Custom-Built Smart Home Hopes to Help Wounded Marine


When Marine Corporal Chad Watson came home from war in 2006, he found a different world — not because the world had changed, but because he had. An IED explosion had stolen half of his right leg and left the wounded soldier faced with the challenge of adapting to a new way of life and a prosthetic leg. For the 13 years since then, Cpl. Watson has demonstrated his toughness of spirit and determination by not only surviving, but thriving. In recognition of his service, the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E program partnered with James Galla, the owner of EOC Audio, to provide Cpl. Watson with a brand new smart home.

Cpl. Watson’s new smart home is outfitted with a full suite of technology. Its security system is handled by 2GIG with an Elan control system. The Watsons can view a live video feed of who’s at the door, lock and unlock the house, and control every light in the home. The home’s subsystems have been linked to the control panel, which makes it easy for the family to perform other tasks like closing the blinds, turning on a movie, or turning up the heat.

The home has three TVs, each of which utilizes an Elan HR30 TV remote. While this remote works like any other TV remote, it also has a 2.4-inch touchscreen that links to the smart home’s subsystems. There are six different audio zones throughout the home, including one on the outdoor patio. The family can play music or the TVs through these zones with just a few taps of the control system.

On top of all of the smart home technology, EOC Audio also provided Panamax power protection for the home. These systems protect connected devices against surges so the home remains operational. Galla said his company will work with the Watsons to help fine-tune their smart home system so that it meets their needs.

The creation of this unique smart home honors Cpl. Watson and provides technology-based solutions that help address lingering mobility issues, but it also gives the Marine and his family a comfortable home to where they can live and relax. The actions of James Galla and the Gary Sinise Foundation are a gesture of gratitude for a service member that sacrificed so much for his country.

This is one of many stories that involve the life changing impact of the smart home to people with disabilities, as well as the elderly population. While the smart home serves to help everyone, it’s even more helpful for disabled individuals because devices in the home can be tuned to meet an assortment of needs. Take for example how virtual assistants are leveraged to do simple, everyday tasks, such as turning on/off the lights or searching for content on a streaming service, by simply speaking voice commands to a smart speaker or television. All of this, of course, offers greater independence to help people who would otherwise need assistance.

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