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Are Retailers Missing Out On Fast Growing 65+ Market

The 65+ mature market is fast becoming a growth market for audio and consumer electronics retailers in Australia, this audience have time, have in the past travelled and have matured to become technology literate during the past five years claim observers.

The only problem is that a lot of CE retailers are not targeting this market.

According to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics over the 20 years between 1999 and 2019, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 12.3% to 15.9%.

This group is projected to increase more rapidly over the next decade, as further cohorts of baby boomers (those born between the years 1946 and 1964) turn 65.

By the end of the 2019 calendar year, nine of these birth-year cohorts will have reached age 65 and there are ten remaining.

Analysts believe that they deliver an audience who are buying communication and audio products as well as healthtech and wellness innovations and are prepared to invest in this technology that assists their lifestyle.

COVID-19 forced many over 65 to start looking for technology-based solutions from PC’s, tablets and new smartphones that allowed them to communicate with loved ones.

They also took to video medical appointments.

Another identified issue is that loneliness and isolation are forcing them to use devices – and is accelerating the adoption of devices quicker than might have otherwise occurred.

Seniors are acquiring digital skills and are more connected to the Internet than ever before in Australia, many are investing in new sound gear as well as Ultra High-Definition TV. s

The 65+ population was the fastest-growing age group in both Australia and the USA with many taking retirement. Where they once spent money travelling, they are now investing in technology and Internet based services such as content streaming.

Research in the USA revealed that 87% of those aged 65+ want to stay in their current homes and community, as they age.

Americans over the age of 50 account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity, according to Oxford Economics/AARP. Research for Australia is not available.

Older adults dominate 119 out of 123 consumer packaged-goods categories, according to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. And by 2030, more people worldwide will be over 60 than under 10, according to the Milken Institute.

Between 2015 and 2030, the 60+ population will generate over half of all urban consumption growth in developed countries such as Australia.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 29% of seniors ages 65 and older have used video conferencing services, 27% have used telehealth/remote consultation services, 22% have used a grocery store delivery or pickup service, and 55% have an online video service subscription, according to recent research by Parks Associates.

At CES 2021 several brands used video showcases to reveal new products for the over 65+ market.

Dealerscope recently highlighted the Zibrio SmartScale that uses a highly sensitive algorithm to measure one’s postural stability and risk of falling, in a 60-second standing test with eyes open.

Users can test their balance on a Zibrio scale to establish a baseline, encourage appropriate intervention like a balance exercise program, and keep tracking balance to see how well the intervention is working, since it comes with the Zibrio Balance Coach app. Zibrio’s patented BioCore balance measurement technology is based on 15 years of research on astronauts, athletes, and older adults.

Nobi Monitoring – Nobi looks like an ordinary ceiling-mounted lamp, but it’s packed full of motion and RGB sensors, AI and other tech to help seniors live independently and more safely. It’s a “smart” lamp that will literally watch over an aging family member, and monitors when a person is sitting, laying down or standing – and even illuminates dark rooms when a parent wakes up at an odd hour to go to the bathroom.

While the lamp can detect falls, ask you if everything is okay and if not, send alerts to quickly get help to a caretaker or trusted contact, it’s also meant to prevent falls with activity monitoring and helpful reminders like hydration, reporting fire, or detecting intrusion. It doesn’t require a telephone – and if necessary, Nobi will even open the front door. Nobi debuted at CES 2021 and is expected to be ready for European countries soon.

Caregiver Smart Solution/Aging in Place – This is a smart caregiver solution or wellness monitor that provides insight into a senior’s activity at home or in assisted living communities. The Core Kit includes a downloadable app, a smart hub and small, non-intrusive sensors that are placed discreetly around a home.

Samsung has also been developing sight & hearing impairment technology.

many of their products also include accessibility features.

At CES 2021, Samsung introduced its SeeColours Application and Sign Language Zoom Feature across its 2021 range of Neo QLED, Micro LED, and Lifestyle TVs.

The SeeColours application helps those with sight challenge’s better view billions of colours. The app is designed to help those with Colour Vision Deficiency to adjust the colour settings on their Samsung QLED TVs to meet their individual needs.

Samsung also showed off the ability to invert colours on a menu. It leaves the video as it is but makes it easier for people who are low vision to see the menu options. In partnership with scientists at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Samsung has adopted the Colourlite Test, or C-test, within the SeeColours app to recognize a user’s CVD levels and then automatically optimize their viewing experience.

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is a silent ‘epidemic’ that has been spreading during the last few decades – and it’s not limited to older people, It’s also related to quality of life, learning abilities, work productivity, and some health conditions – and lately there might be indirect links between hearing loss and COVID-19.

It currently affects more than 1.2 billion people worldwide, disabling 480 million.

Until recently, the solution for hearing loss was expensive hearing aids, only available through ‘prescription.’ Over the past three years or so, however, this has changed, thanks to a new set of chips and technologies that are enabling the emergence of less expensive personal sound amplification devices (PSADs), distributed through mainstream retail channels – and they represent an ever-growing new revenue opportunity for retailers such as JB hi Fi and The Good Guys,

This new hearing technology ensure that the sound going into one’s ear is clearer, not just louder.

They offer sound and speech processing, digital noise and wind noise reduction, plus improved management of external noises.

They include AI and machine learning to analyse a wearer’s environment and their level of hearing loss, and to automatically make adjustments. They also include varied, non-obtrusive and discreet smaller sizes, and rechargeable batteries as well as Bluetooth streaming capability from a smartphone, computer, or TV. Some include fall detection, or act as a fitness tracker when used with a smartphone.

These devices in a variety of form factors are coming from companies like Wehear Hearing Solutions, HeardThat from Singular Hearing, Absolute Audio Labs, Wear&Hear from Alango Technologies, Rexton, Lucid Audio, Soundwear and others. Olive Union blends hearing aids with wireless earbuds.

Many of these products are not available via mass retailers in Australia.

Companies like Alango Technologies, with its Wear&Hear line, even offer in-store kiosks for express hearing checks that provide results on the spot. Currently, the kiosk is available in seven languages including English, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Arabic and Dutch.

Dealerscope said that ‘Now is the time for retail channels to explore and deliver products relevant to now – and to create and accelerate the strategic framework and initiatives for an ongoing future. Look around your communities. Digital health opportunities for an aging population abound – whether at retail, via e-commerce or big-box stores, for in-home convenience and functionality, or for integrators who can create healthier smart homes – or on a B2B basis selling to Visiting Angels or to local assisted-living facilities.

People are aging in the comfort of their homes and are looking for consumer-based technology solutions that deliver better health outcomes at reduced costs – while also improving connectivity between themselves and others. Delivering smart digital health solutions that make their lives more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable with the added benefits of instantaneous responsiveness gives their caretakers a peace of mind – and this offers you new business development opportunities and revenue streams. This makes age tech a win–win for everyone!”.

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