Smart Homes - for Alexa 3

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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 232 - 241

Per your request, this report focuses on providing data concerning the companies listed in rows 232 through 241 of the attached spreadsheet. For each company, my colleagues and I have filled in information concerning the smart home product, it's capabilities, how and where in the home it is used and, where relevant, applications for people with disabilities. For those companies which have shut down — Eva Automation and Electric Objects — the appropriate cells have been marked "N/A." Similarly, for products with no application relevant to people with disabilities, the appropriate cells have also been marked "N/A."

The companies addressed in this report include Evermind, EnOcean, EnergyHub, Encored Technologies, Emme E2MS, Embue, Emberlight, and Electric IQ Power.

METHODOLOGY
For this report, my colleagues and I have focused primarily on identifying relevant information through each company's website. Concerning whether each company is classified as a "startup" or a "large company," relevant data was obtained from articles and/or reports about each of the companies.

SUMMARY
To summarize, the attached spreadsheet contains the requested information for the 10 companies listed in rows 232 through 241 of the attached spreadsheet.
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 242 - 251

We have completed columns J-R for the companies listed in rows 242-251 of the attached spreadsheet. We have provided all the required information, as requested, to complete the spreadsheet for companies in rows 242-251.

FINDINGS

All requested details about each company's products are also complete and included except for eLarm and Econais:

1. eLarm's website is inactive and we were unable to find a cache/snapshot of the company's website. We provided most of the information about the company's product by looking at its Github page. The product seems to be targeted towards software developers at this stage and there isn't a consumer-facing product at this point. We looked at the company's Twitter account to try to see where they are currently in terms of product development, but the last post there was in January 2017.
2. For Econais, the company announced on its website that it has stopped production because its chip suppliers informed them that they are phasing out production of the chips and there isn't a direct replacement at the moment. However, we have detailed the capabilities of the product it used to offer.

CONCLUSION

To wrap up, we have completed rows 242–251, columns J-R of the attached spreadsheet.
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Part
03

Smart Homes: Rows 252 - 261

We have completed columns J-R for the companies listed in rows 252–261 of the attached spreadsheet. We have provided all the required information, as requested, to complete the spreadsheet for companies in rows 252–261.

Findings

All requested details about each company's products are also complete and included except for Driblet Labs:

Driblet Labs website is down, and we were unable to locate a cache/snapshot from when the company's website was active.
We were able to find information showing that it was a crowdfunded company that originated in Monterrey, Mexico and it was born after winning Silicon Valley's AngelHack Hackathon competition. There are no mentions about them in social media or any activity implying the company still exists.

Conclusion

We have completed columns J-R for the companies listed in rows 252–261 of the attached spreadsheet.
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 262 - 271

Overview

The companies mentioned in the spreadsheet provide a range of services, some as available on the official company website. A summary of the company information provided in the spreadsheet is given below.

Summary

Every company in the list either focuses exclusively on home automation services or provides it as one service among a range of services. Enki, CubeSensors, Conundrum Technologies, and Control4 offer sensor products that need to be installed across the house, including bedroom, kitchen, dining area and outdoors, whereas ContactLess requires the installation of a single central controller with all sensors, and Cocoon Labs offers a plug-and-play device.

Conclusion

To wrap up, the information given in the spreadsheet represents the services provided by each company as per the specified criteria.

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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 272 - 281

Details regarding the requested companies and their smart home devices have been added into rows 272-281 of this spreadsheet. All request companies are startups. This has been verified by checking Crunchbase to see how large their funding and employee count is. If a company was not listed on Crunchbase, we did a search to verify that there were no other sources that indicated the company was large. Below you will find a brief list of the devices we found for each company.

