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To cover this need, smart device makers are trying to create a variety of connectivity solutions. For example, Alarm.com sells a kit of smart-enabled sensors that will tell your phone when your parent gets out of bed. The downside is that you need to have a professional go into your parents' house to install it. Plus, the subscription fees can get pretty steep. OnKöl will cost you only $29 a month—a paltry amount when compared with the cost of a assisted living facility.

Credit: OnKöl

The OnKöl unit takes up the same amount of space as a breadbox.

Good design is what really sets this hub apart... It's a stylish box that can monitor your loved one's wellbeing without being intrusive. It looks like a Swedish-designed radio or chest, lacking the kind of harsh lines that would make it appear more like a medical or security device. And it's light enough to easily to be moved—just a few pounds in weight.

The OnKöl comes ready to work right out of the box. The system includes a set of sensors that are set-and-forget. They can detect when a door is opened or when someone gets out of bed. The unit can also communicate via Bluetooth or USB to any medical device that can handle it. Finally, the OnKöl has a phone input so it can monitor who is calling–important because there are so many phone scams targeting seniors.

Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

The sleek look of the OnKöl allows it to seamlessly blend into your relative's home.

All of this data can be forwarded to you (and anyone else you select to help out) in form of texts. You can also do the reverse, where the OnKöl chimes reminders to your senior relative.

Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

Hookups for phone and ethernet are located on the back.

The OnKöl is such an exciting product because of its flexibility. You can send the family member reminders if they forget to do something necessary, or you can unobtrusively monitor their every move if that's what they need to stay safe and well.. You can share as much or as little of this data with others. It's the closest thing to being with your senior loved one when you can't physically be there.

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Meet the tester

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Lab Manager


Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

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