Parks Associates’ study “COVID-19: Impact on Seniors, Caregivers, and Independent Living Solutions” reveals that nearly 33% of US seniors (ages 65 and older) are considering purchasing an independent living system. This interest follows a trend of increasing technology adoption among the 65+ US population.
AI is growing in importance in senior and assisted living environments. With over 70 million baby boomers expected to retire by 2030, combined with increased awareness due to the pandemic, openness to connected solutions is expected to grow. Parks Associates’ latest data shows that 76% of broadband households 65+ personally use a smartphone, and 34% own a smart speaker or display. In addition, among those concerned with the safety of aging loved ones living alone or with a caregiver, 67% reported a desire to purchase a smart device. Specific customizations such as LifePod (for Alexa devices) demonstrate a concerted move towards supporting and building out the web and mobile portals for caregivers. Caregiver Smart Solutions utilizes AI to analyze sensor data to identify deviations from schedule patterns, detect falls, and has an app to notify caregivers.
Video and audio analytics are making possible improvements in security adjacent technologies. Audio and video capture has become a big point of consideration for prospective smart device owners. AI has grown in its capability to understand and identify various factors and events, including facial recognition, language comprehension, audio recognition, and even the ability to read license plates. AI-enabled smart displays can recognize singing and cheering and begin recording to capture a special moment or event. According to the research firm’s commentary, microphone-embedded smart devices offer clear value to consumers. AI’s ability to detect glass breaking and baby crying demonstrates how advanced audio analytics have become.
Facial recognition capabilities are also key to the smart home consumer and make the smart home experience more seamless. Facial recognition allows smart cameras, doorbells, alarms, and other devices to recognize familiar faces like family and friends, as opposed to intruders and strangers, which results in fewer false alarms. Contextual awareness and event-based recording have become more common in smart cameras and other audio devices. Alexa Hunches, for example, can recommend smart device actions to their users based on past usage and trends.
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