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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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computers, internet and social networking

Apple’s walled garden bites the wallet – but is the world of ‘free’ better?

Check out this startling sampling of Apple user complaints...Rant on. ZDNet published a list of Apple complaints posted on Reddit (which has an Apple forum of more than 800K members) – the list was eye-opening and filled with rage about (storage, connector, power) limitations. Oddly, in the center of the online article was an iPad ad. One commenter compared the Apple customer experience to buying a high-end Audi and discovering that the price did not include tires. Today Apple has 44.3% market share phone ownership – compared to Android’s 54.5% (led by Samsung and LG).   Users feel locked into Apple's ecosystem, but some commenting said it was easier to switch than people believe. Phone replacement cycles are lengthening, due to high prices for new phones coupled with apparent (or fixable) durability of existing devices.

Hyperlocal social networking – when Nextdoor matters most

It's that awful time – the hurricane season.  The time when the national hurricane center forecasts, repeated ad nauseum, are destined to frighten everyone, no matter how far from affected regions. The same broadcast can dwell on cones and paths, and almost as an aside, remind those in beach areas that the evacuation instructions are meant for them.  Reversing highway direction and talking constantly about evacuation sounds like a plan – but some observe that the distance required to evacuate to safety could be as much as 250-300 miles. So residents who will 'shelter in place' stock up on supplies and watch the 24-hour source of all fear – cable news, looking for guidance from Jim Cantore, that icon among storm trackers.

The ABCs of the Internet Today – Ads, Bots and Crushing Clutter

The business model of the Internet is crushing us.   Rant on. We could start with Twitter, which is deleting millions of bots, trolls, and other fake accounts (often with automated software generating hundreds of tweets per day).  This is raising concerns over the company's growth and true number of monthly users. But it's not raising concern about the business and social value of Twitter. Has anyone looked at the age distribution of Twitter users? Only 8% are 65+, and the biggest block is aged 18-29.  Consider that its share price and profit of $61 million in Q1 2018 are tied to growth in "legitimate human users -- the only ones capable of responding to the advertising that is the main source of revenue for the company." Translate: capable of responding because they are human 18-29 year-olds, not necessarily because they have money to spend. And then there are:

The more technology changes, the more some categories will remain

The more things change… Life expectancy is long – tech attention span from investors and innovators can be short.  Reviewing the past 10 years of blog posts (from 2008 until 2018), in the beginning, consider the categories and innovations. To mitigate social isolation, for example, note the video phone and the printing mailbox. The objective was to communicate with grandma or grandpa, who might be bereft of email – or for that matter, WiFi, Skype, tablet, smartphone, PC or MAC. Imagine the blissful simplicity or those times -- for the grandparents.  Largely forgotten now --  Mailbug, BigKeys – and printing mailboxes Presto and fax-machine based MyCelery. But the PERS market, around since 1975 in the US, has repeatedly been predicted to be obsolete and about to be replaced with something else.

Consumer Cellular Launches GrandPad, Developed to Reduce Isolation and Loneliness Among Seniors 75+

05/14/2018

 Consumer Cellular, the no-contract wireless provider ranked “Highest in Customer Service among Non-Contract Wireless Providers, Four Times in a Row” by J.D.

Aging in Place Technology – Four Blog posts from April 2018

April showers, daffodils and other flowers.  Depending on where you went in April you could experience spring multiple times – each time buds and birds emerging. With them, much news about technology, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the smug – not sure that so much time to look at and listen to Mark Zuckerberg’s confession felt like a positive.   It did make one wonder how long Facebook has known which of its “2 billion users” are the 87 million fake profiles – and are those counted in the data used by advertisers?  At any rate, here are the four blog posts from the month of April.

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:  

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