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January 2024

The Tech User Experience for Older Adults Needs A Reboot

Is the user experience deteriorating? Tech user experience experts focus on everyone except older adults. But there’s a problem:  from AARP’s tech trends survey from 2024 and their 2023 guidance from AARP on inclusive design practices, it’s clear and as the AARP report notes, “No one prefers badly designed, over-complicated products.”  Despite preferences, surveys show that today’s user experience for older adults is more problematic than ever. All are confronted with buggy software and frequent bug fix releases, such a problem on iPhones that an embarrassed Apple redirected software work towards fixing. And Google is no better with Pixel phones

Five trends that matter for older adults and caregivers in 2024 and beyond

The 2024 Technology and Aging Market Overview is online. It provides new information and insights about trends that drive technology change for the older adult marketplace. They represent the context for understanding new technologies discussed and featured in the report. This year is in many ways unusual -- the oldest baby boomer turns 78, AI investment and interest reached fever pitch, and the annual CES show had its highest turnout, with AI everywhere since 2020. These trends include the possible future role of AI, that can help address workforce issues and provide benefit over the coming months and years:

2024 UPDATE: Market Overview Technology for Aging Now Available

Refresh required.  Each year, the Technology for Aging Market Overview is revised in January of the new year.  This year, that revision is being published right after CES 2024, which featured multiple offerings of possible utility to older adults, especially those with physical limitations.  The purpose of the document, however, is to aggregate and review trends from 2023 that shape 2024, technology changes that matter, and offer, by category, a sampling of products, services, and sites of relevance to the older adult market.  As such, the report is intended for those businesses (for-profit, non-profit) and services that want and need to serve the older adult segment.

Eight More Aging and Health Innovations from CES 2024

The show is over, the press dispersed, the awards won.   CES 2024 is over, with 135,000 attendees, and AI as the story of the show, and according to AARP, offering the promise of better aging and even helping to fix the caregiving crisis.  These assertions have been made before, of course. Consider 2020, right before the start of COVID-19. Or CES 2019, when Google Assistant was everywhere and today, when it appears to be ‘going down the tubes.’  In tech, nothing is forever.  CES can provide an opportunity to put a new face, new version, on products that appeared previously (see Nobi and Zibrio Advantage below.)  CES 2024 brought ten offerings of new tech for older adults into view.  And from the same show, here are 8 more:

Ten Technologies for Aging and Health from CES 2024

The press releases signal a busy time in Las Vegas.  Viewed from afar, drowning in press releases, it is clearly a nearly fully revived CES 2024. With 130,000 attendees it’s down a bit from 2020’s peak of 175,000. From electric motorcycles and low-profile automobile antennas, the unfolding TV to robotic pool cleaners and lawn mowers and construction, it sounds like it was a noisy place. Some folks think this is a consumer show, but that was the long-ago Consumer Electronics Show. So many entrants in the AgeTech, accessibility and health categories seek visibility and possible global reach.

Five policy changes from 2023 that will drive more tech for older adults

The 2024 Market Overview of Technology for Aging will be published during CES 2024.  As part of that update, it is worth considering changes that occurred in the past year that matter to older adults and families. Caregiving and other demands of an aging population gained significant government attention and new initiatives during 2023. While some of the actions below will require further funding action from Congress, all of these represent forward momentum for long-needed changes. It is likely that technology enablement and access will be components of each of the initiatives as they evolve.  Categories include:

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