SimplyHome Vs. Off-the-Shelf Tech

Established appliance brands, big tech, and innovative startups are competing to make our home's completely connected.

Refrigerators can speak to your smartphone and thermostats can be controlled conveniently from Caracas. Bringing us all the voice controlled, supportive, entertaining home we were promised. 

However, how can you be sure that your new Amazon Echo, Ring Doorbell, or smart light bulb really will make life easier? 

Will the device truly help you or your loved one living independently stay safe and organized?  

Many families and providers are beginning to ask these questions and more.

The SimplyHome Solution

Employing smart home technology to empower residents and loved ones is easier than ever before. 

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Older adults, those with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), and those with physical disabilities have an opportunity to increase their independence and convenience at a low cost. 

 SimplyHome is using smart home technology to help older adults and people with disabilities become independent, make new choices, meet their goals, and live self-determined lives.

Taking the abilities of widely available smart home tech and matches them to an individual's personal goals. 

“Store-Bought” Smart Home Tech

What makes SimplyHome's enabling technology stand out from this fast-growing field? 

What can a SimplyHome system do for you that an Amazon Alexa cannot? 

Store bought or off the shelf technology is developed to achieve a single, universal objective. 

For example, if you would like to keep an eye on the front door or program automatic lighting in your living room, off the shelf technology is the right answer.  

Of course, we do not believe there is nothing wrong with off the shelf technology. It is a remarkable and exciting application of the internet of things in our daily lives. 

A few examples of off-the-shelf smart home tech and their goals:

  • Program and Control Your Home's Lighting Remotely

 Phillips and many other major bulb manufacturers have started offering connected light bulbs at a relatively low price. Their energy efficient, LED design can offer more than 15 years of service with regular use. 

Controlling all your home's light from an app or with a preprogrammed sequence eliminates traveling to the light switch and creates energy efficiency. For more added convenience program, the smart LED bulbs with a voice first, intelligent home system. 


  • Conserve Energy, Save on Power Bills and Easily Manage Your Home's Temperature

Managing your home's temperature with a Nest, Lux, or Ecobee smart thermostat will save you on your next power bill. Control the climate remotely from a smartphone, tablet, or with a voice first smart home device.


Plus many of the thermostats are compatible with sensors that can determine a room's occupancy and temperature, eliminating wasted hear or air. 

  • Keep Up With Appointments, Set Reminders, and Search the Internet

Staying organized has never been easier.  The Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Home Kit offer first voice assistance around the house. Each brand's smart speaker is compatible with each company's calendar and task apps. 


They also can be used to make purchases and check the news, the weather quickly, and find answers to endless questions. Each brand of smart speaker is compatible with different Wi-Fi enabled devices, check with each brand before purchasing. 


  • Communicate with Loved Ones

Smart speakers equipped with cameras and screens make face to face chat easy. The Facebook Portal, Amazon Echo Show, and other devices give a crisp, clear picture. The Facebook Portal incorporates a zoom and pan feature that follows the action around a room. 

Having a conversation, watching TV, or listening to music together states away is now possible and easy. 


  • Protect Your Self, Monitor Entrances and Exits

Ring, Nest, SimpliSafe, and many other brands have developed easy to install and use security system alternatives. You can create a collection of video doorbells, indoor and outdoor security cameras, sensors, and floodlights. 

All of which can be monitored remotely from a smartphone or tablet app or can be controlled by voice with a smart speaker. 

“Off-the-Shelf” Tech’s Shortcomings

If your goals include any of these or if your goals can be achieved with any of the other hundreds of products or their pre-programmed skills (Amazon's Alexa has over 70,000), off the shelf devices are your answer.

 If these options do not help you or your loved one reach your goals and match your preferences, SimplyHome is the right supportive enabling technology. 

Below are several instances where the SimplyHome system can meet the challenge:

  • If You Need a Person-Centered System

 SimplyHome's enabling technology serves many older adults choosing to age in place and those living independently with disabilities. 

For enabling technology to achieve its full power, designing the right system starts with discussing an individuals' priorities and goals. Using their priorities and goals as a road map, SimplyHome develops the right system with the right capabilities. 

Rather than fitting an individual to a product, SimplyHome fits the product to the individual. Taking the convenience, entertainment, and innovation of off the shelf tech and adapting it to their personalized purpose. 

