Our CES 2015 Experience is Raising Expectations – Before it Even Opens!

The day before 2015 International CES officially opens means we get a taste of the innovation we’ll see in the rest of the week, not to mention the crowds and noise.

And that’s just what we encountered on CES Press Day. Bring on the real crowds!

Well, not really, but then again the crowds are part of what make CES the show that it is.

Sure, we learned about the next new TVs, with even more brilliant color and sharper pictures. Even without those, though, there were plenty of oohs and ahhs to go around.

What we saw during the Press Day activities made us even more optimistic about what is ahead for us — and overloaded our schedule even further.

That’s great news for seniors and their family caregivers, though.

New Technology and Updates to Older Tech at CES

CES Press Day and the CES Unveiled that kicked things off for us gave us a great glimpse at what will be on display and discussed once the doors to CES officially open.

It also made us think about some backdrops against which to see a lot of it, categories that help put some of it in better perspective.

  • Products designed specifically for the needs of older adults. We haven’t seen any of these yet but we’re sure we will over the next few days.
  • Some old (a relative term in this area of technology) friends of seniors among tech companies that are trying to extend the relevance of older devices by adding new functions, such as making them hubs for the recent generation of home healthcare devices that check or monitor vital signs.
  • Many companies have recognized the benefits their existing products and services can provide to seniors, particularly those aging in place, and are marketing with those benefits in mind. An example of this is the use of tech designed to service as monitoring systems for home security to reassure family members their senior loved ones are active at home.
  • There are examples (we hope to get into some of these more) of existing mainstream technology that can benefit aging in place seniors with just a few modifications or extensions. Companies are looking at these as they realize seniors and family caregivers are a new, profitable market – but even that thinking is a beneficial advance.
  • New concepts in using tech or the personal data it can generate can provide real health understanding and improved benefits for those of all ages. What is new from prior conferences is that these companies aren’t just talking about how the traditional technology early adopters will use their innovations, but including seniors in their target audience.

There seems to be a place for tech offerings that fall into each of these categories, though the longevity of some of these would seem to make them less than ideal investments for seniors and family caregivers. We’ll try to highlight some of each in subsequent articles covering our CES 2015 experience.

A Few CES Press Day Highlights

These are some of the products being discussed or even announced at CES that we see as highlights for seniors and family caregivers. To avoid slighting companies we won’t see until the exhibit floor opens, we’ll keep names out of it for now.

  • Smart TVs that allow “favorite” stations to be set in a pop up menu at the bottom, making them more functional for those less able or willing to deal with the complexity of today’s remote controls.
  • An apparent movement of smart home technology from proprietary hub systems to a focus on smartphone and tablet control that brings devices from numerous companies into simplified app control.
  • Healthcare dashboards that can pull in the readings from a variety of home health devices, regardless of manufacturer, and let users manage the data along with their full electronic health record.
  • Laundry machines that can send a text when their cycles are complete so caregivers can put their focus on other activities – or even relaxing – without having to check back repeatedly to see if the wash is done.

That’s just a taste of what we have encountered so far at CES, which leaves us both excited and exhausted thinking about what is ahead for us in coming days.

Stay tuned!