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Portland, Maine, October 23-31, 2017

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Toward an Internet of Caring Things

We have seen the scary future – and it is behind the firewall.  Let’s say it: The Internet of Things almost seemed useful – smart objects connected together was once a great marketing tag line. Now it is becoming an Orwellian nightmare, not just because Google can drive the car while you text. Now we know your car has millions of lines of code in it and is easily hacked by two guys on a couch with a laptop. Volkswagen’s internal hacking, uh, deception to meet emissions standards has given visibility to the Internet of Cheating Things, not to mention the Internet of Hacked Things (from drones!!), and Scammed Things (from the refrigerator!!). And just think how obsolete CES "crap gadgets" will seem after the 2016 CES – the real tech news will be these long-distance and unwelcome invaders from afar, redirecting gadgets on the show floor.

Consumers lose: medical hacking, 911 failure, Google rules

Ho hum – another day, another few million records are hacked. Rant on. It’s a small hack really, only 4.5 million impacted by the UCLA Medical System cyber attack. But what a relief, the impacted individuals will receive identity theft recovery and restoration services and credit monitoring at no cost. That category of service firm is buying plenty of ads all around and may be one of the boom businesses of 2015.  Because of course the 4.5 million must be added to the 22 million Federal government individuals and the 80 million Anthem Blue Cross individuals -- for starters.  And the solution?  A new services industry emerges with vendors popping up in every flavor. As for fines for those that let the data get out of the bag? As for the notorious insurance industry leader, Anthem (first quarter net income $865.2 million) has received a fine of $1.7 million – but fines for data breaches remain rare.

These hacker attacks make Y2K look trivial

Does anyone remember Y2K?  It happened just 15 years ago. The $100 billion in the US -- $350 billion worldwide -- that was spent to convert information systems to move from a 2-digit year to a 4-digit year, well, it seems so last century. The belief at that time: The move from the YYMM format of dates in all systems everywhere (all military, government, and commercial) in the year 2000 would create a "0001" January 1, 2000 date format that would result in disaster. Checks couldn’t be issued, military systems would fail, hospitals and power plants would shut down or off. This was preceded by sky-is-falling anxiety, particularly among IT people who bore the brunt of redirecting work to code this change.

While we were sleeping -- the kingdom of our data was lost

I quit Facebook and life, such as it was, went on.  I quit because its business tactics were becoming ever so more UnFriendly-like -- from experiments with the product of us to selling your browsing history to selling your facial profile to advertisers. Then over to tracking your TV-watching habits and listening to voices on your mobile device, Facebook will soon opt into your health information -- thus forcing more privacy Opt-Outs. So time without Facebook slowly passed, then the 14-day post-deletion period -- are you sure, sure, sure? You can still re-activate! -- that grace period came and quietly went. No one, myself included, noticed my disappearance on that day. I did not request my archive of 7+ years of posts, I did not write down a list of those 300 or so folks that I had 'friended' over the years, apparently an average number for all users, and I did not note the businesses that had requested that I Like them. Without a glance back, I left all those pictures of just-cooked or about-to-be-eaten meals, graduation pictures of people I no longer knew (and thus probably don't really Like all that much), timelines, new feeds, and even groups, including alumni of gone companies from my many gone jobs. But I am not the only one departing -- looks like some younger people are getting out too.

Let's focus our lens on caregiving -- technology and beyond

Tech we talk about -- health -- the much-hyped investment opportunity. We talk ad nauseum about health innovation, often in the context of an aging society -- from StartupHealth, Rock Health, Health 2.0, and AARP's own Health@50+.  And we're wired beyond saturation with new health device tech announcements, from the advance swooning about Apple everything (never seen so many health dreams and now, security worries!) and Samsung nearly-everything-else (never seen so many device shapes!)  And there was plenty of health tech talk at the AARP Ideas@50+ in San Diego -- see Health Interactive@50+.

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