Devices

1. Clare Controls
Clare Controls is a startup company. They offer a suite of smart home products, such as security cameras and energy management systems, that can be operated right from a mobile phone.
2. Cielo WiGle - Cielo Breeze
Cielo WiGle is a startup company. They offer a device that turns any air conditioning unit into a smart unit. The device integrates with a mobile app to allow users to remotely turn the unit on or off and to monitor the filter.
3. Chui - Trueface
Chui changed their name to Truface. They offer a mobile app that uses facial recognition technology for various security needs, including matching IDs with faces.
4. Chai Energy
Chai Energy is a startup company. They offer a self-named energy consumption monitor that collects energy data from around the home and presents the information in a mobile app.
5. Charlotte Remotes
Charlotte Remotes is a startup company. They offer several types of universal remotes, including a version that is a mobile app. The remote can integrate many electronic devices and be able to operate them from one remote.
6. CastleOS - Castle HUB
CastleOS is a startup company. They created the Castle HUB, which is a home automation system that syncs all of your smart devices and operates them through voice activation. The HUB also has and streams entertainment apps like Netflix.
7. CannyKart
CannyKart appears to be out of business or otherwise not in existence under that name. Their website no longer exists and there is no sign of updated information anywhere else that we could find.
8. Canary
Canary is a startup company, but is moving towards a medium-sized company with around 250 employees. They offer smart security cameras with sensors and alarms that work both indoors and outdoors.
9. Camio - Ella
Camio is a startup company. Their smart camera, called Ella, operates like a normal home video security system in terms of recording video. The system adds text keywords to each clip using artificial intelligence. Users can type in keywords related to the clip they are looking for in order to find them much faster.
10. Calliope Waterworks - Buoy
Calliope Waterworks changed its name to Buoy Labs and is a startup company. They offer a device called Buoy that attaches to a home’s water line and collects data on water usage in order to educate the user and save them money. It also detects water leaks and allows users to shut off the water via the app from wherever they are.

In conclusion, a much more detailed analysis of each device has been entered into rows 272-281 of this spreadsheet.
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 282 - 291

We have completed columns J-R for the companies listed in rows 282-291 of the attached spreadsheet. We have entered all data requested and noted our findings in the spreadsheet as requested. Of the companies listed, most were startups, but a few, like Broadlink and BiBCOM were large companies. BiBCOM advertises as a product designed for vulnerable populations like the elderly. However, the other companies listed showed no evidence of advertising directly to people with disabilities.

To view all findings, please see the attached spreadsheet.
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 292 - 301

SUMMARY

We have completed columns J-R for the companies listed in rows 292-301 of the attached spreadsheet. We have entered all data requested and noted our findings in the spreadsheet as requested.
We were able to find data for all the companies listed in rows 292-301, however, two of the companies (Arrayent and Audio Analytic) offer products for consumer brands and manufacturers, not consumers that use it in their homes, so some requested information do not apply to these companies.
Most of the companies listed are startups, however, some of these startups have been acquired by large companies, so for such companies, we entered "Large Company" in column L. You can access the completed spreadsheet here for more details.

None of the companies listed in rows 292-301 markets its product to those with a disability specifically. We reviewed each product and the company's website, as well as media reports on the company for potential disability application, but we found no evidence that the company is marketing the product to those with a disability currently. However, people with a disability that have or need a smart device can certainly make use of any of the smart home products. For example, those with disability can make use of smart lighting from Awox or the remote monitoring device from August Home.

CONCLUSION

To wrap up, we have completed rows 292 - 301, columns J - R of the attached spreadsheet as requested.
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 302 - 311

SUMMARY

We have completed columns J - R for the companies in rows 302-311 of the attached spreadsheet as requested. We have detailed our findings in the spreadsheet as requested.
For some of the companies listed in rows 302-311, we were unable to find some details on their product as the website were inactive and we relied on information from reliable third-party websites to describe their product offering. For a few of the companies, however, we were unable to find information to provide answers to some requested information despite searching third-party websites and other industry publications for information on the company. We indicated where we were unable to do so in the spreadsheet.
To wrap up, we have completed J-R of rows 302-311 of the attached spreadsheet as requested.
Part
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Part
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Smart Homes: Rows 312 - 321

Of this company set, the companies that specifically offer products with potential disability applications are 3rings, Alarm.com, and Aerial. 3rings offers mobile phone connected plugs that provide third party users with information about how elderly and disabled people are using them, specifically, to ensure they follow a daily routine. Alarm.com offers wellness sensors, based on movement sensors, that updates people if there is limited movement in a house. Aerial offers a similar service, sending notifications if no applications or movement is detected through WiFi signals. Companies in rows 312-321, except for the aforementioned three, do not specifically address the market for people with disabilities, which was determined after a web and press search regarding this subject. As no criteria was given to define the classification of whether a company is considered a startup or large company, the previous 300 plus entries were analyzed and the result was followed as the benchmark for this company set. In these circumstances, "N/A" is entered. The details of the company set of smart home products is found in the attached spreadsheet, in rows 312 to 321.

