Every year the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) introduces the global population to the hottest trends in technology. This show is the cream of the crop, so to speak, where all the major electronics manufacturers do their best to one up competitors by unveiling the item with the biggest ‘wow’ factor. In years past the CES has largely been aimed at younger consumers who are itching to get the hottest new tech trend in their hands. Not only are younger consumers willing to pay, but they anxiously await these new products every single year.
However, this year things were a little bit different. The event took place January 8-12 and was one for the books. One of the top – and perhaps most surprising – trends of the CES this year was a focus on serving the senior population and addressing their needs. Numerous big name electronics brands are shifting their focus and introducing products that aim to help seniors age safely and efficiently. A sneak peek at some of the products include devices designed to give caregivers added peace of mind, custom shoes with tracking sensors that can detect falls, and a device that deploys personal airbags from a custom belt to help protect the wearer in the event of a fall. The products that are sure to come with the biggest ‘wow’ factor at this year’s CES include a Whill Model Ci wheelchair, equipped with rugged wheels and a revolutionary new look that will allow the user to go about 10 miles with each charge. Seniors that are tapped into the tech world already have the option of steering the wheelchair either with a mounted joystick or an app on their mobile phone (McKnight’s).
This is a huge step for both manufacturers and seniors, and it is indicative of where we are going right now. While millennials and younger generations are often the focus for these kinds of events, the fact that seniors will be at the center is huge. As the senior housing industry continues to transform and evolve, we expect to see more interconnectedness, products, and facilities that rely on technology to meet the changing demands of seniors. Be sure and check back in with us for more on how the senior living industry is evolving and what this means for providers and investors alike.