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February 2018

Seniors do not benefit from one-off gadget or service inventions

What percent of exhibitors at trade shows survive?  Rant on. It’s not possible to speculate because it is not tracked.  That probably is fine for that gaggle of gadgetry at CES – most acting as trial balloons to test PR-worthiness and buzz.  But what about events whose trade shows are of one-off products or services intended to help older adults? Some events will not allow a small-sponsorship company to be on the show floor, literally placing them in a corner. Consider:  Company B is a startup, not yet a member of a national association. The founder of Company B, CEO B has been too busy inventing a product to line up complementary offerings that could be sold as a solution to a problem. None of the bigger resellers know anything about Company B yet, so the tiny firm takes the corner booth and hopes that on breaks, walking around the floor will generate a business partner or two -- and with serendipity, enable Company B to be part of the solution ABC.

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2018: What technology matters for older adults?

Technology utilization among older adults grew.  According to Pew Research, smartphone adoption in particular grew among older adults.  Interestingly in a later survey, those with Amazon Echo or Google Home devices and apps used their smartphones less.  Self-driving technology was a big topic in 2017, much of the hype including mention of benefits for older adults.  Still not clear why an Uber driving itself is better than a Lyft or Uber with a driver – unless it is the well-publicized incidents about Uber drivers.

Voice First: What you say should help get what you need

What makes Voice First special for older adults?  This blog has discussed the emergence of Voice First technology -- speech-enabled interactions with technology -- on multiple occasions. But this occasion is different -- it marks the publication of a research effort and resulting report linked here called The Future of Voice First Technology and Older Adults 2018.  Today's blog post offers a short excerpt of key differences between Voice First technology and prior tech generations that apply to all users – but are unique for seniors -- future research will continue to explore that uniqueness. So what has inspired multiple organizations, including Benchmark Senior Living and Carlsbad by the Sea, to begin their programs? They see that while Voice First technology is an early market with some (noted) limitations, it also represents, unlike prior technology generations, benefits for users.  For users and tech managers, Voice First is:

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