Skip to main content

Presence Pro Care wants to fill your parents’ home with sensors to keep you connected

Chances are, you’ll get together with some elderly relatives this week for Thanksgiving. You’ll eat some turkey, catch up, and maybe try to stay away from traditionally taboo dinner table topics.

People Power, which makes an app that turns your old iOS device into a camera, wants to turn the conversation to aging at home. In the next 20 years, over 13.4 million people over the age of 75 will be living alone, according to Harvard University. People Power wants to use its Presence Pro Care system, launching today on Indiegogo, to facilitate communication between people and their elderly family members or friends.

It’s essentially a kit composed of a hub, sensors, emergency buttons (which can be worn around the neck or on the wrist or placed on a keychain), and a connected pill dispenser. The app lets users make video calls and receive alerts when a parent or grandparent deviates from his or her normal routine. Users can add several people to a family member’s “circle.” If their elderly loved one hits the emergency button, everyone should get an alert. The system also uses algorithms and information from the sensors to determine if the home’s occupant has fallen, for example.

The sensors include the usual ones you’d find in a smart-home pack, like entry sensors, water sensors, motion sensors, and temperature sensors. But the emergency button, pill dispenser, and $15-per-month monitoring shift the focus from keeping a home safe to making sure its occupants are active and healthy. The door sensors, for example, can be used to alert you when a loved one leaves — not just when someone breaks in. Though People Power’s Presence app was all about video monitoring, for this new system, video is only used for calls between users. That’s surely meant to make Pro Care feel less surveillance-y.

“Presence Pro Care uses data from the motion, touch, and entry sensors to detect occupant activity and location information over time (e.g. kitchen vs. bathroom). The system uses this data to learn the activity patterns of the occupant,” explains a company spokesperson in an email to Digital Trends. “Anomalous periods of inactivity may trigger an alert to caregivers and professional monitoring services, as this may indicate that an accident (e.g. a fall) occurred.  With Presence Pro Care, these ‘Ambient Fall Detection’ analytics serve as a safety net in case the senior cannot reach the Emergency Button or a phone to call for help.”

The most basic kit starts at $99 and includes an emergency button and hub. It also requires the monthly monitoring fee. For $249, users get five motion sensors, a pill dispenser, emergency button, two entry sensors, and the hub. More sensors, including one for water, are included in the next level up for an additional $100.

Editors' Recommendations

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
7 things you didn’t know your home security system could do
SimpliSafe bast station sitting on a table infant of a mirror.

Your home security system is the main line of defense against burglars and unwanted visitors. It can provide peace of mind when you're away, but there are a lot of things your security system can do that you might not be aware of. For example, rather than just catching suspicious activity, it also lets you record your pets being silly for video clips worthy of America's Funniest Videos.

With the right setup, your home security system can extend its functionality far beyond the basics. Here are seven things you didn't know your home security system could do.
Connect to your smart home to disarm the system and turn on the lights
When you come inside, your first step is typically to turn on the lights and/or disarm your security system. You can actually disable your security system with the right key code and connect it to your smart lights so they automatically turn on when you enter the code. You can also connect it to other smart devices like a smart plug to turn on other devices.

Read more
This smart sensor gives you a first row seat to birds singing in your backyard
terra natural migration 1, sensor, nature sounds,

If you’ve ever put on one of those nature soundtracks in hopes of chilling out, you know most of them can be tinny, repetitive, and usually sound pretty fake. What if you could tune directly into the actual sounds of nature, happening live at sites around the world? The thundering splash of a waterfall in Hawaii, the drum of hoofbeats at a watering hole in Africa, or the song of tropical birds in Costa Rica are all at your beck and call with a new device and mobile platform that’s launched on Kickstarter.

Terra has two components. One is a listening and tracking device, the other allows you the ability to connect to the Terra network and enjoy real natural sounds in your own home.

Read more
7 places where air quality sensors are most effective at home

Keeping your home's air clean and free of pollutants is the work of an air purifier. While combative, these devices are designed to only break down and destroy pollutants -- not to analyze them. That's where an air quality monitor enters the equation. Today's leading air quality monitors are engineered to detect the pollutants streaming through your home's air. Here's why that's important.

The pollutants in our homes

Read more