New Technology to Make Senior Living Easier, Safer, Happier
Last updated 5/28/2019 at 11:25am | View PDF
As the 50+ market continues to grow, so does the market for the new technology that will make our lives easier, safer and happier as we get older.
At the recent Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung showcased a variety of new products in its "Samsung City" display in the heart of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Among the items on display was the Samsung Bot Care, the healthcare-specialized robot, which can measure user's blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and sleeping state, and is even capable of reminding them when it's time to take their medicine.
The Samsung Bot product line also includes Samsung Bot Retail, which streamlines ordering and payments and offers a personalized retail experience, and Samsung Bot Air, which uses sensors to detect the precise source of pollution and purify the air.
Meanwhile, Abeye, a startup company in Burgundy, France manufactures "smart eyewear for health and wellness." Their newest product, however, does more than just help people see.
"Our product is fall detection eyeglasses for seniors in order to enable safe aging at home, without suffering from stigmatization induced by current devices," company founder and CEO Michael Kodochian told The Good Life.
He describes his product as "standard looking eyeglasses that embed state-of-the-art electronics and algorithms to detect falldowns."
According to Kodochian, the Abeye eyeglasses are:
"Elegant, standard looking – not stigmatizing. This is a key point for seniors who are reluctant to wear stigmatising devices.
"Simple to use. They have no on/off button, they just always work.
"Effective. Thanks to our algorithm, they detect a broader range of falls: hard falls and most soft falls. Soft is, 'I feel dizzy, I catch a table but finish on the floor softly, for example.' It is accurate and has very low false alerts level."
The Abeye eyeglasses run on batteries similar to audio batteries. Every battery pack lasts for four months.
Kodochian also described the eyeglasses as safe.
"The senior care eyeglasses collect no data and emit no wave except in case of an alert. The glasses also have a manual push alert button for all the other cases such as heart problem, fire at home or other service."
When a person falls down, the glasses detect the fall. The first thing the glasses do is to vibrate to tell the person, "I noticed something is wrong, do not worry, I will send a request for help," Kodochian explained.
The person then has 20 seconds to cancel. If not canceled, the alert is sent to a home relay that immediately contacts the care service company. The box has a mic and speaker phone so people can dialogue with professionals who quickly decide the level of emergency and send an appropriate response to the home. It can be to neighbors or family, or to call an ambulance.
Unlike the other new technology in this article (or in future articles in this series), the LOVOT, developed by Groove X in Tokyo, is not going to make anyone's life easier or even safer.
"The LOVOT is not a useful robot that will do tasks for human beings," admits CEO Kaname Hayashi. "It begs for attention and gets in the way of those it lives with, and at times will shy away from people it does not know.
"It is adorable just by being there," he continued, explaining how it can make seniors' lives happier. "When you are with it, you feel a sense of relief, of contentment, and can't help but smile. You get a warm feeling inside. People feel a sense of happiness when they reach out and gently touch it or hug it close. You can feel the joy of loving something. When robots can have such a trusted relationship with people and become a way to add enrichment and security to their lives, we believe that they can nurture people's 'capacity to love' and lead to enhancing their everyday performance.
"What we have pursued with technology is not effi ciency or usefulness but rather a robot that makes people truly happy by its innocent character and charming gestures that feels satisfying to cuddle," he added. "It gently stirs people's feelings and fi lls us with happiness. It draws out our capacity to love and gives us the energy to face our tomorrows. Though it is not alive, LOVOT is warm. It has been created for you to love it."