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“When you only have text and images in small bursts, you need to make sure every word counts.”

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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May 2017

Where is the Internet Service plan to train on new technology?

Surveyed about technology, but untrained in its use.  Does this describe someone you know?  According to Pew’s latest report, Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults, but the glass is less than half full when 48% of seniors say that this statement describes them very well: "When I get a new electronic device, I usually need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it."  In fact, the numbers reveal multi-age tech insecurities and the need for training. Consider if you include those who answered that the statement described them Somewhat Well:  62% of those 50-64 and 73% of those 65+ need help in dealing with a new device.  

Older adults and technology – the latest news they cannot use

What problem is being solved? Consider the solution to slightly thorny and REALLY thorny problems. Do you wonder about the thought process that produces them – isolated in a conference room bubble, what are the thinkers considering before these announcements?   Must a misfire (or multiple misfires) precede the right solution? And shouldn't the solutions be of a scale (large or small) that fits or sounds like it fits the problem?

Five new technologies for older adults – May, 2017

In home and out and about – new and not quite here offerings.  The top of the list alphabetically is the not-yet-here and pricey Amazon Echo Show.  Is this a ground-breaking innovation? Or is it an always-watching irritant set to ‘drop-in mode’ which automatically will accept a video call after 10 seconds? On the positive side -- start chatting with an aging parent who lacks or hates PC/Macs, tablets, or smartphones.  Consider the potentially negative response: an intrusive person (your loving relative) sneaks up on your screen, ready to converse when you least expect it. How creepy-Skype-y is it?  Here are the five:

Tech use and seniors, ridiculed in media, otherwise ignored

Tech adoption of the 65+ is now buried in a Pew appendix. If age were an ethnic or racial minority, outrage at technology ageism would be vocal and constant.  The 65+ are a mere 46+ million Americans – a group larger than the sum of all of the teenage population non-shoppers.  So their tech adeptness, rather than being viewed as an opportunity, is naturally ignored in surveys.  For example, scroll down and further down on this Pew fact sheet to note level of ‘Digital Readiness’ among demographic groups.  Note that 6% of the 65+ demographic is 'digitally ready' compared to 17% of all age groups. Note that 33% is characterized as 'unprepared.'  And the same percentage applies to those aged 50-64!

Your Money or Your Life: AARP Fintech and Amazon Show

So many head-spinning numbers to describe the 50+ Consumer.  In making the case for the 'Fintech' innovation market opportunity, AARP’s new Financial Innovation Frontiers report (aimed at the Fintech industry) freely fires off a wide range of market segment numbers.  Is the report about the population aged 50-100?  There are 111 million Americans aged 50 and older, 35% of the US population, described as a 'generation.'  That includes three segments of baby boomers as well as their parents. The report is not about the growing life expectancy of those who live to age 65 with their predicted longevity  (88.8 for women, 86.6 for men). Instead, the report focuses on the 50+ Consumer (their term) aged 50-60 who is a decade away or less from ‘retirement’, an increasingly obsolete term. They are confronted with a range of financial challenges -- the report suggests fintech tools that could help them deal with retirement savings shortfalls resulting from career setbacks ($4.3 trillion savings gap), unplanned withdrawals ($4.1 trillion) and student debt ($1.3 trillion).

The default sharing of you -- a data privacy nightmare

You go, business pro, and so goes your privacy.  [Rant on] You loved your phone but one day a useful part of it breaks…a sad day all around -- amazingly right at the end of the 2-year contract with a carrier. We’ll just call that a coincidence. Today that time period is referred to as a payment plan [and one has the option of paying for the phone in full.] But that is not the topic for today – nor is the topic about the default on Chrome that can no longer be switched off which automatically plays videos.  Advertisers must and will find you. No, today’s rant is about that other torment, shall we say, the Tyranny of the Default – which made an unwelcome appearance, in every sense of the word, on my new phone. That bit of psychology is what is built in to new versions of software – it is both condescending and malevolent at the same time.

Technology and Aging Developments – April 2017 Newsletter

April -- a veritable shower of data, press announcements, and pitches. It was a short but information-filled month of events, announcements, pitches.  The month marked our first foray into the American Community Survey Census data about technology usage of older adults. Much more is possible with this data – including greater inspection of housing, family structure, income as correlated with technology interest (including telehealth).  Each of the April blog posts can be (re)read in full by clicking on the paragraph heading.   

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