Made in Milwaukee: OnKöl can give families with aging seniors peace of mind

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's a new piece of technology that could help keep aging seniors in their homes longer and give families peace of mind. It's also made in Milwaukee.

"So mom, all she does is plug this unit in, forgets about it, never has to touch it again," said Marc Cayle, founder of OnKöl. "We know exactly what's happening with all of the things that mom is doing."

The device is a little box called OnKöl (pronounced 'on call'). It can help you monitor a loved one's status from anywhere.

"It is a hub that gathers information from almost any peripheral device, meaning blood glucose, weight, home monitoring, such as smoke," said Cayle.

You can set it to remind mom to take her medication -- or monitor how many times dad gets up in the middle of the night. It can also alert you in an emergency -- and you can track everything remotely.

"All of these devices then feed into it and then give us alerts, the adult children or caregivers alerts on our cellphones via text," said Cayle.

OnKöl, which is made in Milwaukee, was a hit at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. It could grow into a success story. But its creators may have to compete with some of the tech industry's Goliaths as similar products get developed.

"The challenge is that they are targeting these two big markets -- one of them being kind of healthcare and the other, this growing interest in tech products that target elderly people," said Alison Bauter, tech reporter for the Milwaukee Business Journal. "So in this case, they are, you know, at the front of this wave. But that's not to say that a company with a lot of money couldn't ride in and kind of capitalize on that same space. So their challenge is to really stand out."

OnKöl's founder thinks the device's attractive look and open architecture will make it unique in the marketplace.

"We think it's going to be extremely well-received," said Cayle.

FOX6 News is told the OnKöl device will be available around mid-2015. The retail price is expected to be around $300.

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