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smart home

Almost useful: AI and machine learning in our lives as we age

Like the obsessively observant HAL, today's tech is always learning your behavior.  You mention a concept or product in an e-mail – and are surprised to see that ‘offer’ (displayed or pushed) in your next interaction.  Snoopy software tools like the A-word are persistent with the ‘insights’ gained from perusing your text. I see you have asked about such and so – would you like me to order it?  Snooping on your actions is fundamental for advertising and the revenue, uh, continued market valuations of A-words (oh, yes, absolutely, we protect privacy!).  Plenty of other privacy issues  persist with Twitter, the various G-words (health data too!), and the like.  These products build their value by ‘getting smarter’ all the time about you, but there are multiple well-documented and alarming privacy problems.

From Wearables to Smart Homes -- Four Blog Posts June 2021

June was a short, but pivotal month for aging and health.  Months of research with executives from 27 organizations resulted in the completion of new report, The Future of Wearables and Older Adults 2021.  It was presented on a panel at The What’s Next Longevity Venture Summit in June with 3 of the interviewees, Dr. Hon Pak of Samsung, Jeff Ray of Omron, and Mark Gray of Constant Companion.  Although current adoption is relatively low, the future of wearables has great potential for older adults, particularly in alerting to health issues between visits to the doctor. June was a season for new health-related product announcements from Apple and an oddity of an announcement from Amazon.  Also during June, preliminary research has begun on another, potentially connected, future report topic about Smart Homes and older adults. Here are the four blog posts from June:

To help older adults, smart home tech should wise up

Smart home tech – if it can be invented, it has been.  It is the ultimate tinkerer’s fantasy, something from an ‘Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal’ future.  As we signal our car’s arrival on the street near our house, the home’s temperature is automatically adjusted, the garage door opens automatically. Soon music will begin playing in the kitchen, the oven will begin preheating, and the newly purchased Echo Show 10 is in position to swivel towards us as we enter and present the recipe of the day. The trash can has already changed its own bag, the litter robot changed the cat litter, and knowing it has been a dry day, the smart sprinkler has just completed its cycle.

Five interesting and useful technologies for older adults

Events cropped up again in March that help accelerate interest in and ultimately benefit for older adults. One of these was the Longevity Health & Innovation Summit, which featured numerous longevity and technology experts as well as a pitch challenge. Today the CTA Foundation pitch competition is being held in partnership with AARP Innovation Labs. And last week, the CABHI Summit 2021, in which several of these offerings below were presented.  All these events provide a platform for innovation competitions, presentations, collaborations and networking among funders and innovators in the age-related technology market segments. Check above links to see full lists from all three.

HandsFree Health Integrates with Smart Home and Smart Medical Devices

03/08/2021

WAYNE, Pa., March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- HandsFree Health™, provider of WellBe®, a secure, HIPAA compliant, voice-enabled virtual health assistant platform, today announced its integration with leading  smart home and smart medical devices, fitness and activity trackers to make remote care and patient monitoring more accessible. HandsFree Health devices, including the WellBe smart speaker, smartwatch and mobile apps, now operate hundreds of smart home and medical devices using simple voice commands.

Alexa at the push of a button

03/08/2021

Flic Smart Buttons can now trigger Amazon Alexa commands.

Speaking out loud to make your voice assistant turn off all lights, play your music, or start the heater in your car feels great initially. But the hundredth time you yell the same command, hoping to be understood correctly, it can start feeling repetitive.

Using Flic buttons, Alexa users can now trigger their everyday routines faster and more reliably by simply pushing a button.

Flic the only available physical button that can trigger Alexa commands

Covid-19 and Mid-Year Look at 2020 Tech Trends for Older Adults

That was then… In early 2020, focus sharpened on market categories of aging and caregiving. AARP published a new report that showed growing interest in technology among those aged 70+. The 127,000 CES 2020 attendees in January saw exhibit areas and innovations focused on older adults and what they need. Cambia Health released a survey of caregivers, 64% of surveyed caregivers use at least one digital tool to help them with caregiving. The National Alliance for Caregiving surveyed caregivers including their use of technology (surprisingly low), and Samsung, Best Buy and Amazon now group offerings that could be helpful for older adults and those who care for them.

Leviton’s New Decora Smart™ Voice Dimmer with Amazon Alexa Built-in

06/15/2020

Homeowners can now benefit from the convenience of Amazon Alexa’s voice command capabilities directly from a light switch with the launch of the Decora Smart™ Voice Dimmer with Amazon Alexa Built-in. Leviton, a leading provider of smart Wi-Fi lighting control technology and electrical wiring devices, announced today that its first-of-its-kind voice-powered smart Wi-Fi dimmer is available to purchase.

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