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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:  

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.

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:

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:

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.

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