Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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July 2019

Eight Intriguing Offerings from the 2019 Voice Summit

The Voice Summit, like Voice First itself, is still in its early years.  The second annual event was last week – and you would think incorrectly that at least one writer from a national news media outlet would have written about it by now, especially with 5000 attendees, sponsorships from Amazon and Google, 150 exhibitors, and numerous awards.  One of those which went to UnaliWear for Best IoT Device, a firm we have long tracked in the aging tech market, but given the rise of smart watches, the market transcends that segment. Another (healthcare award went to Suki, a voice notes offering for doctors that "has demonstrated up to 70% reduction in time spent entering notes." 

Voice, Health, and Well-being – Launching a New Report for 2020

It’s a given -- Voice First will be even more pervasive in 2020. The rapid growth of the market for voice-enabled technologies has been a phenomenon within the past two years that can understand spoken requests and commands, answer questions, and even offer scheduled alerts.  Industry firms like Gartner expect that the combination of natural language processing, AI, and speech recognition are driving significant growth in adoption of voice technology across multiple dimensions. Speech recognition, for example, will penetrate 80% of mobile devices by 2020.   Some describe this trend of developing software for voice-enabled device user interfaces as Voice First.

Design for all – what we wanted and what we got

Here’s a test. Can you look at a list, for example, of technologies that vendor websites claim are aimed at older adults and their caregivers -- and substitute younger beneficiaries or health care recipients?  Do designers who develop applications, devices, and websites that appear to target older adults do that exercise of substitution as they proceed from concept to pilot to delivered offering? Was that what was meant in the concept ‘design for all’ in this prescient report ‘Connected Living for Social Aging’ sponsored by AARP in 2011?  Per the report’s definition of ‘Design for all’: User experiences that appeal to all age groups, persisting across versions and devices 

Six new technologies for older adults – July 2019

More smarts are moving into tech for older adults. AI capabilities combined with a Voice First interface is increasingly expected – and so they are part of new offerings to help older adults, bothliving at home or in senior living communities. Will older adults be comfortable with them?  Will they be used effectively to help them remain as safe, independent and/or well as possible? These remain to be validated, but between the smarter homes and the smart devices, we are heading into another wave of innovation.  Here are six technologies (alphabetical order) entering the space – information is drawn from firm websites:

Older adults and screen time – what’s it mean?

Pew’s latest examined screen time for older adults.  The highlight of this document published in June – from age 60 to 80 and beyond, older adults spend more time on their screens (watching TV or videos) than on anything else other than sleep. And that includes time spent working. And one other interesting tidbit – 40% of those in their 60s are still working, which of course includes the un-retired. But 14% of people in their 70s are still working, according to Pew, along with 4% of people in their 80s. The report also notes that 73% of the 65+ are Internet users, and 53% are smartphone users.  As with the younger population, reading and socializing time has ticked down.