Richard Wade fixes his home computer by looking at his phone, going on Google or YouTube, and viewing instructional videos created by persons “more proficient in the language of digitalia” than he is.

Wade calls corporate hotlines for various technical concerns. He receives useful responses “more frequently than you’d imagine,” he says.

“I want to commend the telephone operators,” Wade remarked. “They used to speak with me in tech. And I was unable to comprehend it since I am not tech-savvy. Yet, as of late, they have been quite patient and lead me through the process.

I believe the IT sector may be listening to individuals like me.

Booming senior population drives tech innovation for and by seniors 2023 2

Booming seniors spur tech innovation.

72-year-old Wade is a retired psychotherapist in Santa Clarita. According to a new AARP survey, his preference for equipment involving some form of computer code is not unusual for someone of his age. In recent years, and especially since the start of the pandemic, older Americans have been the tech industry’s fastest-growing customer segment, devouring devices such as smartwatches and self-driving vacuums and signing up for supposedly youth-friendly social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

Yet in the rapidly evolving worlds of aging and technology, the events of the preceding five years pale in contrast to what lies ahead.

That is already a fact.

Few predictions are supported by as many scientists, capitalists, and educators as the belief that elderly people and advanced technology will soon become best friends.

Daniel Kaplan, the senior associate at Generator Ventures, a San Mateo firm that invests in firms that provide health-related technology for older people, stated categorically, “It’s happening.”

According to Maria Henke, senior assistant dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, “it is already a reality.” Henke crafts the curriculum for the school’s aging and technology courses, which debuted in the autumn.

“Many of our students are mid-career professionals interested in technology,” stated Henke. People pursue degrees in gerontology because they see that this is the future.

It is a future dependent on a population trend known as the aging boom.

The game(s) on

Experts define age tech as a universe of code-based goods made for and, wherever feasible, by older people.

“If anything can prevent the world of an older person from shrinking, it’s probably age technology,” said Henke.

Nevertheless, the precise definition is currently unclear. Ben Franklin’s spectacles were an early form of technology by some criteria. Yet by all accounts, many newer computer-based gadgets, like as voice-activated biosensors that detect speech patterns in order to alert physicians or other caretakers to early indications of depression or dementia, are also age technology.

‘Not me’

If nothing else, the new connection between elderly people and tech icons will address a persistent issue in tech-oriented marketing.

For decades, advertising for IT products has implied that youth is a substitute for invention, creativity, and intellect. But ageing? Typically, it has the opposite meaning.

In a world dominated by people over the age of 60, this particular idea may not find traction.

Myra Solano Garcia, 64, of Los Angeles, whose tech use centered on the internet and Zoom, responded, “No, I haven’t felt like the type of person that’s portrayed in tech advertising.”

“I’ve felt spoken down to.”

Yet, the former soprano opera singer and former vice president of the University of La Verne dismisses this issue. She believes that “commercial realities” will compel computer manufacturers and others to adopt a “age is acceptable” mentality.