cell phones, smartphones

A mobile phone (also called mobile, cellular telephone, or cell phone) is an electronic device used to make mobile telephone calls across a wide geographic area. Mobile phones are different from cordless telephones, which only offer telephone service within a limited range of a fixed land line, for example within a home or an office. A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. Smartphones and feature phones may be thought of as handheld computers integrated with a mobile telephone, but while most feature phones are able to run applications based on platforms such as Java ME,[2] a smartphone usually allows the user to install and run more advanced applications. (Source: Wikipedia)

Can anyone make money with designs that are just for seniors?

The more innovation there is, the more some things don’t change.  Stroll through this Aging 2.0 Summit link – and you will see pages of logos of new, newer, and newest companies trying to make a technology or product that could be used to serve seniors – or perhaps help those who serve them. Or the AARP Health50 Live Pitch, or the Stanford Longevity Design Challenge or the Quintiles competition at Wake Forest in North Carolina. Yet again and again, the question bubbles up – can firms make money creating and selling technology or other innovations specifically designed for seniors?   >>> Read more . . .

Electronic Caregiver Company's Health Innovations Promise to Excite Smart Phone Adoption by Seniors!

04/14/2015
The Electronic Caregiver Company, SameDay Security, Inc., has organized an innovative team of software development engineers, PhDs in Kinesiology, biomechanics engineers, medical professionals, and the resources of a $13M Senior Fall Research Laboratory at New Mexico State University.  The latest Electronic Caregiver innovations are being designed for incorporation in smartphones like the iPhone 6, smart watches like Apple Watch, and wearable devices such as Google Glass.

Droplet reinvents how people remember things

04/14/2015

April 14, 2015 – San Francisco, CA –Droplet is a smart, wireless button that you can attach to anything. Simply tap the button to reliably track activities such as household chores, fitness goals and taking medication. Once you’ve completed the task and pressed the Droplet button, your progress is recorded through a dedicated app, setting a habit-forming process in motion.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/653567732/653179030?token=9a084279 >>> Read more . . .

In Defense of Good-Enough Gadgets

Why you should resist the 'cult of the new and shiny' and embrace last year’s smartphone

04/13/2015

The accelerating pace of useless technology upgrades

Tech companies want consumers who can be herded forward.  There was the magic of the iPhone 6 and the 6-plus.  By the time those came out, the old iPhones were tired, maybe too slow -- Apple fans were eager, if not desperate for a better device. Then not so long after Samsung introduced its Galaxy S4 in May 2013, it announced the S5 in February 2014. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Edge (and their updates) showed up this week -- hustled out the door to keep pace with media mega-hype of the Apple Watch. How wonderful and different are the new Samsung gadgets from the S3 and S5?  Wait for it – startup with a finger swipe, a curved edge and again imitating Apple… no removable batteries. Oh, so the new phones have a 12-hour battery life?  Well, you can charge the phone within 15 minutes to get 4 hours of life out of it? Not so good when the day is long. >>> Read more . . .

The PERS industry must do a better job of serving seniors

These are tech transition times for everyone – including seniors and their devices.  In case you didn’t see it, the Pew numbers about smartphone use are out – 27% of the 65+ have smartphones, up from 19% last year. Given the date of that data (from last fall), let’s just assume that this number is actually lower than today's reality.  So why should a PERS reseller or manufacturer care?  First because carriers don’t want to sell feature/clamshell phones any more. They make it difficult to even find them. They are selling smartphones to people who don’t want or use all of the features they have, but they’re buying them anyway because that is what they’re being sold.  In retrospect, Philips Lifeline might have seen the near term PERS future – and it could be a smartphone – and thus an app. And thus -- why have more than one device? And why not pair a tiny pendant or clip to a smartphone? Or make a watch? >>> Read more . . .

Smartphone usage by older adults is up -- why?

Times change, so do phones. One year ago according to the latest from Pew, 18% of the 65+ had a smartphone – today, 27% have them. Why? Well, for one thing, when a phone breaks, smartphones are easy to find in the store as directed by a rep and online, while ‘basic’ phones (Verizon has 6 unique basic phones) are buried under pre-paid plans. AT&T's two unique brands are very difficult to find, with a handful of non-contract Go Phones – found online after wading through a gazillion smartphone choices. Also, 41% of people aged 65-69 are smartphone owners, perhaps side effects of working longer, greater longevity, families with pics, videos, and chats that must be seen NOW. But still, more than 70% of the 41 million 65+ still do not have smartphones. This likely isn’t because of the cost of the plans (43% of smartphone owners pay between $50 and $100) – only 10% of the 65+ are statistically classified as living in poverty. >>> Read more . . .

Five new technologies from the 2015 Boomer Business Summit and ASA

In Chicago it was all about boomers and seniors. Last week Aging in America framed several days in Chicago of multiple other related events about and for professionals in caregiving, boomers and seniors. The market-facing event that always attracts multiple executives from organizations like AARP, United Healthcare, Ziegler, Linkage, and many startups was the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit (led by Mary Furlong and now in its 12th year).  Here are five technologies new and/or not previously noted from ASA and What's Next -- all information is from the companies' websites or press releases: >>> Read more . . .

Five (pretty smart) watches – acknowledging that seniors exist

Should smart watches target and serve seniors? Erik Wicklund observed in mHealth News that the smartwatch hype about Apple’s rock-the-world has mesmerized the media. He mentions Microsoft Band and Pebble. Really from a hype-opmeter perspective, that was gracious, but those products already shipping are not generally thought of as ‘MAGICAL.’  Do seniors need a Smartwatch? Does anyone need all the smarts being invented?  Let’s just call that a rhetorical question for now. Note these five smart watches for seniors, in alphabetical order, information from websites or reviews. These are available now or planned to be released soon: >>> Read more . . .

For seniors stranded by geography, improve service and technology

The census highlights difficulty for family caregivers and the 80+.  Last week we posted an analysis of US Census data revealing those locations in the US with low Caregiver Support Ratios (CSR) – in other words, seniors aged 80+ stranded with limited care availability. CSR (discussed in this landmark AARP report) represents the population aged 45-64 who could (though they may not be) able to help seniors aged 80+ and includes both family and professional caregivers.  The AARP report indicated a current nationwide average of 7 people available to help care for 1 person aged 80+.  The report warned about those future years when baby boomers turn 80 and the ratio drops to 4:1 and lower. However, further analysis reveals a current potential problem in locations such as: >>> Read more . . .

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