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New Research: More People 50-Plus Using Tech to Stay Connected to Friends, Loved Ones; AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins Highlights Social Connection at Inaugural CES Pitch Competition
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — At CES® 2019, AARP is putting the spotlight on the $7.6 trillion of annual economic activity generated by Americans age 50-plus, which is equivalent to the third largest economy in the world. AARP data show that, as consumers live longer and lead more active lives, they also spend more: for every dollar spent in the U.S., 51 cents are spent by people over the age of 50. AARP is also at CES to showcase technology solutions to increase social connection for people of all ages, since social isolation is on the rise across generations, from Boomers to Millennials. This is part of AARP’s Longevity Economy™ initiative to provide education to various industries about marketplace wants and needs of the 50-plus population.
“The economic power of people age 50-plus is clear and technology is a central part of their lives. AARP is working to spark new solutions that focus on the interests and needs of people in this influential group,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “AARP is at CES to collaborate with the tech industry to help deliver new products and services to a large and, so far, underserved market and spotlight a key opportunity that other businesses are missing out on.”
To shed light on how tech is being embraced, AARP today released its 2018 Tech Usage report, which found nearly 132 million Americans age 50 and older will spend upwards of $84 billion a year on technology products by 2030. While women spent more on tech overall than men last year, men are 27 percent more likely than women to make high-ticket tech purchases (28 versus 22 percent).
The new study found a significant majority (94 percent) of Americans age 50 and up are using technology to stay connected to friends and family, a statistically significant climb over 2017 (91 percent). About half of older Americans own a smart TV; the survey data suggests nine million more plan to buy one within the year. The popularity of home assistants, such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, has grown significantly, with ownership about doubling from 2017 to 2018.
Added Jenkins: “Our research findings demonstrate that those companies who ignore older Americans are missing out on a huge – and growing – opportunity.”
AARP also is sponsoring Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation’s first CES 2019 Pitch Competition. The eight companies invited to pitch use a variety of technologies, ranging from voice, touch, language and biometrics, to help increase personal connection.
CES 2019 attendees are invited to participate in the pitch event by live audience voting. The competition is Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. PT at the Start Up Stage in Eureka Park at the Sands. The two winning companies will be invited to AARP’s Grand Pitch competition in the fourth quarter of 2019.
AARP Booth #42949 in Smart Home Marketplace at Sands
AARP is exhibiting in the Smart Home Marketplace in the Sands (Booth 42949). The exhibit will showcase new AARP products – including the Confetti online platform and Alcove virtual reality app – and three startups that are collaborating with AARP Innovation Labs.
“AARP Innovation Labs engages with startups to transform markets and change lives,” said Andy Miller, senior vice president of innovation and product development at AARP. “Innovation is at the core of what we do at AARP. Our goal at CES is to showcase technologies to increase social connection and to encourage the technology industry to design tech solutions that improve the quality of life for people of all ages.”
The five products on display in the AARP exhibit include:
Alcove: AARP’s new virtual reality product that enables families to connect no matter their travel budget, time or mobility constraints. People can hang out together in Alcove, travel to Paris, swim with dolphins in the Pacific, practice meditation, fly over the Alps in a balloon, engage in health and wellness activities, share photo memories, or simply watch TV with faraway family members, all in a virtual immersive environment.
Confetti: AARP’s photo collaboration platform that makes it easy to bring people together around life’s most important moments: to honor the past, celebrate the present, and get excited for what lies ahead.
Pillo: an in-home companion robot and voice-first countertop device that leverages health data to guide users on medication and care plan adherence. It also helps connect individuals with caregivers and family members.
Rendever: a virtual reality product that allows people in assisted living facilities to bring memories with them and have new experiences. They can revisit their home, favorite park, or wedding site, or visit new destinations, events and museums via VR.
VRHealth: a first-of-its-kind healthcare technology company that helps clinicians better manage their patients’ care via specialized VR technology solutions and data analysis.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.