Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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BigScreenLive -- to go

I've become a bit obsessed with searching and thinking about PC simplification products (note previous entries about Presto and Celery) that enable seniors to connect to others (family, friends, caregivers...) Maybe I got into a searching frenzy after a 79-year old family friend just confided to me last week that the e-mail appliance in her home has stopped working and she can no longer exchange e-mail with her teenage grandkids.

So here's another variant to consider, this time a web-based software service for communicating from-to seniors that are not especially conversant with PC's and the complexity of the software interfaces. So this one is a web-based product that is light-weight and not that expensive called BigScreenLive-- $119.95 for a one-year subscription -- family and friends share access without subscribing. It includes web-installable or a 'To go' version installable from a thumbdrive -- and the thumbdrive can be carried in a purse to visit the kids or grandkids, perhaps plugging it in to check e-mail. It includes its own large-font e-mail, photo sharing, online shopping, and games. It automatically updates its own software. More impressive: they have thought enough about the offering to position it for seniors, families, and communities (like independent and assisted living).

So let's remind ourselves that one-third of folks over 65 have access to he internet. So let's think about what we can do for the other two-thirds as we swing into the holiday season. And let's assume you've already placed a near-useless PC paperweightin their home that runs XP. In the upcoming holiday season, how about powering it up and put something on it that's usable?