Every January, a Las Vegas exhibition called CES showcases leading-edge consumer electronic products, attracting people from around the world. The fact that the 2017 show was attended by 175,000 tech fans proves it is, indeed, a massively popular event.
This is the place where innovative technology products are often introduced or get a major leg-up on popularity. That’s because journalists from just about every news source—from traditional outlets like The Wall Street Journal to digital sources like Salon.com—write about their favorite tech product from the show. That’s how Meth-Wick staff learned about exciting technology that will enhance the lives of our current and future residents. And we couldn’t wait to share it!
Laurie Olov of Aging in Place Technology Watch did a great job of recapping the show’s best products for older adults. Here is an edited excerpt of an article she recently wrote for the company’s website.
- Floodlight Cam by Ring. This offering has potential for older adults living alone. And it is also a reason by itself to obtain a smartphone. “The Floodlight Cam is a motion-activated security camera with built-in LED floodlights, a 270-degree field-of-view, facial recognition, a 110-decibel siren alarm, two-way audio, and is infrared for night vision. With the Ring app, homeowners can manually flash the floodlights, sound the alarm, and zoom or pan to focus. Users can set customizable motion zones and a schedule for the lights to turn on and off automatically.”
- Outdoor Camera by Blink. This security camera does not require a smartphone app that senior might not have. This is an outdoor camera, the Blink XT, comes with weather-proofing, 1080p video, and a night vision sensor. Blink is releasing a whole host of upgrades and gear to complement its camera system. Blink’s Sync Module, connects to your WiFi and serves as the central hub for all the small wireless cameras, has an upgraded version with 4G Cellular support and battery backup so your system remains up and accessible even when WiFi is down and there’s no power. Blink is also releasing new entry sensors to monitor doors and windows, a new water sensor to notify you of any unexpected leaks, a 105dB siren that can be manually or automatically triggered via motion sensor, and a keypad to arm and disarm Blink without resorting to the app.
- Intelligent Electric Vehicle by WHIIL. This is a wheelchair using all the latest in battery technology, wheels, and more. In addition, it is connected to a phone that provides all sorts of information for understanding how the vehicle is performing. The Model M, shown at CES, was designed by automotive engineers and drives like a premium electric vehicle, distancing itself from antiquated power wheelchairs and scooters designed decades ago. The wheelchair industry has seen very little innovation in design and technology. The company’s website also provides rental information for those who want to test drive the chair.
- Item Tracker by Chipolo. This is somewhat similar to WeTraq and TrackR with an Amazon Alexa interface “Alexa, find my phone.” Chipolo Item Tracker is similar to these other item location offerings that could be used to find things, pets and people, except for one key difference – this tracker (configured on a web interface) emits a loud noise until you locate the item – particularly useful if a family member has some memory loss. The loud sound could be good (in your house) or not-so-good (out in public).
- Combo wheelchair/suitcase by Modobag. This is a trackable, motorized carry-on bag that the owner can sit on while moving down long concourses in airports. It was discussed (somewhat dismissively) in the media by young folk who could not imagine its utility in a large airport. But it could be an invaluable tool for older adults who must change planes in mega airports, like Chicago and Los Angeles, or have physical limitations and find walking of any duration a challenge.
These are exciting products designed to make seniors’ lives easier and more enjoyable. And the best news of all is that more products are created almost weekly as companies launch to fill the needs of aging Baby Boomers.