In 2020, here's a cliché we’d love to see laid to rest for good: we want people to stop thinking that technology and seniors don’t mix.
The recent CES 2020 tech festival helps make our case. As you may have read before, there are plenty of great high-tech gadgets for seniors.
CES, started by the Consumer Technology Association, presents the best new products coming to the market. This year, the event is featuring several trending items perfect for the new decade ahead of us.
Here’s our choices for the top trends coming out of this year’s CES:
Awareables. Healthcare is a top concern for everyone —and it’s one of the biggest areas where technology can help us. Telemedicine is on the rise. Studies show 58% of Americans over age 65 use the internet to seek out healthcare information. Enter Awareables, a medical-device company from Baltimore.
At CES 2020, Awareables unveiled its line of sleep monitors, designed to help people get a full night of rejuvenating rest. Awareables’ sleep recorders include a heart rate monitor as well as a microphone to detect snoring. The devices use positioning sensors to determine whether you toss and turn during the night. This can monitor your sleep and improve overall health, as 20% of Americans suffer from sleep apnea. This is especially important for people with concerned with both sleep apnea and hearing loss.
StrattyX. Studies show debt is on the rise. and with StrattyX, you can monitor your investments by making it easier to trade stocks. This app’s advantage is that it allows users to set up a strategy for when stocks should be traded. You can even run simulations to see how your strategy would play out before putting in your money. This app might be a good choice for people who are concerned with recovering from a late start on retirement planning.
HEALium. Virtual reality is a techy area poised to explode. With this new product, users receive a virtual environment that reflects their emotional state. By decreasing stress, users “heal” their virtual world.
HEALium lends a simulation strategy to the art of decreasing your tension . This is especially useful for seniors since studies have shown a direct link between stress and early fatalities . However, HEALium is designed to help mitigate against this by reducing stress in as little as four minutes.
BLAST. This is another product designed to alleviate stress. This one, however, is a wearable piece of tech that gives the user a soft vibration. This vibration is geared to alter the body’s responses to stress in the brain. BLAST (Bilateral Alternating Stimulation Tacticle) comes from TouchPoint —and is designed to alleviate stress symptoms, including head and stomach aches.
Apollo Stick. One accessory lots of people wish they could get rid of is a walking aid, like a cane or a walker. Apollo Stick hopes to take out the stigma of canes by going hi-tech. This new-wave cane is made of lightweight carbon fiber. But it’s the safety features that make it a great investment. The Apollo Stick features an SOS panic button and a built-in GPS system. Plus, it offers an LED flashlight to help navigate when it’s dark.
SmartHome Brands. Many retirees move into assisted living environments after they have health issues or other reasons that they want more help. Luckily, SmartHome features help seniors stay in their own homes longer. Various brands, including Logitech, Connect Sense and Brilliant Control, are available in this field. Many of these features are designed to automate processes so you can worry less. Some of these features include:
Home security: Home security systems have been common for years, but now smartphones are taking this one step further. Users can get apps that allow them to check their door locks when they leave home. They can also remotely view their homes through streaming camera mounts. This is particularly important for those who are retired and stay home during the day as FBI statistics show more burglaries are committed during the daytime.
Doorbells: Smart doorbells add more security with the added ability to monitor who’s at your door. An advantage? People with hearing loss can also set their doorbell to ring directly in their hearing aids via Bluetooth®, or even include vibrations. And if you can’t make it to the door, many doorbell models allow you to talk directly to those at your front door without leaving your chair.
Medication: Automatic medicine dispensers can help you keep track of your pills to ensure you take them all (and at the right times). These dispensers can also track when you’re running low and remind you to request refills from your doctor or pharmacy.
Appliances: SmartHome features ensure your appliances are all energy efficient. You can monitor your stove or oven on apps and turn it off remotely. As seniors are 2.5 times more likely to die in fires, this is particularly helpful as a life-safety feature.
But it doesn’t end with safety. Automated refrigerators can track your grocery list and let you automatically order new items. These can be even be delivered with shopping delivery apps such as Instacart, Shipt and DoorDash.
Earbuds and hearing aids (Apple AirPods and Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro) Twenty-five percent of people between ages 65 and 75 contend with hearing loss. That figure jumps to 50% after age 75. That’s why wireless headphones increasingly are becoming so popular with that age group. Many people attach earbuds to smartphones to help with phone calls. Others use them with TVs so they can hear their favorite shows at their own volume, without having to turn it up too loud for the others in the room or home. Finally, others are turning to earbuds for use with audiobooks as an alternative to reading if their eyesight begins to fail as well. For those who do suffer from hearing loss, you should know that the latest hearing aids, like Oticon’s OpnS , are rechargeable, Bluetooth®-connected and feature Brain-Hearing technology. In fact, Oticon Opn won a 2017 CES Best of Innovation Award, the Oticon's HearingFitness™ won a CES innovation award in 2018 and Oticon's AI assistant, Kaizn™ won CES Best of Innovation Award in the Software and Mobile Apps category last year.
Robotics. Robot servants may seem like the world of science fiction. And while we may not have AI butlers and maids, we do have access to simple robots that can perform household tasks. Currently, there are numerous products such as Roomba that can vacuum your house, mow your lawn and clean your windows. These repetitive manual tasks that can be difficult to complete for those with health and mobility problems. In the future, in-store robots may also make the shopping experience easier.
From robots to computer-enabled walking sticks, technology at the CES 2020 showcase is always varied with something for everyone. Seniors can find health data, safety and freedom from regular chores in these new advancements as well as plenty of entertainment. With so many technology choices, you can design your best life.