Residents in assisted living facilities and nursing homes may soon see Google’s Nest product in their homes as the company aims to push into the senior citizen market. The Nest is a line of home automation products or “smart homes” that serve a variety of functions including thermostat, smoke detector and security camera.
Google is reportedly looking to tailor new products to seniors and senior communities. Along with Nest’s current functions they are exploring adding features that would help the day-to-day lives of elder Americans.
One ambitious potential function is to predict life-threatening falls using Nest’s sensor technology to find any unusual patterns of movement. Other ideas include alerting seniors to weather-induced health risks and automatically turning on lights when seniors go to the bathroom at night.
These features would add to current uses for the Nest such as allowing family members the ability to check in on their elderly kin through security cameras. Although security cameras are not unique to the Nest, Google is betting that with added features in one product they can sell the Nest to the growing number of senior citizens.
However, Google is not alone as they face competition from technology rival Amazon. Amazon has been collaborating with AARP over the last three years to discuss technology development for the aging population. Amazon’s voice assistant program Echo is the highest profile collaboration between the two groups.
Both technology giants have identified a need that will grow as the population ages, the ability to live independently longer. Firms across a variety of sectors are developing technology to cater to this demand including health apps, transportation apps and devices to protect seniors from fraud.
An all-inclusive home device for senior living would likely be a hot commodity in today’s market, and the demand will only increase in coming years. And hopefully seniors can see some benefit as Google and Amazon face off for profits from this new demand.
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