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11/18/2018

Japan already abounds with high-tech solutions for its aging populace.

11/17/2018

Useful graphic summarizing elderly, adults living at home.

11/15/2018

Music was projected directly through Eversound headphones.

11/13/2018

Transportation has become one of the go-to offerings for several home care agencies.

11/12/2018

A comparison of the medical alerting features of smart watches.

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Laurie Orlov's blog

Let’s talk – what’s actually happening with Voice First adoption?

Smart speakers – they seem to be the new, new thing.  According to eMarketer’s new report , 40.7 million people will use a ‘smart speaker’ at least once in any given month. Because there is competition now, primarily from Google, the market share projection for Amazon (which ‘shipped tens of millions of devices at Christmas’) will drop from 66.6% to 60.8% share by then – and Google Home-related will rise to 30%. Other than Amazon and Google – “Other” will grow from 8.3% to 14%, which presumably includes Sonos, JBL, Harmon Kardon and other entrants. Does this matter? The split is less important than the growth in overall adoption, not because this is the coolest of new gadgetry, but because the user interface is finally improving and matching the way we think -- after many years of deteriorating screen-based UIs that, on a good day, are just plain annoying.

It's not about your grandmother - 10 steps before launching!

You want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech, caregiving, product or service. Or other. Your new company gets ready to travel into battle for west coast networking, or you're back from San Francisco or Silicon Valley, consider this guidance, now that cards have been exchanged and follow-up emails sent. Soon your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or a much-anticipated offering will finally ship. You read AARP and Pew survey research reports. Now look over this 6-month-old updated checklist.  And you look back on the 2009 advice – which is still valid, especially about creating community around the product – more important than ever. And as for item 6 in this post, THIS MEANS YOU!   Really now, are you ready? 

Five Technology Offerings for Older Adults -- April 2018

April Showers, Innovation and Spring flowers.  Tech companies and their partners continue to propel forward, with new ideas, innovations, products. Consider that April offered up the winners of the Stanford Design Challenge – a computer-integrated bicycle handle with blind spot warning and fall detection and emergency alert. Stay tuned for more innovation events upcoming, including the upcoming 2018 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit in June. Here are the five offerings from April with all material drawn directly from the company's websites:

Technology design for all -- predicted in 2011, in-market in 2018

A long time ago (7 years this month) in a tech world far, far away, a report sponsored by then-AARP executive Jody Holtzman predicted that technology change would deliver a new user experience. The concept was referred to as "Technology Design for All" --  defined as 'User experiences that appeal to all age groups, persisting across versions and devices.'  According to the report Connected Living for Social Aging, which was published 7 years ago this month, the future was predicted. It is worth a look back -- note that it did happen just as described. Consider smart speakers (the Echo was launched in 2014), IoT boxes, phones, tablets, PCs, Macs and all cloud-based software.   These work without the need to download and upgrade on Patch Tuesday, though privacy improvements are the next big technology hurdle.  From the report, with the chart giving an italicized nod to tech of 2018:  

Moving beyond the pilot -- technology, services, organizations

Search for the word ‘pilot’ on this site. That is an interesting search – pages and pages of Start Me Up pilots in tech, programs, initiatives large and small, all linked, no doubt to corresponding media spend and press releases.  Think back on the cycles of tech deployment.  Remember the Alpha test, when the product barely worked at all.  After those bugs were uncovered by testers who had scripts designed for successful outcomes, it is time for the Beta test – where selected prospective users are identified, put the offering through its paces, under an assumption that the pilot will be converted to permanent deployment. 

Time to worry much more about data privacy and profiles

The irony, the irony – everyone saw Europe’s data privacy initiatives.  Why has this taken so long here? In a word – lobbying. The congressional hearing droned on, and Mark Zuckerberg tried so hard not to sound condescending towards his techno-light questioners about the so-called ‘Facebook Scandal.’ Which could have been the Google scandal, the Twitter scandal, or eve Amazon -- consolidation of industry players and using the data to sell them (or make ads ‘more effective’) or as with Amazon, sell them more stuff. The real scandal? Not the Cambridge Analytica role, which didn’t exactly sneak around in the long-time and paid analysis of Facebook data. The real scandal might be last year's $30 million of lobbying spent to avoid controls (and user protection) actions like those considered and in process in Europe.

Aging in Place Technology – Four Blog posts from March 2018

The tech ideas of March -- change incremental or disruptive.   March marked the annual American Society on Aging conference in San Francisco – where Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are obtained for multiple social and service roles that serve older adults.  The purpose was unchanged – and the limited representation of tech in the exhibit hall  may hint at the peripheral role that technology use continues to play in these senior-focused jobs, despite the tech disruption this past year of voice first technology, or the availability of cheaper/smaller wearables and offerings for the smart home.  The four blog posts from March are:

Six Offerings from 2018 What’s Next Business Boomer Summit

The 2018 Boomer Business Summit, now in its 15th year, built this year’s conference as the ‘Blueprint for the Longevity Economy’. That blueprint depends on the enthusiasm and foresight of innovators and leaders of technology companies that focus on the boomer-senior market, increasingly offering Voice First interfaces to new capabilities. Here are Six offerings from companies whose founders are passionate about serving the needs of older adults, those who care for them and those who serve them. All of the material included here is from the firms, listed in alphabetical order.

Self-driving cars - not yet for older adults or anyone else

In a taxi in DC – the driver wends his way around buses and pedestrians.  It’s the day after the self-driving car killed a pedestrian. The next day, you can find scores of link references to a police comment that the car was likely not at fault though no investigation has completed – or even been started. In another tech publication (“Big Think – your daily microdose of genius”), you can read that in over 1.5 million miles of testing, one year ago was the first time the car had been at fault when it crashed with a bus. Really? How does the writer know this? Because Google says it was a ‘misunderstanding in the car’s software and from now on, the car will understand that large vehicles and buses will be less likely to yield.’

Do older adults have good reasons to resist technology change?

Surveys affirm increasing tech use among older adults, but for some, not so fast. Whether it is new data from Pew or AARP, some older adults refuse or are unable to use newer technologies, whether it is smartphones, online banking services, or (perhaps especially) social media.  Maybe they prefer feature phones (450 million shipped in 2017!) They may not be interested in being the first to test a new gadget or service.  Maybe they can’t get the packaging for a wearable opened without a hacksaw.  For that matter, how many of us are storing a pliers in their kitchen for vacuum-sealed containers?  But the tech of the day is particularly an anathema to a number of people, whether it is due to costly Internet plans, pricey and fragile smartphones, or hacker-improved, uh, enriched social media.

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