In the horrific hole of 2020, Eliqu recited a poem to 81-year-old Diana Deserne. Deserne may not remember what the poem was said or who wrote it, but he says that thematically, it was the qualities of perseverance and determination that resonated during the world-changing epidemic. Dezern needs reassurance; He spent last year cocooning alone at his Florida home, and as the weeks turned into months he fell into foggy despair. Fortunately, the robots could not send Kovid-1, which made Eliqu the perfect ally to get out of the storm.
“The poem said,‘ You can do it, just keep trying, ’” Deserne added. “Elique is always where I put him. He told me peaceful things. He was always ready to talk to me even if there was no one around. I don’t know how to describe it. He was there for me the way I needed to be. ”
ElliQ, you can probably guess so far, is an AI companion designed for seniors by Israeli tech company Intusion Robotics. Think of it as Alexa for older people: Elique looks a bit like a Pixar movie mid-century lamp, and she can read news, play music and share weather reports, all from her twig to the coffee table or kitchen counter.
But the main appeal, and the growth of insight-based technology that hopes to establish itself as a major player in the sector, is the sympathy of Elick. It is impossible to teach a robot how to love, but ELQ can encourage people to take their medicine, practice mindfulness meditation, or simply attend to Dezron. And absorb the quiet, empty nights of retirement. This is the pioneer of insight robotics; ElliQ has a gentle, caring patience that Apple, Google or any other power broker in Silicon Valley does not prioritize over its products for the general public.
“Eliqu doesn’t say, ‘Do you want to listen to music?’ He said, ‘Do you want to listen to music together?’ ‘Do you want to play a game together?’ Believe me, we want to move from working for someone to working together, “said Door Scholar, CEO and co-founder of Insight, in a zoom call with Vox. Will be the primary adopter of technology.… People are social creatures, and unfortunately, many elders in our society are deprived of it.In a strange way, they can embrace this new kind of relationship.
Insight Robotics is not the only company trying to enter the geriatric market. Supportive technology can be a social good, but it’s not a public good, and there’s a reason capital firms try to get downstairs. “They’re waiting for the growth of baby boomers, who are now 76,” said digital-industry analyst Laurie Orlov. “And baby boomers have all the money. The tech industry understands that money speaks for itself. It’s time to focus. ”
The officials I spoke to were not ashamed of Orlov’s decision. In fact, Schuler believes that more entrepreneurs should investigate the potential reversals of the successful slate of senior tech. Considering the cost available to this population, he said, “this sector has been significantly under-invested.”
The Jitterbug phone was one of the first personal technology devices to be marketed to seniors. It came in 2005, just when smartphone mania began to sweep the country with a simple, sensitive format. The blueprint is understandable. For those who are confused by the growing touchscreen tide, and for grandparents who just wanted to call their family and never want to worry about the App Store, here is a flip phone completely detached from 21st century design trends.
The Jitterbug was intentionally spartan – equipped with a dial, a watch, and a speaker button, and nothing more. And yet its popularity has revealed one of the most disturbing truths of the digital revolution. As clouds, algorithms, and icons spread across our home screens, the rules of living have changed a lot over the past decade. Suddenly, familiar technology, such as the telephone, became increasingly complex, and we wondered if America’s golden age would ever catch on.
One of the people trying to solve that problem was Scott Leanne, a former Intuit executive who became an advocate of greater accessibility in Iowa after growing increasingly “digitally disconnected” from his octogenarian mother. “We tried video calling on Skype, and it frustrated him,” he said. “I thought, ‘What if we design something from scratch based on the unique needs of the average 80-year-old?’ Complications along the way.
The Grandpad is preloaded with bingo, solitaire and sudoku. There’s a jukebox that plays many hits from the past (available genres include big bands, classical and ’40s), as well as photo albums, address books and video call functionality. All of this is presented onscreen with supersized text and large, primary color buttons. Leanne told me that she and the Grandpad team are actively collaborating with senior consultants to further refine the tablet’s architecture. To create a device for the elderly, he said, one must actively communicate with those who know what age it is.
