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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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For seniors, what are the negative impacts from rapid technology change?

Social isolation has grown for the older and/or less tech-savvy segments.  This has been a result of tech replacements that are more difficult to use, whether it is the cost of Wi-Fi connection, excessive device screen sensitivity, screen size, the continuous need for OS upgrades or software updates, many of them security-related as hacker threats grow.  Older adults and those who care about them examine this landscape and wonder what can be done because:

CES 2018: Five More New Technologies For Older Adults

Tech with applicability in the older adult market.   The Digital Health event is also covered in detail through MobiliHealth news and more than a few of those announcements, not even counting the plethora of tech that addresses diabetes and brain health, could benefit older adults.  And more expert and more detailed (and analytical writing) about new tech at CES reveals a few more offerings that could be useful for older adults if applied to that market.  Here are five – more when there’s more:

CES 2018: Five Technologies Useful for Older Adults

CES 2018 is off to a noisy, rainy and motion-filled start.  The Intel dancing drones, the Aptiv Self-Driving rides, Google’s soaked outdoor booth ("Alexa, make it rain"?) and Amazon somewhat smaller-scale "magical experiences." It virtually never rains in Las Vegas – and hasn’t for 121 days – but there’s the video of the downpour -- and Google employees bailing out the booth. The big headline for CES is the battle of the voice assistants for the smart home – which includes Samsung’s Bixby – go ahead, talk to your TV and refrigerator -- as well as Alexa, Google, and Microsoft's Cortana.  

Five 2018 technology opportunities in tech for older adults

2017 was an interesting year -- 2018 should overcome a few obstacles.  Probably the most significant innovation during 2017 was the growth of the Voice First technology market -- but judging by the aisles of gadgets in places like Best Buy, everything else is changing as well. CES is next week, and with it more speakers, TVs, and gadgetry than is seen in Best Buy or anywhere else during the year.  But even as technology leapfrogs and crawls forward, obstacles to broad adoption for older adults remain. Hopefully interest in mitigating social isolation among older adults will lead to the role technology could play. But to make a real difference, here's a look at five areas for improvement in 2018:

Eight Top Aging and Technology Posts from 2017

It was one of the worst and the best of times for innovation and older adults.  It was a year, early on, in which tech-enabled home care appeared to resonate with investors. But traditional home care companies stuck to their knitting, watching the Home Hero shutdown in the midst of an ever-more-startling shortage of prospective workers.  It was the oddest of times, with the $80 billion hype of self-driving cars partly focused on the transit needs of older adults. And it was the best of times – as 2017 was the year of Voice First technology lift-off – as Amazon’s Echo forced the hand of Google’s Home. Ultimately seniors will benefit from technology that fits both their interest and needs -- see the Market Overview update from early in the year. Here are the top blog posts from 2017:

The Unstoppable Momentum of Self-Driving Cars

Everybody’s doing it – talking, investing, launching an initiative for self-driving cars.  Imagine 300,000 lives saved per decade, preventing the 37,500 deaths just last year.  In fact, the development of self-driving cars and other Autonomous Vehicles (AV), have received a whopping $80 billion in investment to date.  Amid the hype, obstacles are occasionally noted (like roads) and surveyed consumer disinterest, including AAA, JD Power, Gartner. In particular, older people might not be interested, even though enabling older adults to keep driving is one of the oft-repeated rationales by self-driving car evangelists. And of course, older adults want to age in place.  So self-driving cars are often described as enablers.

Consider the White Paper -- it lasts more than a moment in time

Consider the white paper -- more content than a tweet or blog post. White papers have long been viewed as content marketing vehicles, intended to showcase a product or concept relevant to the firm’s customers and prospects. According to Jonathan Kantor, a 15-year white paper marketing veteran, "white papers can be used to generate sales leads, establish thought leadership, make a business case, or inform and persuade." Experts note that even in the age of Twitter and social media, white papers still matter; they can be fulfilled from website registrations, tweeted, or emailed to prospects. They can also take up long-term residence on a a firm's website. White papers may offer content that educates (not sells), expanding on an idea or a point of view as well as a product or service. Here are summaries of five researched white papers that were published in 2017, with the newest first, plus links back to the sponsoring company:

Do we really want Amazon to win at everything?

It is the time of convenience – and of non-stop hacking into everything.   Consider these 41 hacks (through October 2017!) in health care.  And these 791 in banking (through July, 2017!). And then there’s Equifax – 143 million accounts, established presumably to protect, not misuse, your social security data.  And what’s the worst that can happen? Identity theft – costing consumers $16 billion in 2016.   Yet consumers trust Amazon, sellers not so much.  And they trust both Amazon and Walmart as possible providers of drone deliveries, with only 41 percent concerned about air traffic safety – presumably fear of too many drones in the air – as their hot food is delivered.  But the drone, presumably would drop off the food outside the home. And Amazon has filed patents on drone delivery. What’s next?  Deliveries inside the home? Uh, yes. As with self-driving cars, media hype combined with consumer naiveté are, as always, regrettable enablers.

Six Tech and Aging Blog Posts -- November, 2017

November – leaves falling, Thanksgiving, and more product releases. It was the best of times and the worst of times. For sure, these were announcement times. These included many new product/innovation announcements from Amazon. Google, Apple, Samsung, and okay, various Digital Assistants to be invented and named later. And there was an assemblage of press releases, events, updates, as well as articles about fall prevention and new tech for older adults.  In case you missed them, here is a wrap up of blog posts (linkable from the first sentence of each paragraph) published in November, 2017. See these and other blog posts by subscribing to ageinplacetech.com on the home page):

It's the season: Considering tech gifts for older adults

Warning -- this is not a blog post about what to give.  There are plenty of click-bait websites, like 5 Cool Gifts or 25 Great Tech Gifts or even a list described as "The Perfect Gifts for Grandma and Grandpa" -- really? Maybe these are the perfect gifts – or perhaps for some family members, the FirstStreet list is appropriate. Among all of these lists, there might be some intriguing items that might be welcome. And don’t forget a set of portable batteries – extremely useful for devices during power outages. Okay that is enough about the What – and For Whom.  

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