Tech Rides the ‘Gray Tsunami’

Age-tech aims to keep booming demographic thriving. Can it?


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March 1, 2020

Welcome to technology’s new wave: age-tech — the preferred term for products and experiences aimed at America’s “gray tsunami.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 73 million Baby Boomers. And the Census’ 2017 National Population Projections showed that by 2034, seniors 65 years and older will outnumber children under 18.

The tech world is taking note, racing to serve this aging demographic — a group that, until now, has essentially been ignored by the industry. Whether it’s developing products that allow seniors to age in place or live in retirement homes, assisted-living facilities or memory care centers, this is tech’s next frontier. Age-tech today promises to connect seniors with their families, increase their mental stimulation, deter isolation and keep them safe and healthy.

Eskaton partnered with startup K4Connect to integrate smart sensors into apartments using devices such as lights and thermostats. The company rolled out social tablets with the K4Connect app that residents could also use to check the menu, access community announcements and connect with family members, but they didn’t do so well, says ten Brinke. “There was a steep learning curve, and sometimes there were some barriers for someone living with forgetfulness and lack of dexterity.” Read more.

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