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Assistive Housing case study


The Assistive Housing Hub is a display home that showcases state-of-the-arts assistive technologies for people with disabilities, their families and carers.

Featuring the latest innovations from the partners – Techsmax Home Automation, Hafele, and Tunstall Healthcare – the Hub is an innovative project by Haven; Home, Safe and Active Community Housing, aiming to help community care organisations understand the range of in-home technology available for independent supported living. At the Hub, Techsmax is the glue that ties all the technologies together, giving users a simple way to control their environment.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
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Automation


For a hands-on automation experience, you can make an appointment to visit the Assistive Housing Hub at

Level 2, 52-56 Mary Street, Preston VIC 3072

Occupational therapists, builders/developers and other community housing providers can use the Hub and its expert consultants as a resource centre to plan and deliver high-quality housing and modifications.

 
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When we were first contacted about collaboration at the hub, we were mostly looking at lighting control and a few other bits. It wasn’t until we were introduced to Hafele, things started to get existing.

Next to the reception is the main door leading to the Hub, of which the main space is the kitchen with motorised cabinetry; all was manufactured and installed by Hafele Australia.

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We automate the front door and kitchen cabinetry using Fibaro Double Switches, basing the system on Fibaro platform with Fibaro Home Center 2 as the controller.

Hafele’s physical buttons on the appliances are retained whilst we introduce our custom app on mobile devices and voice control integration to users, offering more flexibility to control the living environment.

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
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Assistive Living App

Assistive Living app is designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible, containing a single page with six large buttons.

One 21” touch monitor is mounted on the kitchen counter as the central control panel. 10” tablet is used as individual user’s personal device.

Voice control

The simplest way to control the system is via voice control; it flattens tech interaction into one, familiar action: speaking.

One Amazon Echo Dot is placed next to the 21’ touch monitor on the kitchen counter as voice integration; it supplements other forms of controls, either the custom designed app or the physical buttons on the equipment.

 
 
 
 
 

User profile


In addition to voice control, we create user profiles to accommodate individual needs of different people co-living in the same space.

A person can just say their name to set all the kitchen cabinetry to their preferred height without going around the kitchen pushing buttons.

In the video above, John is in wheelchair so his profile is “low”. Coming into the kitchen, John would say “Alexa, it’s John”, and all the kitchen cabinetry comes down to the lowest setting. John can then quickly reset the kitchen when leaving by saying “Alexa, reset the kitchen”.

A user profile isn’t just the lowest or highest setting for cabinetry, it can be a combination of height from different cabinetry. For example, a short person who is not in wheelchair would like wall cabinets at the lowest setting and kitchen counter and table at the usual height.