Göz: A Duo of Smart Home Monitoring Devices for Bathroom Safety, by Berk Ilhan


Designed by Class of 2015 student Berk İlhan, Göz is a family of smart, home-monitoring devices aimed at making the bathroom a safer place. Göz consists three elements: a smart, motion-detecting LED bulb, a smart, motion-detecting bathtub drain, and a companion app and platform. The smart bulb detects falls in the bathroom and then calls for help, and the smart bathtub drain detects falls, or lack of motion in the tub area, and automatically pops up to drain the bathtub, preventing drowning.

“Design research revealed that bathroom is very dangerous place for both young and old alike, but surprisingly, there isn't a smart safety product in the market that is 'cool' to have.”

Here's how it works: The Göz ecosystem is installed very easily. Users screw the bulb into any overhead light fixture, and drop the drain plug into any existing bath fixture. (Both of these elements are designed to be inconspicuous and modest; user research revealed that people didn't want visitors walking into their bathrooms and thinking, "oh, this is a person who's worried about falling.) The user then downloads the mobile app and selects which family members and friends should be called in case there is a fall in the bathroom.

The smart bulb automatically detects falls using proximity sensors. Its built-in speaker and microphone—located at the midpoint of the bulb—turns the device into a 2-way speakerphone, providing a hands-free way for the injured person to communicate her or his needs effectively, and helping the people who are on the way over to be better prepared. Additionally, the phone communication provides a way to give psychological support before help arrives.

Since bathtubs and showers are usually isolated from the bathroom with a curtain or glass, the smart bathtub drain was created. If the device detects any unusual shock patterns—say, a fall in the shower, or zero motion in the tub longer than a determined duration of time—the smart drain warns the user. If it doesn’t receive a response, the device automatically pops up, drains the bathtub, and calls for help. (The smart drain in connected to the bulb via Bluetooth, allowing it to be compact with low energy consumption.)

The project and its namesake were inspired by the traditional Turkish icon of protection—the “evil eye bead”—believed to protect people from injuries and accidents. The word “göz” is the Turkish translation of the word “eye”.

İlhan envisions Göz to be an essential safety device in the smart home monitoring market, and sees a huge opportunity to adapt Göz to other rooms or other environments as a way to provide robust safety with connectied devices that are both contemporary and inconspicuous.