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TonyT

Suggestions for severely visually imparied newbie

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I'm severely visually impaired and it's just getting worse.   My current vision is such that when looking at those line charts in the optometrists office I can only read the first line, the one with the single big letter.     I can only read computer, table or phone screens with larger font and white/yellow text on a black background.   White backgrounds overload those few remaining rods and cones.   And my retina disease does not have a name although they can see what it looks like.     In some unknown number of months I will be unable to read although, for a while, I will some peripheral vision.   (Excuse any typos now and in the future.)

So I bought my first Google Home Mini and quite liked it so I bought some more for my junk room aka office and bedroom.  I'm transitioning from an Android phone to an iPhone as iPhones have much better accessibility support for visually impaired/blind folks.    So I've figured out how to have appointments and reminders added via voice to the Google Home Mini appear on my iPhone.   That works surprisingly well.   It's also quite nice that I can ask my Home Mini what my appointments and reminders are for today or the next week.

I also had my nephew put in Wifi light switch for the bathroom.   TP-Link HS-200.    So now I can easily get up in the middle of the night.

So now I want to automate a few more things.  I should also add that I'm a hardcore software developer and techie.   So I like Brian's review of the Hubitat and it's local processing and intend on purchasing that.   

My heating is electric baseboard, this is Manitoba, with Stelpro thermostats in each room.    As they will be very difficult for me to set the temperature accurately I will be replacing those with the Stelpro z-wave thermostats.    

Next I plan on replacing the deadbolt with a smart lock however it will not be a touch screen.   When I lose my reading vision it's going to be hard to find the touch screen buttons.   Some of the lock manufacturers though have smart locks with keypad buttons so I will be able to find those by feel and my peripheral vision that I have left.    Then I plan on purchasing a key fob or maybe a simple push button switch for my key chani to unlock the door when I'm in the hallway.

After that no idea.  I don't care about lights and scenes and stuff as I can hit those switches myself.     Oh, I do want a door sensor on my patio door jusit for grins and giggles even though there is a dead bolt style of lock.  There is also glass right next to it.

Edited by TonyT
Make things a bit clearer.
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3 hours ago, TonyT said:

I'm severely visually impaired and it's just getting worse.   My current vision is such that when looking at those line charts in the optometrists office I can only read the first line, the one with the single big letter.     I can only read computer, table or phone screens with larger font and white/yellow text on a black background.   White backgrounds overload those few remaining rods and cones.   And my retina disease does not have a name although they can see what it looks like.     In some unknown number of months I will be unable to read although, for a while, I will some peripheral vision.   (Excuse any typos now and in the future.)

So I bought my first Google Home Mini and quite liked it so I bought some more for my junk room aka office and bedroom.  I'm transitioning from an Android phone to an iPhone as iPhones have much better accessibility support for visually impaired/blind folks.    So I've figured out how to have appointments and reminders added via voice to the Google Home Mini appear on my iPhone.   That works surprisingly well.   It's also quite nice that I can ask my Home Mini what my appointments and reminders are for today or the next week.

I also had my nephew put in Wifi light switch for the bathroom.   TP-Link HS-200.    So now I can easily get up in the middle of the night.

So now I want to automate a few more things.  I should also add that I'm a hardcore software developer and techie.   So I like Brian's review of the Hubitat and it's local processing and intend on purchasing that.   

My heating is electric baseboard, this is Manitoba, with Stelpro thermostats in each room.    As they will be very difficult for me to set the temperature accurately I will be replacing those with the Stelpro z-wave thermostats.    

Next I plan on replacing the deadbolt with a smart lock however it will not be a touch screen.   When I lose my reading vision it's going to be hard to find the touch screen buttons.   Some of the lock manufacturers though have smart locks with keypad buttons so I will be able to find those by feel and my peripheral vision that I have left.    Then I plan on purchasing a key fob or maybe a simple push button switch for my key chani to unlock the door when I'm in the hallway.

After that no idea.  I don't care about lights and scenes and stuff as I can hit those switches myself.     Oh, I do want a door sensor on my patio door jusit for grins and giggles even though there is a dead bolt style of lock.  There is also glass right next to it.

These kind of requirements feel like something you could help with @FrankE

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I think you have a great start!  @FrankE will definitely have some great options for you as well, but what are you thinking of automating?  I think of things like getting a speaker in your home working and getting some sensors to tell you if doors like the front door, fridge, etc. are open.  I also think about things like getting incredible sound together, so something like the Echo Studio might be a lot of fun.

Anyways, let us know what you're thinking and I'm sure this great community can pull some options together for you!

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Hi Tony,

I'm sorry to hear about your diminishing eyesight, but I do have some suggestions for you.

Since you are an iPhone user, There is a great app called Microsoft Seeing AI (yes Microsoft for IOS...)  that one of my clients loosing her vision found very useful. If you use it, please post some feedback

https://technology4seniors.com/vision

I also just posted a "room navigation buy ear" solution that might be of interest.  Its pretty crude right now, but I'm working on other waypoints with better non-wearable presence detectors for locations such as Stove, Fridge, Sink.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYsY-BOeZsA

In regards to patio door sensor, I found a really interesting model that might work on your door. Please post a picture and maybe someone has a working solution

I'd be interested to see what others come up with in the way of front door locks. I have both Schlage and Kwikset electronic deadbolts. The Kwikset is voice controlled by Alexa, but for unlock you have to also say a PIN for security.

