Baby Boomers Joined Mobile Tech Bandwagon in 2014

By on May 1, 2014
photo of woman holding smartphone

By Sookie Lioncourt –

In an interview with technology journalist Lary Magid, Jon Stein of Forbes wrote in his article last year that “it’s stupid and insulting to pitch baby boomers as tech novices.” In his defense, Stein said that the foundation of mobile technology came from baby boomers (people born in the 1950s who witness the expansion of schools) such as AppsTech founder Rebecca Enonchong and Personal Robots Group founder Cynthia Breazeal. Today, this generation shares the front seat with the younger demographic in welcoming the latest developments in mobile technology. Citing a March 2014 report from Deloitte, the Yorkshire Post said that users aged 55 and up will have a good share of mobile technological wealth, allowing them to continue working and live their lives at a faster pace.

Given this opportunity, in what ways can you embrace and maximize today’s mobile technology?

Social media: Staying connected with loved ones

Social media has become an integral part of mobile technology, allowing baby boomers to stay connected to their loved ones. As written by the Insider Guide of Verizon, social media use among over 50s has doubled up,. “Reaching out to friends from the past and creating a broad social network can help your parent stay active and energetic,” the article said.

Aside from Facebook, there are other social networking sites dedicated to mature adult such as the Genkvetch Social Networking. Aside from their enticing font and color scheme, Genkvetch dedicates a personal section for news on current events, health, and volunteer opportunities.

mHealth continues to branch out

mHealth has been successful in the recent years, especially as more clinics support the use mobile devices in specimen collection, issue prescriptions, and diagnose a disease. Going beyond, mobile health initiatives this year will include low-resource settings to promote healthier lifestyles and to assist baby boomers as they age.

A prime example of these initiatives is the White Paper Series, a partnership between mHealth Alliance and Pfizer. Aside from the health benefits, the White Paper Series will help the aging population understand their aspirations, financial investments, and appropriate use of existing technologies. Particularly, the initiative uses mobile technology to conduct the following:

· Curing non-communicable diseases

· Training caregivers for the elderly

· Examining psychological disorders

Wearable sensors

Today, technological innovation paved the way to bring to life devices that can be attached to your bodies to function as health trackers. Technology Review writer Susan Young Rojahn said that today’s wearable gadgets aren’t solely about the fitness enthusiasts – there are also devices dedicated to mature adult who wish to stay in their homes.

A popular name in this aspect is CarePredict, which aims to monitor the movements and the current location of the wearer. CarePredict CEO Satish Movva notes that it goes beyond the technology behind Fitbit, as it interacts with four beacons, alerting your companion on where exactly are you around the house as well as your pulse rate, etc.

Mobile operating systems

Whether they are operated by Android or iOS, today’s mobile devices are equipped with assistive features and health tracking mechanisms. Here are two of today’s largest operating systems:

· iOS 7

With the iOS 7, your iPhones and iPads have become more baby boomer-friendly and adaptable to your needs. For one, it offers a hands-free interaction, wherein a simple head nod will control the entire screen. For low-vision users, the Voice Over feature has been tweaked: Sarafi’s address bar now speaks the current URL, and recently updated apps now announce their status once tapped.

· Android 4.4 KitKat

Forbes lauded the Android 4.4 Kitkat for its Step Detector and Step Counter, allowing fitness app users to track their activities while working out. The Runtastic Pedometer app, uses these features to determine if you’re taking the daily 10,000 steps required for a healthier lifestyle.

With these significant improvements, we certainly don’t believe that baby boomers are newbies in terms of mobile technology.  As mobile tech improves every day, the aging population can still expect more tools and gadgets to assist them along the way.

 

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Sookie LIoncourtSookie Lioncourt always makes sure that her 57-year-old father is updated with the latest in mobile technology. She believes that this is essential in assisting her father towards a healthier lifestyle. For more juicy stories and news, hit Sookie on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Baby Boomers Joined Mobile Tech Bandwagon in 2014