UTSA smart home project aims to address needs of San Antonio’s aging population

Students, professors designed a smart home that will be built at the downtown campus

San Antonio – A team of students and professors at the University of Texas at San Antonio joined forces to come up with a solution to fit the needs of people who want to age in their own homes.

“Nearly 90 percent of San Antonians want to live and age in their own home and their communities,” said Dr. Neda Norouzi, assistant professor of architecture at UTSA.

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The team created a universally designed smart home.

“If it’s universally designed, aging in place designed, you will be able to accommodate anyone that comes in,” said Phu Trinh, master student in architecture at UTSA.

Trinh used virtual reality to give us a look inside the house that is filled with technology.

“The sink and the induction cooktop will be able to move according to the height of the person,” Trinh said.

Trinh demonstrated different technology features including a high-tech mirror.

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“For the smart mirror itself, you can have it to whereas when you’re brushing your teeth, you can have the news playing in the background, you can have the weather,” Trinh said.

The home will be built at UTSA’s downtown campus in front of the Monterey building on Buena Vista Street and South Frio Street. It’s also designed to be energy efficient.

“We are going to install energy batteries to generate our own electricity through PV panels. Store it and then we can use it when the sun is not out,” said Antonio Martinez-Molina, assistant professor at UTSA.

Once the construction is complete, they want to open the house to the public for feedback. Students and staff will also work from inside the house and continue their research on these types of structures.

The construction is expected to start in early 2020.

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