Here is a tip for a little known feature called audio descriptions which will description what is going on in a video when no actors are speaking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2ocyNFBvZQ

 

Frank

Patio slider.jpg

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On 11/9/2019 at 12:10 PM, TonyT said:

INext I plan on replacing the deadbolt with a smart lock however it will not be a touch screen.   When I lose my reading vision it's going to be hard to find the touch screen buttons.   Some of the lock manufacturers though have smart locks with keypad buttons so I will be able to find those by feel and my peripheral vision that I have left.    Then I plan on purchasing a key fob or maybe a simple push button switch for my key chani to unlock the door when I'm in the hallway.

I later realized that I will never be using the touch screen after the deadbolt is setup.   I will either have the key in my pocket or a key fob unlocking the door.   Even if I'm just going for the mail I will always have the physical key and my phone in my pocket. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 5:07 PM, AYL_Brian said:

I think you have a great start!  @FrankE will definitely have some great options for you as well, but what are you thinking of automating?  I think of things like getting a speaker in your home working and getting some sensors to tell you if doors like the front door, fridge, etc. are open.  I also think about things like getting incredible sound together, so something like the Echo Studio might be a lot of fun.

Anyways, let us know what you're thinking and I'm sure this great community can pull some options together for you!

I don't have any other plans of automating.   Door sensors yes.  I can see having some small gatherings where I dno't know the people.  So I'm thinking of adding door sensors to my utility room, junk room aka office and bedroom.   Then putting a smart bulb in the entry way where it will flash if any of those doors are opened.   Maybe along with my Google Home Mini's announcing "Intruder alert".    Yes, I have watched Star Trek.    Ok, ok, I want that light to flash red off and on.    And, now that I think about it, my hallway light too.      Hehehe

Fridge door no because that's never been a problem.   Incredible sound is a meh kind of thing for me.   Yes, I'm not an audiophile.  

I can see possibly having a water sensor in case the hot water thank develops a leak but I'm not sure exactly where the best spot would be for the sensor.   Next to the floor drain where it can be tripped over.  Or next to the hot water tanik but if a leak develops and drains beside the water sensor then it's useless.

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On 11/9/2019 at 5:07 PM, AYL_Brian said:

Anyways, let us know what you're thinking and I'm sure this great community can pull some options together for you!

Actually I get my ideas from reading other postings and reading the online stores while I still have some useable reading vision.

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On 11/9/2019 at 6:19 PM, FrankE said:

Hyou are an iPhone user, There is a great app called Microsoft Seeing AI (yes Microsoft for IOS...)  that one of my clients loosing her vision found very useful. If you use it, please post some feedback

https://technology4seniors.com/vision

I also just posted a "room navigation buy ear" solution that might be of interest.  Its pretty crude right now, but I'm working on other waypoints with better non-wearable presence detectors for locations such as Stove, Fridge, Sink.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYsY-BOeZsA

In regards to patio door sensor, I found a really interesting model that might work on your door. Please post a picture and maybe someone has a working solution

I'd be interested to see what others come up with in the way of front door locks. I have both Schlage and Kwikset electronic deadbolts. The Kwikset is voice controlled by Alexa, but for unlock you have to also say a PIN for security.

Here is a tip for a little known feature called audio descriptions which will description what is going on in a video when no actors are speaking

Yes, I'm familiar with the Mcirosoft Seeing AI app and have it installed.

Your seeing by ear is a very interesting concept but keep in mind that folks who have limited vision navigate their homes and other familiar places by touching halls and doorways.   At least that's what I do when the lights are out.   The fridge is to my right, sink straight ahead, stove to my left, etc.    A very common complaint is when you or another family member leaves the dishwasher door open or something in the way while you walk or furniture that's been moved.  I once stepped on the tail of a cat while at a relatives farm.  I simply didn't see the cat in front of me.

GE has a WiFi enabled microwave which isn't yet available in Canada but it will be highly useful soon.  

My patio door is just a regular door with an interior latch system to pull the door tight into the door seals.  (It's -13 C or 8 American so we like door seals.)     So I would think any magnetic door sensor would work.

The voice unlock with a PIN is somewhat silly given that anyone who is inside just has to physically unlock the door.    Now granted if you were trying to do this outside and you were connected to the WiFi then yeah I can sort of see why a PIN might be necessary.   The reality though for me is that it's not a big deal to use a key to lock and unlock the door.  So I might never get around to that one.

And yes I'm familar with audio descriptions as I see those mentioned in the visual impairment support group I belong to in Facebook.

I have no idea what that photo is supposed to mean.   Or is it part of a patio door?

Edited by TonyT

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Hi Tony,

You certainly are right about those who are blind being able to memorize and find their way around their own home. In the case of the person I'm setting  this up for she is also suffering from severe memory loss and forgets the home layout. She lives with her husband, so this is just a way to give he a bit of independence and to give him a break

In regards to the Wi-Fi microwave, I haven't tried it but there is an Alexa microwave and smart oven

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07894S727/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_BMCYDb9A22009

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XSCBSN5/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_qOCYDb4B5BS0E

Oh, that photo is of a very thin closure sensor for patio door that is mounted slider door

Frank

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