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Did you miss one? – Six Tech and Aging Blog Posts from January 2024

The more things change.  January 2024 brought announcements, updates and a plethora of new tech, some a dream in the eye of a startup, some in the market and some likely to improve lives, if not right away than soon.  In fact, the most intriguing aspect of the month of CES 2024 was how much like previous events it was – and yet it was the first post-Covid big event, and the first for many new to the tech industry. Also 2024 is shaping up to be a big year of change for the older adults-tech market – some actually think it is disappearing into the tech market for all.  Maybe! Here are the six blog posts from January 2024:

Five policy changes that drive tech adoption. As 2024 begins, it’s 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. Read more.

Ten technologies from CES 2024. Viewed from afar, drowning in press releases, it is clearly a nearly fully revived CES 2024. With 135,000 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. Read more.

Eight more aging and health innovations from CES 2024.  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, though. 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. Read more.

2024 Market Overview Update published. 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. Read more.

Five trends that matter for older adults and caregivers in 2024 and beyond. Older adults dominate home ownership rates as well as benefiting from lower interest rates for their mortgages, if they have one. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, “One third of all homeowner households are now headed by someone age 65 or older. And with the oldest baby boomers turning 78 in 2024, the highest rates of growth are shifting to the oldest age groups, who have substantially greater accessibility needs. There has been a parallel increase in smaller households, such as older single-person households and married couples living alone.” As of 2023, 44% of women aged 75+ were living alone. Read more.

The tech user experience 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. Read more.

[See the 2024 Technology for Aging Market Overview just out in January]

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