The person-centered system generates a new opportunity for independence, access, and dignity. 


  • If Your Goals Don’t Match Any of the Pre-programmed Skills

Every SimplyHome user's priorities and goals are often unique. 

With a variety of goals, off the shelf technology usually cannot meet their needs. 


For example, cooking and preparing a meal by yourself is an empowering exercise in self-reliance. However, the kitchen can create diet-related issues and concerns about forgetfulness. 

 Using SimplyHome's customized sensor-based suite, the developers can create "if this, then that" situations. "If the stove is on and no motion is detected in the kitchen, send an alert." 

This custom programming can mean the difference between an individual achieving independence or having a constant care provider in their home. 

  • If the Technology is Creating More Obstacles

 Many off the shelf, smart home devices can cause additional accessibility issues. 

Most new smart speakers or home assistant devices can only be operated with voice. The device's voice recognition software is not good at recognizing or understanding non-standard speech patterns. 

For those who are nonverbal or have non-standard speech, the standard voice assistant devices are not supported. Ease of operation is also a challenge for other smart home tech controlled by touch. 

The device's screens and small icons are not designed for those with limited dexterity and low vision.  

Including the individual's needs and goals into the planning process helps the SimplyHome team ensure that an individual's new technology does not create additional challenges. 

  • If You Need a Custom Interface or Dashboard to Manage Different Devices

Bringing together any different off-the-shelf smart home devices from different manufacturers often can create a challenge. Each device's brand has its app, and with its specific interface and options. Making sure all of the devices work together is nearly as important as the device's objective. 


If you have ten devices, having to open ten apps to monitor them isn't practical. Brands are beginning to make compatibility easier across device categories. 

However, many of the specialized products that SimplyHome offers, like those that promote cooking safety with stove sensors,  anti-wandering bed or chair pads, or automatic door openers are not available on store-bought platforms. 

Bringing together these specialized systems and store-bought devices onto an accessible platform customized to an individual's specific needs is one of SimplyHome's strengths. 


  • If You are Deploying Smart-home Tech for an Organization

 Providers face a significant problem if they would like to customize smart support systems for hundreds of individuals.Ensuring each of the shelf systems meets each need can be quite time-consuming. Store bought smart home technology is not designed to scale.

 If you distribute 200 Google Home Assistants, how is a provider supposed to manage each of the 200 individual's log-in credentials? 

SimplyHome's custom enabling technology allows you to monitor and see sensor activity for all of the individuals your organization supports. 

  • If You Need Reporting to Manage & Plan Services

 Standard, store-bought smart home tech is designed to create specific actions. However, there isn't any reporting or recording of those actions. For providers, in particular, those who do not use cameras, the sensor activity reports is vital to planning services. 

Is an individual leaving in the middle of the night? Are they leaving the stove on after cooking? 

 Whatever their concern, providers rely on these reports to determine an individual's support needs and help the individual increase their independent living skills. Without this reporting feature, providers would be unable to monitor an individual's progress effectively. Helping the individual achieve their goals and increase peace of mind for their staff, clients, and families. 


  • Combining Security & Customization

The security of smart home technology is the primary concern. Any piece of technology is not entirely immune to hacking. SimplyHome's team analyzes each piece of technology to ensure that there are security measures in place to make it more difficult for unauthorized access. 

SimplyHome adds an extra layer of protection for products that are immediately accessible by anyone who logs onto your local Wi-Fi network. Being mindful and vigilant of potential security issues and addressing these issues is of utmost importance. 


  • When Your Team is Ready to Step Up

 Incorporating smart, enabling technology into an organization is a big step. 

To take that step and to receive all the benefits that it has to offer a store-bought device will not cut it. 

SimplyHome's enabling tech has the power to supplement and enhance the care providers offer to individuals. Integrating enabling tech into established processes can be odd and disruptive. 

 However, SimplyHome's team is ready to provide customizable education options, available online and in person, to help organizations make the transition towards enabling technology. 

 The orientation and ongoing training from SimplyHome assists with the implementation, help avoid common problems and ensure the system is reaching its full potential. 

To learn more about the SimplyHome system and how it can help you, your loved one, or your organization contact AdaptMy today.

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