BLOG | JULY 16, 2021

Hearing Loss Accessibility in your Smart Community

Community is nothing without inclusivity. To us, this means making sure our technology is accessible to every resident, family member, and staff member.

Statistics Canada has reported that over 5% of Canadians aged 15 years and over have a hearing disability.

How do we improve the community living experience for these individuals?

Thinking forward

On a recent project, it was brought to the attention of our engineering team that several residents of the community are hearing impaired. The team rose to the occasion by designing an elegant solution which exemplifies the power of technology to make our communities more accessible.

The task

We needed to create an innovative solution which would allow for the following:

  • Notifying the resident when they receive calls from the concierge, or when someone is at the front door of their home or community
  • Letting the resident know when an alert is set off in the suite by a smoke or flood detector
  • Cost-effectiveness and seamless integration

The SmartONE system was already built to be fully expandable from its conception, paving the way for useful innovations just like this one.

A meaningful solution

Notifications can already be pushed to smart watches which vibrate to provide a haptic alert, but this didn’t satisfy our cost-effective requirement. Price should not be a barrier against residents enjoying the convenience and connectivity of their smart community.

The final solution comes in the form of a ZigBee enabled hue light, selected from a list of pre-approved options. The bulbs will seamlessly communicate with the wall pad located in every suite. Bulbs are placed in the main areas of the suite, so that they’re always visible to the resident.

By programming a scene on the wall pad, the lamps will turn a different color based on the type of notification that the resident is receiving:

  • Red for smoke or leak detector alerts
  • Blue for lobby phone or concierge calls
  • Green if somebody is calling from the suite’s video doorbell*

By automatically receiving visual notifications and alerts from any room in their suite, residents with hearing loss will enjoy the full extent of connectedness and enhanced safety that their smart community has to offer.

*Video doorbell is offered as an upgraded feature

Putting yourself in the resident’s shoes

To understand the simplicity of the solution, picture this: you’re sitting on the couch in your new condo. Your friend is on their way over to visit, and they should be here any minute now.

Thankfully, you already registered their license plate number on the ONE! mobile app. The parking garage automatically opens for your guest, and they grab a spot in the guest parking lot.

You know your friend has arrived because the lamp beside your couch turns blue. You walk over to the wall pad or grab your smartphone, then let your friend into the lobby with the tap of a button. The blue lamp turns off.

A story that we’re proud to share

This solution is meaningful to SmartONE because it illustrates the inventiveness of our team and the adaptability of our technology. We continue to learn about the challenges that certain individuals face as they live and interact with their communities. Now, we’re equipped with the tools to respond to these challenges and enhance the living experience for everyone.

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