  Our product has been helping families all over North America gain the peace of mind that their loved ones will not damage their homes or worse yet get injured by a fire while living on their own. When our customers call us we hear many stories about how their fires started and the many pots that were destroyed but we also listen to their other frustrations.  Beside the fire safety component our customers have told us many other horrific stories.  The one that we heard the most was how their loved one had fallen and couldn’t get up and laid there for hours or even days before someone discovered them. After hearing this, it got our creative juices flowing and we started to think about ways that we could help eliminate that concern.  We started to think outside the box and realized that our customers actually had a motion sensor in their kitchen and that gave us an idea.  Outside of the stove shut off ability we thought to just focus on the motion aspect.  So, we then coupled the motion sensor to our already existing data recording feature and our alerting system and bingo.  We had a plan. All those ideas melding into one great idea and we are proud to announce now that we have just released our software update for a feature we call the Activity Monitor. This monitor has two aspects.  The Daytime part and the...

Persuading your older parents to take the smart home leap

Smart home devices can help aging adults live independently and give caregivers peace of mind — as long as you know how to start the conversation. This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community. First, Sophie Godek tried to read books with a magnifying glass. Then, she turned to a tablet to make the words on her e-books larger. Eventually, she couldn’t even see that. The 95-year-old was losing her sight, and with it, one of her favorite hobbies. “She wasn’t able to read anymore, and that was a big loss,” said her son Jim Godek. Last year, the younger Godek had an idea: What if he could get his mom a device that could read books to her without the need to navigate a control screen that she had a hard time seeing? That device turned out to be the Amazon Echo, an internet-connected smart speaker that responds to voice commands. Jim Godek figured that he could buy his mother audiobooks from Audible, then teach her to use voice prompts to have the Echo play the audiobook. At first, Sophie Godek was a little wary. “It took a little while to convince her of it,” Jim Godek said. “Her thought was that we’re going to have wires everywhere.” Eventually, she agreed to try it. It’s been nearly a year, and she’s listened to 178 books. Smart home gadgets like the Amazon Echo can provide an extra layer of comfort and protection for older adults who want to stay in their own homes as they age. They can also...

iGuardStove: How Technology Can Prevent Stove Fires for the Aging in Place Population.

In the excellent movie Still Alice, the main character, Alice, boils some water for tea. It’s apparent that Alice has Alzheimer’s and that she is alone in the house. The movie audience held its collective breath until Alice suddenly remembered to snap off the stove. Alice was fortunate to have remembered the potential fire hazard that she had created but in real life many are not so lucky to remember in time to prevent a dangerous home fire. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that the United States sustained over one million home fires in 2013, causing: 3,000 deaths 16,000 injuries Almost $12 billion in losses through property damage Statistics from NFPA show that unattended or forgotten cooking is the leading cause of all home fires. Anyone aging in place with any degree of cognitive issues may simply forget that the stove is on. Yet even for people who are not suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, home stove fires are still a hazard. Limited mobility and arthritic hands may make it hard to turn off a stove in time to avoid a flare-up. But keep in mind distractions can happen to anyone and in any household. Enter iGuardStove The iGuardStove is The Automatic Stove Shut Off Device, and can mean the difference between a person aging in place safely in their own home or having to decide to move into a retirement center. The iGuardStove is first and foremost an Automatic Stove Shut Device. The iGuardStove looks for motion in the kitchen and when it sees that you have wandered away or forgotten your cooking it will give you...