With smart technology on the rise, the next few years will see more and more people using smart technologies to boost convenience, cut down on daily pains, and enhance everyday life. Soon remembering to turn off lights and make coffee will be a thing of the past. But one often missed benefit of smart technology is improved safety. Smart technology has the potential to improve health and save lives. Here are three ways smart technology could improve safety in your life:
According to the CDC, accidents or unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Also according to the CDC, the most deadly types of accidents are falls, unintentional poisonings and car crashes, all of which could be largely prevented by adoption of smart technology.
Research shows that fall risk can be predicted, with serious falls typically preceded by lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, balance difficulties, vision problems and so on. While people aren’t very good at spotting these risk factors, smart health devices could catch them well ahead of time, and indicate fall risk before the risk becomes an injury. Unintentional poisonings could be prevented in much the same way, with health devices warning people before they confuse Tic Tacs for Tylenol.
The Stanford Center for Internet and Society says that around 9 in 10 car crashes are caused by human error, and well, computers aren’t human. While autonomous driving is still in its early stages, tests from companies like Tesla show that computers have the potential to be much safer drivers than people, reducing car crashes.
Catching Problems Before You Do
Beyond accidents, plenty of dangers stem from simple hazards of everyday life, like forgetting to turn off the oven or not noticing the carbon monoxide alarm going off. But smart technology can help avert these dangers, turning off the oven automatically, or not only setting off a siren but even venting the house when carbon monoxide is detected. “Smart technology, quite simply, catches problems before you notice they’re problems, and fixes them just as quickly,” said Audio Video Experience.
More importantly, smart technology can learn, and often much faster than people. If you have a habit of leaving the bathtub full when the baby’s playing nearby, not only will the next generation of tools empty the bathtub, but they’ll also warn you when you’re doing something irresponsible, and keep reminding you until you change your habits.
Doing Your Dirty Work for You
Have you ever sliced your finger cutting vegetables, or scalded your hand boiling water? Then you know that a number of common tasks can be fairly dangerous. USA Today says that in 2011, over 83,000 people were treated in US hospital emergency departments for injuries caused by lawn mowers, and those are only the injuries caused by mowing lawns. A smart mower wouldn’t need you to push it around, and a smart kitchen could cut your vegetables and boil your water pain-free. But the power of smart technology to take the danger out of dangerous jobs doesn’t stop in the home.
Time Magazine lists logging wood, flying planes, industrial farming, steel work and fixing power lines as among the most dangerous jobs in America, and all of these jobs can be done by machine. With smart technology in place, we don’t need people to risk their lives cutting down trees or working around high-voltage lines, and suddenly workplace danger becomes a thing of the past.
As we see more smart technologies pervade our lives, life is going to become a much safer place. No longer will we have to worry about leaving the house unlocked on a busy day, losing a finger making the perfect salad, or mixing up pills that are almost identical. Smarter tools will enable us to live smarter lives, and safety will become an afterthought.
Over the next few years, life is bound to change drastically, and the way we think about staying happy and healthy will surely change with it. But please don’t go tossing the fire alarm just yet.