A foward-thinking company has integrated its product with Amazon Echo, showing how smart homes and the ‘internet of things’ can help both older people and their relatives to live independently and be assured of the security of their loved ones.
Originally, 3rings helped families monitor the wellbeing of their ageing friends or relatives through a ‘smart plug’ that connects to domestic appliances such a kettle or a TV. It was created by Steve Purdham so that he and his siblings could rest assured that their 82-year old mother was well. Being an entrepreneur, he was determined to find a way to apply his thinking to support both older people and their friends and family who are concerned for their welfare. There are now 11.6 million over-65s living in the UK and 1.5 million of them over 85.
This latest development for 3rings works with the Amazon Echo in two modes; the first allows friends and relatives to ‘ask Alexa’ if their loved one is safe and okay. The second mode can be used in a loved one’s home; they can ask Alexa to tell 3rings they need help which will send out an immediate alert to their friends and family network.
However, the Amazon Echo is just the start as the system is flexible, allowing it to be tailored to the needs and worries of the family. A range of different sensors or devices can be used to track different areas of concern, for example, ‘Is my mum cold?’, ‘Is my dad eating?’ The ability to integrate with new devices and appliances from 3rings and other manufactures’ as they become available is key and shows how the internet of things can be used to create Things that Care®.
Steve Purdham, Chairman and Founder of 3rings comments, “A key driver behind this development is that by 2020, 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet. By integrating with Amazon Echo it will enable 3rings to transform the face of social care and provide a stronger safety net to help families know their loved ones are okay each day.
“The UK population is getting older and many of our customers are in the ‘sandwich generation’ – balancing work commitments, with caring for older family members and looking after their own children – 3rings has the potential to help. Through this platform we want to stay ahead of the Internet of Things curve and demonstrate how technology can care.”
More than just giving peace of mind to families and loved ones, users have said how it has helped them to move beyond the everyday worries and have a better relationships with their relatives.
Beverly, a 3rings user, says, “3rings helps my sister hugely as she lives with Mum but works full time, and can work now without worrying. A wonderful example of how something so simple can have such a big impact.”
Steve, a 3rings user, says, “One of the big things that mum really liked about the plug, and was key to her accepting it, was that it is very unobtrusive and doesn’t interrupt anything already in place.”
The business was inspired by the traditional three rings code used by families in the times before mobile phones. During its beta phase the 3rings cloud platform and smartphone app linked with an elderly loved one’s landline phone. In 2015 this concept was replaced with the introduction of the 3rings smart plug.