Smart Home, AI, Robots, Internet of Things:  Older Adult Perspectives

The Impact Theme series: Longevity Explorers Discuss.

Our Longevity Explorers have been brainstorming about what they want Smart Homes, Artifical Intelligence (AI), Robots, and the Internet of Things to do for them in the future.

We have generated lots of ideas we hope innovators will find helpful as they design new products and services. And we have been evaluating a variety of new products and sharing what we learn.




Hear what Older Adults Think: Smart Home, AI, Robots, Internet of Things

Spends too Much Time on the Couch

If you are looking for a way to help grandpa in remembering to get up and stretch, I have a solution for you. In fact, I’m guilty of spending most of my day on the couch and use this solution to remind me to get up and stretch at least once an hour. I’ve been using this for about a year now and...



Fridge for Forgetful Senior

We have several problems relating to a fridge and a forgetful senior who lives alone. We worry that she will leave the fridge open by mistake and that the food will spoil and make her sick. We worry that she forgets to throw out food as it gets old, and that the food in her fridge includes food...



Forget to Turn Water Off

As people grow older they often become somewhat forgetful. We start to worry about questions like "Did I leave the water running?" How do we make it so these sorts of questions are not things that we need to worry about?



Smart Home Share & Learn: SF Explorers

When asked which smart home devices they have, San Francisco Explorers answer with more than a few of their personal favorites. 



Idea / Challenge

By: claudiacapo

Hi there! I want to start off by saying that if it wasn't for this community and the instructions on how to use the Amazon Echo and set up the device for a person without a smartphone, my family and I wouldn't have been able to interact with my father this past year while he was in skilled care... Read More. Add your Opinions


Ideas for Alexa skills or routines to keep my Dad engaged

By: Allynn

I'm giving Dad a couple of Alexa Echos for Christmas (he has a big house and is hard of hearing).  I'm trying to find some good skills and maybe set up some routines to get him to actually engage with the devices.  I was thinkng of creating a morning routine that includes a greeting, the weather... Read More. Add your Opinions


Best Video Call Technology

By: tel-editors

Now that we are all "sheltering in place", finding ways to interact virtually with people from our homes has rocketed up people's priority list.

We have had quite a few emails now from people wanting to know the best way to have video calls with their family and friends. Here are some... Read More. Add your Opinions


SF Explorers use Amazon Echo Show to Reach Across the Country

The San Francisco Explorers participate in a cross country video call demonstration of the use of an Amazon Echo Show.



Rosalie Sings the Praises of Amazon's Alexa

Explorer Rosalie reports to the group on her experience from Amazon's first Echo and newer products and Alexa skills, including "Let's Chat".



Amazon Echo Stimulates Explorers' Imaginations

This group of older adult explorers discuss the Amazon Echo device. A pair of enthusiastic explorers introduce the product which they have recently started using.



What We Use Alexa For: Lights

Explorer Jan describes her newest tech gadget to the group.



If I Had a Magic Wand, Here is What My Smarthome (Robot) Would Do to Help Me Stay Home Longer

'Blue Sky' thinking about the things that Explorers would like done for them by a Smarthome or domestic robot is off with a rush.



What We Wish A Robot or Smartphone Could Do For Us

Saratoga Retirement Community explorers take on the assignment of describing just what a robot might do for them, not only around the home, but beyond.

The Topic: If you could wave a magic wand and have your house, or robot servant magically do three things for you each week or day that would make your life easier and help you stay in your own home longer. The three things would be...



Forget to Turn the Stove Off

Once or twice a month I leave the stove on after fixing breakfast. Most of the time I realize that I have left the stove on but it may be an hour or two after breakfast. I worry about what might happen as a result of this forgetfulness.



Smart Bathrooms

The Longevity Explorer Circle: SmartHomes, Robots, AI met on Feb 21, 2023. The discussion was about Smart Bathrooms for seniors. Attendees discussed both their needs and some solutions that they have found that might be useful to others.



Problems, Products, Use Cases: In Home Mobility

The first meeting of the Longevity Explorer Circle: Smarthomes, Robots, AI took place on May 24, 2022. We discussed the plans for the circle and did two "segments" on problems, use cases, and products to get started. This segment was "In-Home Mobility" 

The Jan 17, 2023 discussion was...



Walker Squawker @ Passavant

The Passavant Community Circle evaluates a new animatronic bird designed to be attached to a walker or rollator, and to to serve as a playful reminder to use one’s walker by providing the user with an interactive and personalized “sidekick”.



AI and Cognitive Assistance

This circle met to see a demo by one of the explorers of the Amazon Astro Robot, and to explore the intersection of AI and cognitive impairment.



Rooms are Never The Right Temperature

My Mom’s heating and cooling HVAC system doesn’t distribute the air well throughout her home

I was running into the same problem in my house, and I was manually turning on floor and ceiling fans, but this can get tiring. I wanted a solution.



Simple Way to Add Outdoor Security Camera

I want a way to add an outdoor security camera to my house, without the bother of batteries, or running electricity outside.



My Dad Keeps Calling Me at a Bad Time

My dad lives in a different time zone and never seems to remember my work schedule. He is trying to call me for just a chat, but really gets confused about me being three hours later.



Servi Food Service Robot

Passavant explorers evaluate Servi: A self-driving auto-return robot that assists with serving drinks, running food and bussing tables.



How Long To Lunch?: Alzheimers Sufferer Asks

I'm desperate to find an Alexa app for my uncle who suffers from Alzheimers. He not only has the issue of am/pm confusion, but he is very concerned about missing a meal.



Problems, Products, Use Cases: Physical

The first meeting of the Longevity Explorer Circle: Smarthomes, Robots, AI took place on May 24, 2022. We discussed the plans for the circle and did two "segments" on problems, use cases and products to get started. This segment was about "Physical" (see the definition below).

This discussion was focused on: Smart Homes, Robots and AI that can help with physical things like lifting, getting out of bed, moving around the groceries, opening the shades and more. 



Problems, Products, Use Cases: Social

The first meeting of the Longevity Explorer Circle: Smarthomes, Robots, AI took place on May 24, 2022. We discussed the plans for the circle and did two "segments" on problems, use cases and products to get started. This segment was about "Social" (see the definition below).

This discussion was focused on: Smart Homes, Robots and AI that can help with cognitive and emotional things, like staying in touch with friends, reminding us when we forget something, helping with feelings like loneliness, helping to care for someone with dementia. 



About the Impact Theme Series

Our Longevity Explorers (hundreds of older adults with ages ranging from 60-95 years old) meet regularly to discuss topics at the intersection of aging and technology.

Among the many topics we discuss in these meetings, we have been exploring some specific themes which we think are going to be very important for older adults in the future, and which in our opinion are ripe for innovation. These make up our Impact Themes, and Smart Home, AI, Robots, Internet of Things is one of these themes.

In these discussions:

  • We share how we do things today;
  • We explore and critique existing products;
  • We talk about challenges we have that we wish products could solve; and
  • We dream up product concepts we wish someone like you would develop.

If you are developing products or services for older adults in the category of Smart Home, AI, Robots, Internet of Things, listen to the Longevity Explorer discussions on this page to get insights about how to develop better products and services for older adults.

More Explorer Discussions


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Topics (broader coverage of this theme):