Homes' new tech will gather data and provide more efficient client monitoring. (Michel Elben/Carroll County Times)

The Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory and Target Community & Education Services, Inc., are banking on technology to keep Target’ s clients safe. They launched a Smart Home initiative in two of Target’s alternative living units Wednesday to further enhance the organization’s mission to provide the highest quality of care to adults with disabilities.

The Smart Home Project was made possible in part by a $10,000 Community Care Challenge grant from Point Breeze Credit Union.


Jessica Musselman, Target’s community living director and the liaison between day-to-day-operations and MAGIC, said the alternative living units provide round-the-clock medical, recreational, and daily living support to Target’s clients.

“We’re required to document everything,” Musselman said. “The new Smart Home technology will make it easier to report on trends, abnormalities, and collect overall data that affect the clients. Right now we rely on the staff but the computer will help us see a comprehensive overview.”

MAGIC's new smart homes for adults with intellectual disabilities will haves several aspects of the home controled by computers..
MAGIC's new smart homes for adults with intellectual disabilities will haves several aspects of the home controled by computers.. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

MAGIC executive director Amy Rupp said the homes will be “research and development environments.”

“We’re hoping other companies can try their technology out here at the homes,” Rupp said. “We want to attract technology companies to the community and this demonstrates how we can leverage our broadband infrastructure.”

The Smart Home’s devices are being coordinated by Skayl, a data architecture tools developer and provider. Sonya Hand, Skayl’s director of strategy and marketing, said they are “working to make the devices all talk to each other.”

“We build an ecosystem based on the context of behavioral, medical and environmental data,” Hand said. “For example, once the system is modeled, a mattress sensor can tell how many times a resident gets out of bed and the data can be used to make other things happen in the house, like turning on a light. The sensor can also help detect patterns, like if the resident is restless, or set off an alarm to let someone know a resident is awake.”

Bernie McLaughlin, Point Breeze Credit Union’ s president and CEO, said he had total confidence in MAGIC’s ability to carry the project out.

“It’s not just an installation of technology, it’s also helping people with medical needs,” McLaughlin said. “The future is here today. Everyone could have this kind of thing in their home. It’s amazing. This will put Westminster on the technology map!”