Conclusion

Akerun, Airviz, Aerial, Abode Systems, A.I. Nemo, and 3rings are all startup companies. Most of these applications are used throughout the entire home. 4home, Abode Services, Adura, Akerun, Alertme, and Alarm.com all offer security applications. All of these products connect with mobile phone applications and offer data analytic services.
Part
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Part
10

Amazon Alexa/Echo and Disabilities

The following is an overview of Amazon Alexa/Echo in terms of how this technology can be used to improve the quality of life for those with mental and physical disabilities. We used sources from experts on how this technology benefits the disabled community. We also researched for actual case studies of people who have first-hand experience caring for a disabled person that uses this technology or those who are disabled themselves.

Amazon Alexa is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered voice assistant that comprehends voice commands. It allows users to explore the Internet, shop, and control smart home devices. Alexa can be installed on smart phones, tablets, and comes ready to be activated on the Amazon Echo product.

The Amazon Echo (also known as the Echo Dot) is a small voice activated gadget that does whatever a person verbally asks. It comes with the Alexa program. Sentences that start with “Alexa” are immediately picked up on. Echo owners can play music, listen to books, order necessities and perform other important functions, simply by requesting. Disabled individuals connect with the Internet of Things through Amazon Alexa/Echo in order live more independent lives at the fraction of the cost of traditional environmental control devices (EC). It is an affordable option when compared with other assistive technology. Although Amazon Alexa/Echo was not specifically designed for disabled individuals, it has proven extremely helpful for everyday tasks. This technology and benefits individual which specific physical and mental disabilities as listed below.

PHYSICAL DISABILITY BENEFITS

1. The Blind and Visually Impaired

For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, Amazon Echo offers an abundance of vocal functions that improve quality of life without the need to see. • Book Access — blind users can command Alexa to read audible books to them. Although some books come in braille, there is a more limited selection. The Audile App and Alexa sync to give individuals a much wider reading selection. • NewsAlexa can share the latest news headlines
Research — users can ask for facts Alarm and Timers — commands such as Alexa- wake me up at 10am" sets the appropriate alarm. • Podcasts and Radio Play — individuals can listen

2. Speech Disabilities

Amazon Echo dot understands normal human speech and synthetic speech. Because of this versatility, communication apps such as VoiceOver can connect with and offer commands to Alexa. This empowers disabled individuals who use speech aids to use the all of Alexa's technology without problems. The Echo also has the capability to work with eye gaze and other specialty communication systems that speech diabled indivudals use.

3. Motor Skills Disabilities (Quadriplegia, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis etc.) Alexa connects with apps such as Tecla, which specifically upgrade its skill capabilities for individuals with mobile impairments. Software helps individuals with quadriplegia, ALS, Stroke, muscular dystrophy, brain injuries, and multiple sclerosis. Alexa’s connectivity feature with specialty apps helps those who cannot easily use smart devices such as tablets, computers, smartphones, or home appliances.
Tecla allows its users to connect with a maximum of 8 Bluetooth-enabled devices hands –free. Some individuals with physical abilities use Alexa while in their beds. The Tecla e-companion app extends Alexa’s functionality to anywhere a mobile individually impaired individual has a smart phone, or tablet. This creates fresh opportunities for individuals with impaired motor skills to improve quality of life by controlling various aspects of their environment such as:

• Electrical Devices— Alexa empowers disabled people to control any lighting or electrical device in their home using a Wi-Fi-enabled switchbox. Alexa can switch off any device plugged into a smart plug through voice command. • Lights — Smart Lights connected to Alexa allow quadriplegic individuals to turn of lights anywhere in the house without getting out of bed. • Room Temperature —Smart thermostats equipped with Alexa skills can control heating and cooling. • TV Control- For individuals with weak motor skills, simple tasks such as using a remote control are difficult. Alexa assists disabled individuals to change the channel, control the volume, or play a favorite TV show easily through voice. For example, Alexa skill apps such as AnyMote Home allow a disabled child to watch a wanted show without needing a parent to adjust the channel.

MENTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS

4. Autism, Down syndrome and Developmental Delays Individuals who have delays and in language and social skills due to mental disabilities such as autism have distinct communication needs. Alexa helps address these needs by being a 24-7 communication partner. For example, many individuals with Autism connect and communicate by posing questions in detailed areas of interest.

