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Voice/AI/Voice Assistants

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Voice/AI/Voice Assistants

K4Connect to Outfit All Assisted Living Communities in North Carolina with Voice and Visual Technology

01/06/2021

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 6, 2021 — North Carolina Assisted Living Association (NCALA), a North Carolina non-profit trade association supporting quality assisted living, and K4Connect, a mission-driven technology company that integrates the best in technology to serve and empower older adults and individuals living with disabilities, today announced a partnership to provide technology relief to communities across the state.

Selected tech trends from upcoming 2021 Market Overview

Looking ahead to 2021 -- pre-CES, what trends will persist?  So that's just about enough of 2020 -- a year worth putting behind us, if ever there was one. Much creativity and stopgap solutions were the signs of the Covid-19 times.  There was an awakening about older adults as targets of ageism and victims of social isolation, true. But there was also an awakening to the significance of aging in place, the investment category of older adults, the market power of older adults, including the 65+ population of 54 million. And who knew that the fastest growing subsegment was those aged 80+?  Innovators in 2020 helped mitigate social isolation, enable in-home strength training for seniors, provided the tech mechanics (regardless of infrastructure) to connect older adults to families? All that and more make up the new entrants in the 2021 Market Overview of Technology for Aging.

Not just older adults – everyone lost the tech user interface war

Once upon a time, a new technology user interface was just annoying.   It’s almost quaint to look back at what we complained about – though some of the famous user interface disasters are well-described in a Scientific American article – Windows 8, BMW iDrive, TV remotes.  At some point, the user gets mad. The BMW iDrive example prompted some drivers to turn around and bring the car back to the showroom.  Consider the whining from this site in 2012 about smartphones and again in 2013. But a poor UI doesn’t always guarantee poor sales. It’s quaint to read the complaint about the Apple Watch interface, which is quite annoying and 100% dependent on a smartphone app. But it may turn out to be Apple’s most popular product (30 million sold in 2019) and enjoys great popularity in 2020.  Furthermore, its fall detection validated the market transition of caregiving smart watches replacing PERS pendants.

Aging and Health Technology Watch 2020 Research – A Recap

A year that saw little travel but it was a good time to write.   Most would agree that this year was not what we expected.  Instead of continuing with business and event travel into March, HIMSS was canceled at the last minute and converted to a virtual event.  And so it went, for Argentum events and many other summits. And so it remains a virtual world.  So 2020 was a year that produced 5 white papers and three long research reports emerge – normally not feasible with so much here-and-there travel. By comparison, in 2019 one report, the 2019 Market Overview, was published, along with 2 long and 4 short white papers, listed under Research.  Here are the reports – looking forward to 2021!

Market Overview -- 2019 Technology for Aging in Place

The market increasingly is less about products specifically designed for older adults as it is about the marketing of many consumer offerings that could be useful to them. This includes smartphones, tablets, smart home technology, Voice First hardware and virtual assistants, and in-home sensors. Each of those devices is enabled for older adults by either more targeted marketing and packaging, enabling software, or bundling into solutions for in-home caregiving and/or healthcare.

Four technology and aging blog posts from October 2020

October 2020 -- when the fall travel season never started. And the unthinkable has become normal. These days it seems like businesses only congregate in Zoom-like rooms. But despite that, product announcements and innovations appear despite the missing in-person fanfare.  The 30+ research report interviews are complete and the writing begun for "The Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults." The goal -- publish in early December in conjunction with the What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit -- normally held in Washington, this year all online. Here are four blog posts from October, including the key themes from the research report: 

Virtual Caregiving And Companionship Application ‘Briocare’ Announces Launch

10/16/2020

Frisco, TX – Briocare, a new simple and safe smart voice caregiver application that helps older adults age in place  while providing peace of mind to their families, today announces its official launch. For use on Amazon Alexa connected devices, Briocare ensures older adults stay on top of their medical care plans, enjoy engaging content and stay connected with friends and families.

Five Recent Voice-Enabled Innovations for Older Adults 2020

Voice-enabled innovation softly races ahead. Technology innovation announcements whiz by at what seems to be a breakneck pace. Consider Amazon’s Whisper Mode – “I think you just whispered to me – Sau ‘turn on’ Whisper Mode.” Not just for insomniacs, imagine its utility for the faint-voiced older adult wanting to ask a question.  Or consider Apple Family Setup, which enables an Apple Watch to be set up and used without an iPhone, enabling texts, calls and GPS location.  Or in-Car voice technology like Garmin Speak-Plus for directions without a screen (that’s a plus).   Here are five from recent times:

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