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robotics

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robotics

Tech design -- we're getting older, but is it getting better?

The best consumer tech is barely out-of-the-box usable – for anyone.  iPad, Schmipad. Although there is always a story here or there about one who loves the device and wants to teach others (60 days of classes!!!), apps like Family Ribbon to make it easier to use continue to pop up along with training both in store and beyond. So in the face of so much enthusiasm, it is hard for me to say this, but guess what? If you aren’t born imagining that 4 fingers would reveal the already created task row of previously used apps, that menus disappear, that the style of user interface for various apps is inconsistent, that screen-to-screen navigation varies from touching a tiny dot at the screen base to swiping a swoop to the next page, 60 days of training sounds like a pretty good idea. And as far as user interface design, this is the best of the best and it is not acceptable!

Aging research projects focus on the same-old, same-old

The more tech is commercialized, the more researchers ignore it. It’s so interesting and fun to read about research that is going to help seniors, don’t you think? Reporters love to write it, readers love to read it.  Someday, they say and readers agree, there will be tech that will finally help us age in our own homes. A recent AARP Bulletin offered up an article about living laboratory research into ‘possibilities’ for improving our capabilities for independent living/aka aging in place. We can feel good that work goes on at Orcatech, at Mayo Clinic, and MIT's Age Lab.  And many others have researched the same exact categories previously, as noted in 2008 in one of the very first blogs on this site. As always, the researchers interviewed offered no observations about whether there were commercial versions that were viable for consumers, and really, no acknowledgement of commercial vendors at all. Guess that’s not the point of research.

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