Unfortunately, these types of conversations can become severely limited. Alexa addresses the needs of these individuals by being a constant source to ask specific repetitive questions to –without fail or irritation. Consistent practice with Alexa provides an opportunity for communication skills for those with autism to increase over time. Autistic individuals also often get comfort from familiar habits such as listening to favorite songs. Alexa provides easy access for comfort triggers through voice command. They can play their favorite song on repeat (if desired.)

5. Dyslexia, Down Syndrome — Language and Communication Skills Practicing listening, problem solving, language, and social skills are necessary for the development and growth of all children. Often, children with mental disabilities that influence speech are forced to practice their skills in limited settings such as therapy offices. Alexa offers an additional natural home environment to disabled children to practice language skills by asking questions, listening, and responding correctly during games. For example, disabled individuals with Down syndrome get to ask Alexa to request a song, share interesting facts, detail the weather, play fun games and more. This practice can help improve clarity of speech over time. Disabled people with mental disabilities such as Dyslexia are able to overcome reading struggles and use Alexa to help recognize words. For example, Alexa can read a child their favorite bedtime story with one vocal request.

CONCLUSION In sum, Amazon Alexa/Echo helps improve the quality of life for those with mental and physical disabilities in a variety of ways. It is a much more affordable alternative than typical environmental control devices. Individuals with physical disabilities are able to control almost every aspect of their home environment by connecting Alexa with smart devices. People with mental disabilities have successfully used Alexa to overcome the effects of developmental and speech delays. Overall, this technology empowers disabled people to create a comforting environment that allows them to live more independently.
Part
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Part
11

Apple Home Kit and Disabilities

Introduction

The Apple HomeKit is a disabled focused software system with accompanying products developed by Apple to help those with disabilities to be regain some independence and control in their life again. This is done by using voice control to change things such as lights, central heating/air conditioning, entertainment, garage doors and security systems. Most of Apple's information releases for the HomeKit came in around May 2017 and seemed to gain positive feed back from Todd Stabelfeldt and Chris Lenart and hopefully will get the same response from others of the disabled community too.

Uses for the disabled

The primary and seemingly most vital part of Apple's HomeKit is its Voice Control and Siri. Voice control gives power to users with physical disabilities when dealing with light switches, or to visually impaired users while trying to unlock a door. Such simple things as these are a vital things Apple helps with by introducing scenario setups. Scenario setups can be set as a trigger word or phrase such as, "Hi Siri, I'm Home" which would start a chain of activate such as disabling the alarm, opening the garage door, turn on the hall and kitchen light, and ending with the music entertainment system starting on a music playlist called Home. This results in the user only needing to focus on getting themselves inside rather than trying to do all stated tasks as they enter. This also doesn't require them asking for help with these tasks too. In the case of mental issues, voice control is also useful in cases of Siri reminding the user about certain things. An example, a user with memory loss issues constantly asking Siri to remind them where a moved object is, followed by Siri using sensors in the house to recall the users last location to guide the user to the object.

Best uses for each disability

The list of applicable use cases for the Apple Home Kit is currently limited to two:

Todd Stabelfeldt Quadriplegia
-> Todd uses Apple HomeKit with features like Apple's "Home" app to allow him to control a variety of smart accessories in his house — from door locks and window shades, to lights and his garage door. Stabelfeldt's favorite part is that he can command Apple's intelligent digital assistant Siri to work it all

Chris Lenart — Cerebral Palsey
-> Chris said "I don’t have this home kit yet, but I am seriously thinking about it. The thing that interests me is the kit allows you to set up different scenarios that you might have. The one scenario that they talk about is movie night. When you have a movie night, you would have lights off and the temperature turned down and the TV on. For me, I might have one scenario that is for bedtime. I want all the lights off and the temperature turned up. I sometimes kick the covers off and can not get the covers back over me."

These seem to currently be the only use cases of the Apple HomeKit currently published

Concussion

Despite the limited amount of information available about the Apple HomeKit and Use Cases, the talks and interviews that Todd Stabelfeldt gives says many good things about the HomeKit and it's system. Its varied 50 devices along with Siri for almost everything makes it such an important product making everyday life and tasks just that bit more easy.
Sources
Sources

From Part 09