Thursday, April 19, 2018

Brighten Up Seniors with Smart Home Thinking

In what ways can personal technologies improve the quality of life for elderly adults? What features should designers prioritize to incorporate in consumer technologies for seniors? How should marketers best overcome resistances among older adults to embracing these features?
     Researchers at King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thailand considered these questions as they reviewed dozens of studies about smart home design for the elderly. They identified major benefits smart home technologies could deliver:
  • Health monitoring. Devices can issue reminders to take medicines, do exercises, brush teeth, and carry out other activities on schedule. Sensors could monitor water usage, movement through the residence, and time spent in the kitchen, for instance, and automatically send out warnings over the internet to family or health care personnel when daily routines are disrupted. Motion sensors could be designed to detect a senior falling down. Knowing their welfare is being monitored can reduce seniors’ anxieties, enhancing emotional health. 
  • Environmental monitoring. The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors which help protect the safety of residents regardless of age can alert public safety personnel to dangers that seniors may not be able to handle when living alone. Electronic door openers and sensors which keep the senior informed what’s happening throughout the home might ease muscle fatigue. 
  • Companionship & social interaction. Although robots which move about, use human-like voices, and respond to spoken directions are much less common in the homes of seniors than in the research studies exploring use with seniors, there’s evidence of robots’ value providing a form of companionship. Smart homes wired for video communications throughout have been found to reduce loneliness when age takes a toll on mobility. Systems can monitor the number of daily visitors. 
  • Stimulation and recreation. Rigging home lighting systems to change color and brightness at different times of day are sufficient to ease senior boredom by breaking up the routine. Interactive games can be wired into the whole house design rather than being restricted just to the desktop computer and mobile devices. 
     These capabilities do carry high potential for improving quality of life, but the studies found major concerns among the elderly center around perceived threats to privacy, the financial budget, and self-confidence. This third one has to do with the senior citizen fearing they won’t know how to control the technology. Ease of use, including ease of turning off the technology, are integral to adoption of smart home thinking.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Creep Out Shoppers, But Explain
Face Resistance to Shopper-Facing Technology
Facilitate Downsizing for Senior Shoppers

No comments:

Post a Comment