It was more than 90 years ago that George & Ira Gershwin wrote the classic song “Someone To Watch Over Me” that’s been recorded dozens of times by so many, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Sting, and even Willie Nelson. If there’s someone you need to watch over, or need watching yourself, TruSense may be what you’re looking for.
TruSense is not a video monitoring system with cameras, but rather it uses many different sensors to help keep track of someone in their own home, say an elderly parent who is still independent but you want to make sure is OK without being intrusive, as a camera system might be.
This smart home monitoring system combines its own hub, connected to an existing Internet router, and an Amazon Echo Dot, to allow sensors to be placed around the home: on doors, in rooms, even on a refrigerator or cabinet, among other places, to report back to a smartphone app in real time about your loved one’s activities, or perhaps lack of activities possibly indicating a problem.
The TruSense starter kit includes the hub & Echo Dot, 6 activity sensors to monitor rooms, 2 door sensors to know when they are opened and closed (good for a main & back entrance), plus a visitor key fob to alert when a caregiver or family member arrives. There’s also a smart outlet that allows a lamp to be turned on and off by voice-command to the Echo Dot. And of course, the Echo can perform other tasks around the home and function as a two-way communications device.
Other sensors are available, such as one that can tell of toilet flushes, another for water leaks, plus a GPS module for a vehicle, another that fits in a shoe, and a GPS pendant that works on cell phone network, allowing the wearer to alert someone if they are having a problem outside the home, or automatically if they have fallen, and – need I say it – can’t get up. GPS also provides geo-fencing, to alert if the person being monitored has gone outside a defined area
The TruSense starter kit is sold direct for $199, plus there’s an additional $49 monthly fee for the data plan and 24/7 monitoring service, but no annual contract. The system allows you to set customized alerts and can provide a picture of the monitored person’s day. There’s a 60-day trial period, and they refund the monthly fee if the product is returned within two months.
The system is not foolproof – for instance, no activity in the living room may simply mean an aging parent has dozed off in front of the TV, but has not fallen down & become unconscious. That’s where a video camera might be helpful, but a parent may not want someone watching over them quite so closely.
This is their promotional video: