On this week’s IoT Podcast, we had an interesting challenge from Brett on our IoT Podcast Hotline. There are some great solutions to disabled access such as the Terry Lifestyle Lift but a friend’s son is in a wheelchair and can’t speak, so Brett wanted to know if there was some device that could be attached to the wheelchair that would notify family members that the person arrived at home. Good quality Scooters ‘N Chairs are needed to support the user and their mobility and considering their level of speech is important when investing in a new chair.
For those with a phone — and we don’t know if this person has a phone — there are several solutions available, including free ones. You could, for example, set up an IFTTT applet that sends a text message when that phone reconnects to the home Wi-Fi network.
We’re going to assume that this isn’t an option though, and the best solution we could come up — there are likely multiple options to solve this problem — with was to purchase a Samsung SmartThings Tracker for $99. This small device has GPS, Wi-Fi and LTE radios inside and should easily be attachable to a wheelchair or any other personal object. It doesn’t require having a SmartThings hub but instead works with the SmartThings mobile app. You’d use the app to set up a geo-fence around a home, for example, and then the app would show notifications when the tracker returns to the home area.
Note that the LTE service for this tracker is included for 12 months. After that, it costs $5 a month or a discounted $50 annual rate. Generally, I prefer free services when possible, but in this case, the small monthly fee is likely well worth the price for Brett’s friend.
To hear the question and our discussion in full, tune in below at the 29:45 mark: