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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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January 2015

2015: From Niche to Norm -- Technology for Aging in Place

What is the line between a distinct product market and tech customization?  In 2009 when the original Market Overview was published, the search began to identify the small group of entrepreneurs focused on serving seniors – from the AirGuru SV1 Video Phone and Big Screen Live all the way to WellAware and Wellcore.  Why note such a market, you might ask? All of those companies and many others had the heart and focus to try to craft something usable by and for an older adult. In many cases these were inventions compensating for a gap in care and oversight, but most often filling a gap in internet access and/or usability of devices and software.

Five Recent Technology Announcements for Aging in Place

There is more to the world of aging-related technologies than CES. Seriously, can that be true? And yes, I actually know several people who asked me in the past week -- what is CES? My explanation was weak -- there were no follow-up questions. Anyway, these five companies that have been focused on technology to help older adults made recent announcements of changes to their business strategies, products, and/or branding approaches. Each in its own way offers a milestone for the industry -- but taken together, the announcements demonstrate a focus on the older adult population and new ways to deliver benefit for them by providing additional products, service innovations and partnerships during 2015. Text comes directly from company websites:

CES 2015 Part 3 of 3 – Six more innovations useful for older adults

So many companies, so much press.  So far, even though the gadget gadfly media has produced multiple post-CES articles, they are mostly of the gizmos-for-you and even for those health tech companies like Withings, press caught them in the activity-tracking ‘fun’ wearable category. Some write-ups were good visual tours, and some press folk offered up a ho-hum, nothing new to see here view, like the NY Times – Everything Old is New Again. Which is silly. There were a gazillion new things to see at CES, but no way to make sense of them. The floor layout in both convention centers we were in could best be categorized as dart board random -- except for booth numbers and mega-broad categories. So to finish off this trilogy of post-CES blogs, Part 1 addressed a few tech offerings in the aging-related space. Part 2 took a look at a few of the health-related technology innovations. Finally, a few others that could assist in the older adults market, here some additional picks, only OnKöl and VideoforAlle targeting the senior market. As Ars Technica noted about CES 2015, that's a wrap.

CES 2015 Part 1 – Six New Offerings in the Aging Tech Market

International CES 2015 – overwhelming at every turn. What a relief -- it's over. International CES was an extremely difficult venue to sort into useful categories – the Sands Exhibition Hall (part of Tech West) was filled with every health-related variant of wearable, fitness, and lifestyle improvement like Belty that expands as you eat more – as well as Eureka Park. Watch those fit women peddling bikes and running on treadmills, that distance-measured basketball jump shot, and of course -- the pet-related tracker with the large and tippy stuffed dog.  And they don’t call it International for nothing – walking by, saw (or heard) French entrepreneurs (22% of all startups at CES), the Israeli pavilion, Italian, Spanish, German, and of course, Chinese and Japanese. It is an overwhelming show, not for the faint of heart or foot, and that’s just to get from hotels to conferences and exhibits.

The WSJ readers are boomers -- someone should tell the tech writers

The Wall Street Journal thinks that tech will change your life. Perhaps it will even rock your 2015.  Rocking their 2015 is just the kind of experience that WSJ readers -- average age of 57 -- really want.  But the Journal, ever hopeful for pushing down the subscriber age into the ad world's desirable 20’s and 30’s, hopes that the readers will be as excited as their current breathless tech columnists Fowler and Stern. So they want its boomer audience to grasp How to Get Ready. But of course! Starting with Windows 10 – which will have a resurrected Start menu and yes, it will improve multi-tasking – by the fall of 2015. Now aren't you excited?

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