A Deafblind’s Home

In a world without sight and hearing, where delivery men get missed, stunning overrunning water floods the lovely people downstairs, incurring a £600 bill for damages, and people fail trying to get my attention…

Let me explain how I have addressed some of the issues I encounter being deafblind through using home automation technology.

A homemade video that is very much visual, showing the challenges I face daily. Later on in the video, I demonstrate some solutions, in International Sign (IS) and British Sign Language (BSL).

Knock, Knock!

When someone knocks on the door, the door vibrates, and when it vibrates well, SmartThings Multi-Sensor can detect it. This sends a notification to my watch, through my phone and the Internet. With a custom message “Knock, Knock!”

Windows, doors & fridges shut?

My partner ❤ to buy heavenly delicious foods and storing them in the fridge… only for them to be fed to the rubbish bin instead after I’ve left the fridge door open!

The SmartThings Multi-Sensor composes of two magnetic parts that can be stuck to any two parts which, when disconnected, send out a notification. This can work with a presence sensor so that I’m notified when I’ve left the kitchen with the fridge door open.

Is someone near me?

When there is something moving near me, the SmartThings Motion Sensor can tell me. I place it strategically because of its short-sightedness at around 15 feet and its field of view at around 120 degrees — far better than my sight, 12x times better in fact.

Water overflow or leak?

Not being able to hear or see running water can produce very costly repair bills — especially when downstairs, because of a small damp patch, needs its entire hallway to be repainted or re-wallpapered.

SmartThings Moisture Sensor to the rescue. At its base are two very tiny bumps, like two rods, that notifies me whenever it senses some water in between them. Remember the science class? :-) I place this underneath the sink and on the floor in the bathroom.

Where is the light switch?

I have a room with the switch at the other side of the room filled with delicately balanced obstacles. No problem! I have a SmartThings Power Outlet that sits in between the light plug and the power socket. This is controlled not by the socket switch, but by a button on my iPhone through the SmartThings app.

This leads to greater possibilities, read on…

Light alert

I’m in the shower, how can the phone or watch alert me? A better solution is to switch on a light near the shower.

The SmartThings app allows me to chain events with events in a simple way. Like chaining the water leak to a light switch.

What about you?

Are you’re deaf, blind or deafblind? I look forward to reading what you have done to your home :)


The deliveries don’t get missed, the flooding doesn’t happen on a routine basis, and people get greeted, but…

I’ve really only just scratched the surface of the many more possibilities for a deaf, blind or deafblind’s home.

The things above don’t constitute a #SmartHome — for example, water valve to turn off when there is a leak detected; the delivery man hearing an automated voice asking them to leave the delivery at the back...

Watch this space.