Tech Talk: Tech Can Help

apple watch

By Jarren Ringle

Technology can help us in many ways.  It can wake us up, help us remember things we want to do, help us remember passwords, tell us who is at the door, and read a book out loud.  It can call for help if we fall, alert us when sounds are too loud, and tell first responders what allergies we have and the meds we take.  The list goes on and on.  Yes, it can help.

Let’s look at just a few that are useful as we grow older. 

Do you use the calendar on your smartphone?  If so, it can do more than just organize your time.  If you add the address of your appointment in the entry, you can use that address to enter your phone’s “map” function and get a turn-by-turn navigation.  If you set a reminder in the calendar with the time you want an alert before the appointment, your phone will tell you when to leave.  Your phone may also tell you the driving conditions and how long it might take you to get there.

Do you share your calendar with someone?  I do.  I share it with my wife and my son.  They both know where I’ll be so if something happens, they will have a place to start or know who to alert.

Would it be helpful if your smartphone reminded you to take the trash to the curb every Tuesday, replace the furnace filter on the first of the month, or water the plants every Friday?  You can set your reminders to be recurring and at what frequency.

Did you know first responders check for smartphones during an accident?  They know how to check the phone for meds you take and medical conditions you might have.  They can do it without unlocking your phone.  Both Apple and Android phones have that feature and search how to set it up on your phone’s manufacturer’s website.  It does save lives!

So let me make this personal.  

I have an Apple smartphone and an Apple watch.  If I fall my watch can sense it and ask if I am OK.  If I respond that I’m fine nothing happens.  If I don’t my emergency contact is notified.  If they don’t respond my phone dials 911 and gives them my location.  This feature saves lives. 

If my heart rate goes too high or too low, I am notified.  If my heart is showing signs of AFIB, I am notified.  This feature saves lives.

When we need something added to the shopping list, we tell our home assistant to add it to the shopping list.  When we leave to go shopping we tell the home assistant to print the shopping list.

When someone comes to our front door we get an alert that a person is there without the person ringing the doorbell and we are shown what they are doing on our phones and the home assistant. 

Our home thermostat sets the temperature on a schedule and monitors the interior air quality. 

My car tells me if it is unlocked and where it’s parked.

Tech can help.

Jarren Ringle is a member of SourcePoint and a volunteer instructor. SourcePointers come to Jarren for tutelage on their tablets, laptops, and the most popular of all devices – cell phones. He teaches various technology classes throughout the year including one-on-one sessions and group classes. Jarren also volunteers at the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. With many years of project management experience in various technology fields, he enjoys helping others with technology.

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