Technology is making life better for Baby Boomers who are embracing it just as much as Millennials. From ride-sharing to dating apps, specialized smartphone plans, and cool gadgets like the Kanega watch, the growing demographic of over 55s is benefitting from increased services and products they can use and are willing to buy.
You’ve heard the terms third age, golden years, senior citizens and probably cringe. For the lucky ones that make it to that stage of their lives, tech is making their lives better, way better. Surprisingly for many, they are not fumbling with tech but embracing it full on.The similarities between Millennials and Baby Boomers are striking. There are over 90 million Americans in the United States over 55 and they are more active than ever. When it comes to being connected, they are almost as active as Millennials who are those born between 1982 and 2004.Here are some of the technologies that Baby Boomers are taking advantage of and that are being catered specifically to this growing demographic:
Uber, Lyft and carpooling services are super convenient when it comes to going to social outings and running errands that previously required the help of busy children or even grandchildren that are sometimes not even living in the same state. If you need to have a procedure, go to the doctor or even go out with friends, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to use one of these services to get to where you need to go and come back in a cinch.
If you are over 50 and are looking to be more social, you can go to specialized sites that cater specifically to your age group. Stitch is an app and online community which helps people over 50 find love and romance, travel companionships, group activities, dates and new friendships. Their focus is to help improve the lives of older adults and help people in this age group fill the void of social isolation and the potential loneliness they may face. There are also many sites such as OurTime.com, SeniorMatch and specialized sections at traditional sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com. There is no Tinder for seniors as of yet.
T-Mobile just announced their T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ for people 55 and older. They realized that Baby Boomers spend an average of 149 minutes a day on their smartphones which is a huge number. Think about it, Millennials (those born after 1990) are supposed to be the most connected generation, spending 171 minutes per day on their phones according to the Nielsen Mobile Insights Report for the first half of 2017. That’s a huuuuge number.Check out this video from T-Mobile's CEO announcing the new plan.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMtAagKW_q4The plan costs $50 for the first line and $10 for a second line if you use their autopay discount of $5 per line with Taxes and Fees Included. They will also pay up to $650 or more per line to get you out of your current contract and pay off your current phone when you get a new phone with them.At about $30 per line for 2 lines, that’s a great deal. T-Mobile is serious about getting people over 55 connected for less and this plan is proof that they can really think out of the box.
Let’s face it, many emergency alert products are mostly ugly and their concept is outdated. UnaliWear created the Kanega watch, a watch that is like an OnStar for seniors because they provide a series of conveniences such as fall alerts, reminders for medications and it’s completely controlled via voice.Well, what’s the difference between this watch and a now traditional smartwatch you may wonder? Traditional smartwatches require a phone to send the signals and the Kanega watch does not need a smartphone since it has its own cellular and Wi-Fi access. The watch is full of cool features like the ability to connect to hearing aids directly, is waterproof and it uses speech to get its commands instead of confusing buttons.What I like about the Kanega is that it looks like a regular watch so it removes the stigma of wearing an assistive device. There is a small drawback, a $50 activation fee and a monthly fee of $49.99 which covers the cell service, call-backs for dementia, falling and any other issues.Silicon Valley, investors and other companies have realized that people in this stage of their lives in the U.S. are a powerful and wealthy demographic that’s currently underserved. This is an opportunity for start-ups and businesses which benefits Boomers with an increase in services and products they can actually use and are willing to buy. Win-Win.