The beauty of the smart home is how customizable it can be. Some like it for the energy savings it affords. Others for the convenience of knowing they can monitor the status of their home at any time with a quick glance.
For former software customer success manager Steph Courdin, the smart home has provided a new lease on the mobility that ALS - a terminal neuron disorder - has taken away from his daily life.
A resident of Lakewood, Colorado, Steph was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, joining a community of 30,000 Americans living with ALS/MND and a broader group of 3.3 million whose impaired movement requires a wheelchair.
In a large multi-story home with his wife and three children, living with this disorder makes many everyday activities difficult. Muscular degeneration prevents Steph from raising his hands high enough to reach a light switch or his thermostat, which is inaccessibly located on the second floor.
After trying a variety of different home automation systems, last Christmas Steph found an unlikely solution to regain some autonomy. By connecting various household products with Wink, he found he could easily access and control them just like the rest of his family.
Today, the Courdins have a Wink HUB, Honeywell thermostat, seven GE Link bulbs, six Cree Bulbs, Chamberlain’s MyQ garage door opener (his only wheelchair accessible entrance), a Ring video doorbell, and an Amazon Echo (which has quickly become one of Steph’s wife Stacey’s favorite products). He is able to easily adjust temperature, lighting, and more, all from the Wink app on his iPhone which is mounted to his wheelchair. With the assistive touch feature, the sky’s the limit as to what Steph can do with Wink.
Steph has parlayed his own experience with Wink into speaking with ALS support groups so that others can understand how the smart home might make a difference in their daily lives:
“Wink has made home automation a simple & affordable option, accessible to everyone (compared to thousands of dollars remodeling) especially those of us battling ALS/MND and the limits the diseases impose on trying to live a normal life. I was an avid snowboarder, downhill mountain biker, and equestrian enthusiast. Now, just raising an arm for a light switch is a near impossible task.”
Stories like Steph’s are what keep us going. Hearing that Wink can make a positive impact on someone’s daily life is proof that our mission to make the smart home accessible for everyone is one worth fighting for.