Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Consumer tech firms avoid marketing to older adults

But how can that be, when their products are potentially so useful?  I can hear it now – but older adults love their technology (notwithstanding the 30 million aged 65+ non-owners of smartphones).  Why all these gadgets and gizmos, these tools are so wonderfully helpful! Yes they are – apparently by accident, as determined by the user. It never seems to make it past the marketing department that this utility was intentional. And sometimes, as with Facebook, this accidental appreciation by older adults may be viewed as a liability. The Internet tells all:

  • Search for Amazon Echo and dementia. Seems like everybody (and his/her mother) sees the potential for helping people with early onset dementia.  Alexa, what time is it?  Alexa, what day is it? Alexa, set timer for medication every day at 8:00 a.m.  Alexa read a book out loud.  Or people with Parkinson’s or blind or wheelchair bound. Plenty of uses, but Amazon, the world’s largest (fill-in-the-blank) mall, isn’t going to point you to them. Find answers in the discussion forum -- including one about an 87-year-old individual, no dementia. Answers come from customers of the device – not to be confused with Amazon’s own Customer Service.  Consider Audible books: “Listen to audiobooks on your commute, in the gym, while doing chores. Suddenly you have a whole lot more time to enjoy your favorite books.” Go ahead, business pro, go ahead.
  • Search for iPad and elderly.  Other than the IBM-Japan Post announcement – which doesn’t even contain the phrase ‘About Apple’ in the press release – though, ironically, it came from Apple, what's Apple doing for seniors? The world’s largest tech company has left the driving of iPad usage by and for the elderly to – you guessed it – everybody but itself, though it has been said that they apparently ‘quietly targeting seniors for years with accessibility features.’ The features are great – their relevance for the elderly is so muted, let the website viewer figure it out -- the images of smiling children are not exactly giving away Apple’s interest level.  There is no US equivalent of Japan Post and IBM. And the key player in the last mile/kilometer in Japan? That was Japan Post.  One might think that older adults would be a good market -- considering declining iPhone sales.


rising like cream to the top of your post!


have a great week, weekend, spring and summer!  Louis

Love your clarity about all of this.

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