Technology changes faster than older people can keep up. The latest Android or iPhone is entering the market shortly. Those who may have thought they just HAD the latest, are presented again with modest technological change and plenty of hype. Those that still hang on to much older cell phones will again consider a change -- and surely sales reps want to move the current models before the newest ones crowd the shelves. But boomers, for example, don’t use their phones in the same way younger people do. And only 50% of seniors age 75+ even have Internet access. So first there is a technology ownership gap, then an access gap, then finally a training gap that must be closed. Here are 6 methods for gaining training in devices and software, with descriptive text drawn from their various websites.
LEARN: How does useful technology find the older adults who need it? The new tech laundry list is a staple of our fast-paced tech times. What is new right now, this minute that could, might, or maybe be useful to older adults -- six new technologies for this, five more for that. An exhibit area at aging-related event features more than 50 startup logos – pitches for pilots and advice on preparing to pilot. Perhaps a technology could fill a real need of frail seniors – like a wearable band that notes dehydration and suggests a drink. Note that Nobo’s B60 was developed for athletes and the doctors that treat them. The company is aware of the senior need, but it might take a proactive third party to pull them towards that opportunity.
Las Vegas, NV, January 9, 2015 - CES® 2016 wrapped today as the most expansive CES, breaking records across the board and providing unparalleled opportunities for companies big and small to launch innovation to the world market.
A look back to look forward. Consider the context for 2016 innovation, despite (or as a result of) a still-erratic economy, and smaller-cheaper-better base technologies. At the same time, the assisted living industry watches residential age climbing – over half now are 85+. So the desire (or perhaps the only option) to age at home has further intensified. That has created opportunities like the AARP and Leading Age funds; research initiatives like Baycrest and Philips AgingWell; and startup pitch events like Louisville Innovation Summit, or Aging 2.0. Based on looking back at 2015, here then are five categories of trends for 2016:
2015 was an intriguing year for technology and aging. The market opportunity has become more apparent, as the oldest boomers reached aged 69. Just for instance: there were multiple age-related fund launches; home care with tech underpinnings began to attract the lemming-like VCs; PERS offerings began to be integrated; speaking to devices (not typing) became increasingly possible; smartphones became tablet alternatives; senior housing organizations attempted re-branding of their offerings, likely to better match boomerdom. As we get closer to 2016 and summarizing key forward-looking trends, consider blog posts from 2015.