On our most recent IoT Podcast, Jamie left us a question on our voicemail hotline regarding fall detection solutions. Ideally, he wants something that will work with a Google Nest Hub, Android phone, or Home Assistant. He’s also open to wearables, devices that use a camera or wireless signals to interpret that someone has fallen.
There aren’t a ton of options these days but there are more available than we had just a few years ago. And not all of them will fit within Jamie’s parameters but we do cover several choices to pick from.
The Walabot Home is a thin, 7-inch square wall plate with a display and a wireless emitter. You attach one to a wall and the wireless “4D imaging” radio inside the device acts as a type of radar to “see” the area. Thanks to an algorithm run against the wireless data, Walabot Home can interpret when someone has fallen.
When it detects a fall, the Walabot Home announces the event and places a call to pre-configured contacts or send a text message to your primary caregiver. In the case of a call, the device uses a mic and integrated speakers to let the fallen person speak to their emergency contact. Note that one device will only cover one room, so this can be a pricey solution if you need whole-home coverage.
Another option that might not quite work for Jamie but is worth considering is the Apple Watch SE. Many of the recent Apple Watches support fall detection and the newest SE is affordable at $279. If the Apple Watch detects a fall, it can use your connected iPhone to call emergency responders or personal contacts. The phone call is placed automatically if you haven’t moved for about a minute but you can cancel the call manually within that time period.
Lastly we mention Amazon’s CareHub, which isn’t meant specifically for this situation but could work in certain cases.
With CareHub, you’re connecting your own Amazon Echo device account with someone else’s. And that person can be an emergency contact within the Amazon Alexa ecosystem. So if you fall and are conscious, you can have your Echo call your contact’s Echo. There’s no fall detection element here though, so if you need that for peace of mind, you’ll want to consider a different option.
To hear Blake’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: