Not just for kids: a leap for seniors at Vegas tech show

  • Saturday 12, January 2019 in 10:48 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: With artificial intelligence to detect falls, virtual reality to combat isolation and "powered" clothing to assist the incapacitated, the tech world is stepping up its effort to "disrupt" aging.
At the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, exhibitors were showcasing new ways to help the elderly remain independent, mentally fit and connected.
 
Some systems took a page from the gaming world of youngsters to help seniors "travel" to new places and connect with loved ones.
 
"Everyone knows seniors get lonely but that isolation can also lead to a lot of medical problems, including the acceleration of dementia," said Kyle Rand, founder and chief executive of Rendever, a startup which works with assisted living homes to give seniors a way to virtually visit remote locations.
 
"They can stand atop the Eiffel Tower, they can go on an African safari, or revisit their childhood home."
 
Rendever was launched in the Washington DC tech incubator created by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which in recent years has been funding efforts to develop new technologies for seniors.
 
In the consumer space from the AARP incubator, Alcove VR enables seniors to be part of a virtual world with loved ones who may be far away.
 
"You can step into a virtual living room (with a friend or family member and just hang out," said Cezara Windrem, the AARP product manager for Alcove.
 
Alcove was launched this week as a free application on Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality unit.
 
The AARP exhibit also included VRHealth, which offers cognitive behavioral therapy using virtual reality, and Pillo, a device which serves as a personal assistant and medication dispenser focused on health for seniors.