Consumer Electronics seems to be aimed at the age 18-35 crowd but more baby boomers born in the 1950’s enjoy and use new technologies, according to AARP. According to the U.S. Census, in 2010 there were over 40 million people age 65 or older that were living in the United States. This figure is expected to grow to more than 88 million, or 20 percent of the population, by 2050. At the June local show of the Consumer Electronics Association, in New York City, the CEA launched an ambitious program to support this rising percentage of the population.
Manufacturers such as Great Call and Clarity are reaching out to older and actively-challenged people. Based on the census projections, it seems that electronics can benefit a new, emerging group of the consumer public.
Is it possible that consumer electronics may bring a virtual reality experience to a population that is less mobile, though still active?
The CEA Foundation announced today that Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. (Selfhelp), an eldercare service organization based in New York City, is its first grantee. Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center (VSC) enhances the lives of home bound seniors by using computer, video and Internet technology in seniors’ homes and at local senior centers to create an interactive experience that reduces social isolation, promotes wellness, and provides better access to community services.
The CEA Foundation and Selfhelp plan to identify two locations in New York City to expand activities currently run at the Benjamin Rosenthal-Prince Street Senior Center. During the implementation of these two additional locations, a replication guide will be created in order to bring the Virtual Senior Center project to scale in multiple cities across the country.
Through the power of the Internet, greater emphasis on mobile electronics, and support services, elder people may lead better, independent lives in a happier future of virtual connectedness.