Our thesis is that clever new products, with technology embedded into them, can push out the time at which functional decline gets in the way of living life as we wish.
We founded Tech-enhanced Life to explore the intersection of aging and technology. Together with the Longevity Explorers, we are seeking out technology enabled products and services with the potential of improving quality of life as we age; evaluating them; and sharing what we learn in our Recommendations section.
And, on occasion we roll up our sleeves and work with product developers to help them turn their visions into reality (see how we help companies).
This is our Topic Hub for research into the intersection of Technology and Aging. In this section we collect various pieces of research about older adults and technology.
“Smarthome Features as a Service” for Older Adults
Longevity Explorers have reported on how they have used different smarthome features to improve the quality of life of people with vision impairments, people with hearing difficulties, people with limited mobility, and people facing early cognition impairment — as well as people who just find these new capabilities “fun” and “useful”. However, at present there is a “barrier” to widespread adoption of smarthome features that can benefit older adults — the fact that most of the interesting applications require an element of Do-it-Yourself (“DIY”) capability.
We believe there is a big opportunity to broaden the deployment of these empowering smarthome features to others — by using a “smarthome features as a service” model. This Article explains our thinking, and describes a pilot project we are considering in partnership with one of the Villages in Northern California.
Hearables: Better Hearing, Less Stigma?
Hearables, which include smart wireless earbuds and some types of hearing aids, have the potential to deliver the benefits of better hearing to a far broader segment of the population than is served by today’s hearing aid industry. This includes people with quite modest hearing loss, and people who are put off by the perceived stigma or cost of conventional hearing aids. This article explains exactly what hearables are; who they are good for; and why they are important.
Aging in Place: Why Technology & Gadgets Matter
In my mind, there is a compelling argument that the right gadgets and technology can make aging in place more successful and less expensive. And by more successful, I am thinking in particular of higher quality of life, more autonomy, and less dependence on the kindness of strangers. I don’t think this argument gets made much in the media or by the aging services industry though. So here it is.
Gerontech Products We Wish Existed
Here are some high-impact, gerontechnology product concepts that do not yet exist as commercially available products — although the technology to enable them already largely exists. Our hope for products like these: to significantly postpone the time at which frailty and functional disability get in the way of “living life”
Technology for Older Adults: Notable from 2020
There are a lot of things that have been memorable about 2020. Many of them have been pretty horrible. But, in the area of innovation as it relates to the lives of older adults, we actually see some positive developments, and room for optimism about the future.
Technology & the Future of Aging
This is a live recording (slides and audio) of a talk given by Richard Caro entitled “The Future of Aging, & the Intersection of Aging & Technology“. This talk was given in March 2019, at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.