Are octogenarians the new IT early adopters?
Grandma and Grandpa could be the next early adopters of high technology judging by IT trends showcased Integrate 2018. With voice control devices and more intuitive innovations connecting homes, the might be getting a head start on younger generations.
“Many people think of the smart home in relation to a younger entertainment driven demographic, however smart home technology is probably more relevant to 80+ year olds,” said Soren Norgaard, Evnt Manager of Integrate.
“Voice controlled devices, audio reminders set in key locations, appliance safety monitors, door opening systems and smart appliances are even more relevant for older Australians,” said Norgaard.
While it’s commonly assumed older people want personal care and attention, recent research has revealed many would prefer to be cared for by a robot.
“Georgia Tech has revealed many of it’s older research participants would prefer to be cared for on a daily basis by robots because they don’t judge, gossip or invade their privacy,” said Norgaard.
Australian governments are encouraging ageing in place and older Australians are remaining independent for as long as possible in the family home, and this is a key driver for tech companies looking for growth.
Many exhibitors at Integrate showcased new technology for this market including Crestron and Director of Residential Sales, Trevor Rooney, says technology will play an important role in the aged care sector.
“In the past, technology was only for early adopters that ventured into this world, now anyone who owns a cell phone has already started their journey whether they realise or not,” said Rooney.
“Crestron’s aim is not just to provide premium solutions and ease-of-use in luxury Residential homes, but also to help change people’s lives for the better; think aged-care and the disability sector. This is where home automation, be it via touch screen or the simple use of your voice, will really be an asset.”
‘’It’s seductive and addictive, who wouldn’t want the ability to simply say ‘Alexa, Good morning’ and a number of events start to happen such as lights turning on, shades opening and music starting to play as you start your day.
“For those older people looking for independance, mobile devices can operate lights and close hard-to-reach windows with little effort,” he said.
Sony is exhibited it’s Sonic Surf technology which is like a spotlight of audio that you can move in and out of – the application at this stage is for museums and theme parks, but the domestic application could be valuable for ageing in place.
Similarly workplace technology aimed at increasing collaboration between groups located in different offices could be applied to create the ultimate hi-tech Sunday roast where family members around the world can “sit around the table” together. So maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on our techno-logically challenged elders afterall.