The nearly 73 million US Baby Boomers currently exiting the workforce and aging into social security will seek to maximize their retirement experience, opening up the so-called “Longevity Economy.” As this demographic expects to live longer than any previous, the ability to maintain their independence will define the quality of their lives. While the Longevity Economy will certainly open up new areas of opportunity, creating real value for Boomers will be less about solving the problems of aging, and more about creating products and services that allow them to maintain independence longer.
When it comes to designing for independence, we push our clients to think beyond traditional solutions—like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” approach—to reach new generations of increasingly tech-savvy seniors. In our latest insight report, we’ve identified six strategies and provocations for using tech-enabled products and services to address the major pain points of losing independence, including:
Keeping the independence equilibrium intact. What if the combination of smart refrigerators and grocery-delivery services enabled seniors to take over meal planning and grocery shopping for their busy children, and then use telepresence technology to teach their grandkids how to prepare and cook a meal with the groceries they ordered?
Fighting social isolation. What if people with memory challenges could wear AR glasses with integrated facial recognition that can whisper or display the names of the people they meet out in public, or send reminders for appointments or medications?
Finding purpose by staying on the job. What if AI can be designed to augment a senior’s diminishing capacity to quickly process new information? Working together, the AI might capture, organize and add insight to information during meetings or conversations, then help them review and interpret the information later.