Boomers everywhere. So there were 22,000+ attendees average age 62.8, according to AARP. They slogged around the mammouth Orange County Convention Center, stopping by exhibits only when they weren't a mile away (same building) listening to the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Larry King, Rob Reiner, Cesar Milan, Dave Barry, and Newt Gingrich. No question -- AARP puts on a great party.
Lots of tech exhibits. Some new vendors, in particular, described the equivalent of a floor-based focus group -- explaining, demo'ing, getting feedback, perhaps from the target market buyer/influencer about the needs of the target user (the buyer's parents in many cases). A few vendors described situations where the baby boomer attendee even returned to the booth with her mother to learn more. A quick snapshot of new offerings:
Computer Support Buddy. This computer support and advice for anyone 50+ bills itself as a telephone support service (800#) to: "answer computer questions, screen share for questions or fixes, and work with the same Support Buddy every time you call." Learn more at ComputerSupportBuddy.com.
InTouchLink. Launching at the event, InTouchLink is described as 'Simple-to-Use Web Communication for Seniors'. The software provides 'e-mail, Internet, calendar and appointment book, photo album, news, greeting cards, and entertainment." Learn more at InTouchLink.com.
Readeo. A family-focused app for those already comfortable with computers and video, Readeo offers a video-chat application designed to enable long-distance grandparents to read books to their grandchildren using a Readeo library of books. Learn more at Readeo.com.
SilverCare. Described as a 'Daily-Living Assistant', the SilverCare PERS-style offering includes a pendant or digital watch with a 'dedicated button to reach 911 and two-way voice, pre-dialed phone numbers, receive medication and event reminders, get phone calls while seated away from the phone'. Learn more at GoSilverPlus.com.
Sonamba. Launching at the event, this 'well-being monitor monitor for independent living' is described as a "7-inch touchscreen LCD display-based device with built-in sensors. It has built-in cellular communications technology and does NOT require technical expertise to operate or special broadband or WiFi access." Learn more at: Sonamba.com.
Telikin. Available later this fall, this "family computer combines video chat, photo sharing, e-mail into a touch-screen device, also providing a tech support buddy for remotely accessing the device." Learn more at Telikin.com.
In addition, AgeTek vendors were present and their execs were accounted for in an AgeTek product overview panel presented on Saturday, including Dakim, PositScience, BeClose, GrandCare Systems, and eCare Diary.
And finally, the big guns -- gigantic HP and Dell areas for looking at the latest laptops, large booths for Sprint and Hamilton CapTel captioned telephone service for hearing-impaired, a United Healthcare truck with Cisco's telepresence remote consultation, a super-sized Symantec truck, a giant NASA exhibit area with what looked like half of a space ship, and on-and-on-and-on.
And that was just the tech pavilion. :)
The AARP Orlando@50+ event presentations and sessions will be viewable on AARP's website for the next six months -- check it out at AARP's Digital Event website.