Motion Trackers Inside Every Home ? Latest Technologial Idea To " Assist " Carers ... Or Not?

**Centrica’s motion tracker service aims to assist unpaid carers.

Firm will install devices in homes of elderly, disabled and ill people for monthly fee.**


**_British Gas owner Centrica is planning to put motion trackers in the homes of elderly, ill and disabled people as part of a service aimed at easing the concerns of millions of unpaid carers.

The company has already built a connected home business selling smart thermostats and other devices to more than a million households. In the latest sign of how the UK’s biggest energy company is diversifying away from traditional electricity and gas supply, Centrica’s Hive unit is launching a subscription service to help unpaid carers keep track of those they look after.

The service, which costs £15 a month, plus a one-off £150 charge upfront, will involve British Gas engineers fitting sensors in the home of the person being cared for, with their permission. Carers receive alerts via an app if anything out of the usual routine happens, such as a kettle not being switched on at the same time each day or a room not being entered.

Claire Miles, the managing director of Hive, said the firm hads been able to launch the scheme because it had insight from thousands of its employees who are also unpaid carers, as well as the technology and people capable of installing it sensitively.

Miles said: “I can speak from personal experience about how challenging it is for carers, who are often looking after a loved one in their own time, while running their own busy lives.”

She said her 81-year-old mother, who is one of 100 people to have taken part in trials of the technology this year, found the service reassuring and not intrusive. “She’s absolutely fine about it,” said Miles.

Asked if the technology could be seen as reducing the need to visit people, Miles said the service was not intended to replacing caring.

“This is absolutely not a replacement for any care provision. It’s to help the lives of carers and their loved ones, to make it easier to care and improve the quality of conversation and interaction,” she said.

Helen Walker, the chief executive of Carers UK, a charity that has partnered with Centrica on the Hive project, said the initiative would “give carers reassurance, helping them have a life of their own alongside caring and enabling those they support to stay at home and be independent for longer”.

Centrica thinks the potential market for the product runs into millions of households. According to the Social Market Foundation, the number of people caring for a family member in the UK has reached 7.6 million.

Miles said: “I do think it will become an established market. All of the huge social macro trends, like the ageing population, point towards that.”

When it launches in the next few weeks, the Hive Link service will not feature a camera but will include motion sensors, plug sensors – to monitor a regularly used appliance such as a TV – and window and door sensors. In the future, Miles said, the technology could expand to detect falls and provide help with managing medicines._**

Nice to see our new ceo Helen Walker get a mention ?

( Not a good start … see below. )

Interesting … a worthwile addition ? … money making scheme ?

Including the elderly without carers … market of 12 million … at £ 150 sit down money , and £ 15 per month thereafter … that’s some numbers to digest … will the shareholders approve of the potential return on the costs involved ???

How many of the potential 12 million will NOT be able to afford this device ???

1 in 5 … 1 in 4 … even less ?

In essence , " Alarm " goes off whever the carer is … the carer on the elastic band scenario … be real " Fun " if said system developes a fault … say , when the cat walks across the room ?

Or , come an interruption in the power supply … device needs to be reset ?

For all lone carers out there … including all the elderly living alone … device goes off and local SS are on the other end ???

At 2am on a Monday morning … weekend ( For some ? ) … bank holiday ???

Cuts both ways.

Whenever " New technology " rears it’s head , I put myself in the position of one holding the purse strings.

As such , I will only need to know the answer to one question.

" How much money will this new device save me ? "

I hope NO supporting organisations will be on a commission kickback by promoting these devices ???

You have been warned !

The government are desperate to apply ‘tech-fixes’ (aka ‘bandaids’ - ie, sticking plasters) over the gaping problems in society, that only PEOPLE can actually sort.

In respect of the gizmo above, wouldn’t it be more reliable simply to have CCTV installed, so that, as you say, if it’s the cat and not the caree, the carer can see that instantly and not drop everything to rush over!

By CCTV I probably mean webcams, thinking about it. Or whatever. The point is, to allow the carer to SEE what is going on.

Parents do that with nannies, so surely it could be done with the elderly too?

The thing to watch with this type of technology is that some Councils are insisting it goes into homes but as it is an ‘on all the time’ surveillance it can be used for monitoring non-carees too, i.e. other members of the family.
It could also monitor where care needs are less than claimed, i.e. number of visits to bathroom overnight.

I’d be very very wary about having one in my home. I won’t have an alexa either.
Would I want my Mum monitored by one? Only if the data came to me alone and not to SS or anyone else. I’d triple check the security and privacy before even considering it.and no i wouldnt have one to turn my heating on either

The only reason I would ever want one in hubby’s room is if I suspected something dreadful. Then I couldn’t watch if, my son in laws would. When I visit, I wouldn’t want to be constantly watched. Am usually just watching t v with him, chatting to him about anything. I do tell him I love him, and although nothing wrong with that ( I do) I would feel odd it being on camera.
Hope it never has to come to it.

I’m also thinking of the scenario where a carer turns it on so they can pop to the supermarket, when there you are in the frozen food aisle when the thing goes off. Are you more worried that caree is moving around unassisted, or if it doesn’t go off that they aren’t moving because they’ve had a stroke?

Damned if you do, damned if you dont :unamused:

Definitely don’t let ANYONE else have the information from any surveillance technique whatsoever!

Like smart meter readings, they are NO BODY ELSE’S BUSINESS but the carer/bill payer!