Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Last week, Mount Sinai showcased how it’s started using Nest devices to monitor patients remotely. Today, Google’s showing off how the Nest Hub Max is helping retirement home residents feel a little less isolated amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

To help matters along, the company is currently testing a simplified interface to make the smart screen easier to operate for less tech savvy residents. Google is currently piloting the device’s use in by handing units out to people at Merrill Gardens in Washington State. They’ll be the first to get a crack at the new UI.

Updates include additional “What can you do” cards serving as shortcuts to common requests like alarms, weather and music. Recipients will also get their devices preloaded with contacts for video calls — likely the primary use, as homes across the country institute social distancing.

“It’s important for seniors’ mental and emotional health to stay connected, and social isolation during this quarantine makes doing that especially hard,” Google’s Molly McHugh-Johnson says in a post. “As I learned with my grandma, Nest Hub Max and Duo video calling can help keep us ‘together’ while we’re apart.”

Retirement and nursing homes have been disproportionately impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The elderly community in general has been hard hit by the virus, with a mortality rate of three to 11% for ages 65 to 84 and 10 to 27% for ages 85 and up. For that reason it’s become particularly important for communities to enact strong social distancing measures.


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Arch Rao, the former head of product at Tesla who was behind the company’s Powerwall home energy storage is system, is back with a new company pitching energy management and efficiency for homes.

SpanIO is looking to upgrade the electrical fusebox for homes with a digital system that integrates into the existing circuit breaker technology that has been the basis for home energy management for at least a century. 

Rao and his team are looking to make integrating renewable power, energy storage, and electric vehicles easier for homeowners by redesigning the electrical panel for modern energy needs.

“We packaged the metering controls and compute between the bus bar and the breaker,” says Rao. “Energy flows through the panel through a breaker bar and the breaker bar has tabs that you slot your breakers into… that tab is usually a conductor. We have designed a digital sub-assembly that packages current metering, voltage measurement and ability to turn each circuit on or off.”

The technology is meant to be sold through channels like solar energy installers or battery installers. The company already has plans to integrate its power management devices with energy storage systems like the ones available from LG .

Initially, Span expects to be selling its products in states like California and Hawaii where demand for solar installations is strong and homeowners have significant benefits available to them for installing renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

For homeowners, the new power management system means that they have control over which parts of the home would be powered in the event of an outage. The company’s technology connects the entire home to a renewable system. Using existing technologies, installers have to set up a separate breaker and rewire certain areas of the home to receive the power generated by a renewable energy system, Rao says.

That control is handled through a consumer app available to download on mobile devices.

SpanIO is backed by a slew of early investors including Wireframe Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Ulu Ventures, Hardware Club, Energy Foundry, Congruent Ventures and 1/0 Capital, and intends to raise fresh cash for before the end of the year. Rao said the round would be “in the low double digits” of millions.


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