A not-so-complimentary NY Times hands-on review of the AARP RealPad.
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Ready or not, builders, here comes aging tech in the home
Builders have little interest in changing their home-design practices to accomodate seniors -- unless pressured by consumers who want their homes designed that way, of course. In fact, in Florida, universal design standards are not part of the building code for new buildings, although contractors can be certified in it as well as becoming certified aging in place specialists, as endorsed by AARP.
Most 'smart homes' you can find in the US today are sitting on campuses of universities with graduate programs (funded by federal research grants) in various aspects of aging. One day I'll assemble a full list in a blog entry, although this Gerontechnology site mentions many.
So it is refreshing to see an actual business jump in with both feet. Eskaton, a California provider of senior living facilities, is making a splash with a demo home in Rosedale, CA, that it hopes will serve as an example of a tech-enabled home that will help baby boomers live better as they age, or even (who knows) help them help their parents age more successfully in their own homes. It features a Grandcare sensor-based home monitoring system with motion sensors, wireless blood pressure checks, webcams for remote doctor visits, including an Intel Health Guide touch screen, cognitive fitness software, Check it out!
These products and this environment is not in any way verified as the best (perhaps just the first) example of an aging-appropriate and tech-enabled home. But it is a business-based example. Progress!