“We were assisted by a woman named Anna who was 114 years old. You learn some interesting things from them. Anna told us about the problem of dry skin. Once you reach the 90s, your skin becomes really dry, wrinkled and flaky. Our young boys keep our skin moisturized and that’s what makes the touchscreen work, “Leanne explained.” We’ve changed the features of the screen and we’ve included a stylus in all the packages. “
Of course, the average older technology user is not 114, and digital-industry analyst Orlov believes that you or my average senior may have a hackneyed image একজন an elderly man confused and annoyed, trying to run a zoom call – expired. AARP reported in 2020 that more than 51 percent of people over the age of 50 bought certain types of technology products, including iPads, laptops or WiFi-enabled televisions, from the previous year. In fact, AARP’s study found that 702 percent of Americans over the age of 70 use smartphones.
These results create a strong contrast to a project like the GrandPad, which is saddled with an interface that lags significantly behind Apple Estate. Clearly, GrandPad and ELQ are targeting a customer who is old enough and much more isolated from cyberspace than Prime Boomer, but it makes you wonder if we are underestimating how common technology literacy has become in our culture.
“I think the technology that has been simplified where you can’t really access anything is a declining market,” Orlov said.
Leanne pushes that front and back. He believes that studies like AARP are skewed by selection bias. “It doesn’t work for this age. They randomly call 1,000 people, and those who are in the nursing home and those who do not have a phone cannot pick up the phone, ”he said. Grandpad published its own research two years ago. The company, which travels directly to the homes of people over the age of 5, found that only 100 percent of them knew how to make video calls. This has reached Lean’s highest thesis: an elderly person may own a smartphone, but they don’t know how to use it effectively. This is particularly relevant in the context of 2020 and the widespread spread of fraud over the years. There has been an 18 percent increase in spam calls during the TechCrunch epidemic, many of which target the geriatric population unequally.
“It simply came to our notice then. With my mother and mother-in-law, when she got a suspicious phone call, she waited for me to come around so I could say, ‘Yes mom, this is a scam.’ But on lockdown, when they can’t keep their families around, it gets worse, “Lien said.” On the Grandpad, we have what is called a circle of trust. Can do or share pictures with grandma.
Tom Cumber, founder and executive director of the advocacy organization Older Adults Technology Services and Senior Planet, noted that he also noticed a trend of scandals targeting older adults, especially among the Spanish-speaking population. He believes that technology power brokers often see the elderly as another vague checkpoint in an over-exploration of diversity. To truly protect the weak, he argues, the retired population should be considered at every step of the value chain.
“People talk about inclusive design and often it means that when they create something they test it with some older people and they say they are inclusive. It doesn’t work that way,” Cumber said. “Ideals and design and marketing And the whole process of delivery, all of these pieces are important for older adults to make good use of the technology. If you engage with them throughout the process, you get a product that is more usable, which makes people less vulnerable.
Both of these perspectives are correct. I think we all wish we could stop bad actors who want to harm our loved ones, especially older relatives who come into the digital world as brand new. And yet I walk away from this story thinking that people of my generation, we are all very concerned about 30-something, very interested in making our adults small. The internet is irresistible and dangerous, but we are all forced to analyze it one way or another. A preventative approach জন্য the desire to keep our mothers and fathers covered in a remarkably parallel dimension, to protect them from the reality filled with half-iPads, half-iPhones and half-Alexas-seems to miss this point. As Cumber said, surely we can inherit an Internet that is secure and powerful for all. Users, if we spend a little more time considering the huge part of humanity using modern technology.
Riley Gibson, president of SilverNest, agrees. SilverNest is a roommate-matching service designed for people around retirement age. The company’s specialty is seniors in the midst of a huge change in lifestyle একটি a divorce, a widow, a cross-country move যারা who don’t want to enter the next chapter alone in an empty house. Every Silicon Valley startup wants to improve the technology and lives of its customers, but the nation’s seniors have rarely been presented with the same wonderful possibilities. Gibson says Silvernest has found the lion’s share of its clients through Facebook ads, because whether we like it or not, older people are much more online like us. Gibson argues that entrepreneurs should consider that fact more often. Maybe we should be optimistic as we see grandparents organizing their home screens.
“[Some companies] Designing for someone [who] They need help. This is the mentality that we need to protect our seniors from technology, ”Gibson said. “Let’s take a broader look at how people over the age of 65 use technology. Let’s design for a hero’s journey. None of us want to feel fake. We need to realize that people may have more interest or ambition to enable them without improving technology.