This week came news of Rock Star Kid Rock teaming up with Pulte Homes and a Texas-based nonprofit that assists wounded veterans to present a new home to an army veteran who lost the lower part of his right leg in combat in Afghanistan. It is a great story, and one that is reflective of others in the market that have provided a bit of automated aid.
Other efforts, like that of the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation in New York are also helping army veterans who have been injured in the line of duty find a new home. For example, this organization helps give a bit of smart technology for the homes as well.
For example, last year the organization worked to give U.S. Army PFC Brendan Marrocco a smart home. On a mission in Iraq, Marrocco suffered injuries from an explosion that made him the first quadruple amputee to ever survive in the battlefield.
Two years later, this organization worked hard to give Marrocco the home he deserves, complete with automation. The 3,600-sq.ft. home features keyless entry, an elevator, and a home automation system, which connects everything from Marrocco’s Xbox to his kitchen cabinet.
For example, infrared sensors mounted on the ceilings pick up Marrocco’s movement and automatically turn the lights on and off. The home is also divided into multiple comfort zones so that Marrocco can pick and choose the areas of the home he wants to heat or cool, helping him to save on utility costs.
One goal of the project was to keep the expenses down in the home, due to the fact Marrocco is on a fixed income. Home technology is able to add a bit of wow, while still keeping the costs down in the process.
Lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and a host of other connected systems are all controlled through an iPad app that interfaces via Wi-Fi with a hard-wired home automation system from a home-automation system provider.
The integrated entertainment system allows him to listen to XM radio, send recorded TV programs to any cable box in the home, and even play Xbox against his brother who might be in a totally different room in the house. The entire home is hard wired to a “control center” located in Marrocco’s utility closet. Installers are able to remotely access the home-automation system using Web-based software, allowing them to perform software updates or identify maintenance issues, among other tasks.
To read the entire story on how smart homes can help soldiers, pick up the Sept/Oct issue of Connected World magazine. It just goes to show how a little automation can go a long way.