I was going to rant this week about the rising costs of assisted living or expose the lengths to which developers will go to design the latest greatest amenity filled retirement communities. The price tags of both of these ‘must have’ items are so far beyond the reach of most seniors it is ludicrous. So I will choose to ignore that for now and do a little fantasy project.
This week I read about a new product coming out by late this year called Focus smart glasses. They are well beyond the original but now much maligned Google glass in practicality and appearance. For a thousand dollars (I hear the cost of the newest best iPhone you can buy), you can have a pair of these: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/23/norths-focals-smart-glasses-first-look.html
The current benefit besides correcting your vision are:(they) connect to your phone via Bluetooth and have a small projector that beams data into the wearer’s eyes. They can tell the wearer the weather or time, read text messages and even order an Uber. The glasses are also connected to Alexa, so if you can ask them for directions or information, a small speaker will tell you the answers.
They are relatively unobtrusive and are not designed for any particular age group. When I reviewed in my mind all the tech that has been created and prompted for seniors in the past year, I tried to think of a few add ons. Besides correcting your vision needs what else would I want them to do. It could eliminate the need for a push button device hanging around your neck, or a lumpy watch on the wrist. What else could they add to this product to make aging/aging in place more secure for seniors. Any ideas?
Well here we go, if there is an Alexa connection (which I have not experienced yet, but know more people who speak positively of her abilities) then appointments would not be missed. Searching for that word or remembering the name of a book or a movie might be easier. Could a GPS that knows all of your regular driving or walking routes keep you safer. Could they add on some of the medical monitoring that some people may need to go out with less anxiety, or help those with early memory problems function independently longer?
Walking around talking to yourself used to be a sign of mental illness or senility. Maybe having a pair of these super glasses would help you realize how much smarter and more capable you are than the device. Tech will come to have more of a place in the lives of future seniors, but you always have to remember to administer the Hippocratic oath, first rule- do not harm.