Industry Analyst Urges Vendors to Design Technology for All Ages in AARP-Sponsored New Report

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Sponsored by AARP’s Thought Leadership Team, this new report, researched by Aging in Place Technology Watch’s Laurie M. Orlov, delivers a vision for the future of communications and engagement technology – including smart phones, tablets, games, computers and software.

Technology that is designed for all -- rather than designed for none -- enables user experiences that appeal to all age groups.

People are social. Their need to communicate and stay engaged with work, family, friends, and peers is a driver for adoption of enabling technologies like cell phones and social networking sites. While usage among adults aged 50+ is accelerating, tech vendors and designers could reach more of this market by adopting the principles identified in the new report: Connected Living for Social Aging: Designing Technology for All, researched by Laurie M. Orlov, founder and Principal Analyst of market research firm Aging in Place Technology Watch.

"There is no time to waste,” said Orlov. “A swelling rank of baby boomer consumers, money in hand, are ready to buy better products that will help them stay connected and live social lives. But too often technology products, challenging in their complexity, are designed for none – trying our patience and persistence, forcing us to struggle with a device that may make us feel physically clumsy and less than smart. Instead of this techno-babbling world, in the future vendors will enable user experiences that appeal to all age groups, enabling customization to our needs, available across multiple versions and devices.”

The report’s insights about the required attributes of technology products that are designed for all are based on interviews with thirty experts drawn from companies like Intel, Philips, HP, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google as well as research and industry experts from Forrester, UCLA, Georgia Tech, USC, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Long-time Forrester and tech industry veteran Laurie M. Orlov is the leading industry analyst describing the trends and technologies in the boomer and senior market. Her blog, related articles and trends reports can be found at http://www.ageinplacetech.com. The AARP report is one of three comprehensive reports available on the website – including a Market Overview and Home Healthcare report.

Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President of AARP: “Our hope is that through papers like this, through the sharing of research insights about end-users and the needs and opportunities they present, that the technology industry -- both big companies and startups -- will embrace the goal of design for all as its standard. What will follow will be action on a scale that can make a difference, delivering an array of designed-for-all technology products and services, information and tools that address the needs and wants of the 50+ and enhance the quality of life for all as we age.”

Headquartered in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Aging in Place Technology Watch provides thought leadership, analysis and guidance about technologies and related services that enable boomers and seniors to remain longer in their home of choice. In addition to her technology background and years as a technology industry analyst, founder Laurie M. Orlov is a certified geriatric care manager and member of the Philips Think Tank on Health & Well-Being.

Orlov spent more than 30 years in the technology industry, including 24 years in IT and nine years as a leading industry analyst at Forrester Research. She is a recognized expert and advises organizations like AARP and the Center for Technology and Aging. Her blog is widely referenced and re-published across the Internet and she has spoken at Aging in America, What’s Next, Silver Summit at CES, and the GSA Business of Aging conference.

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