weekly blog--one for the ages
The first Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in June 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which until then had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics. The event had 17,500 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors. From 1978 to 1994, CES was held twice each year: once in January in Las Vegas and once in June in Chicago. In 1998, the show changed to a once-a-year format with Las Vegas as the sole location.
This year’s show began this past Tuesday and ends on Friday. More than 4,000 vendors and 180,000 attendees are expected. Alas, while more and more tech products focused on the elderly are coming to market, the truth is that many aren’t very practical.
Take Hip’Air, for example. Introduced at this year’s CES, it’s an $800 airbag belt that you wear around your hips to prevent injuries from a fall. And then there is E-VONE, which makes a smart shoe with sensors in the sole to notify someone when the wearer falls. The shoes, which you can rent for about 30 euros ($36) a month, also vibrate so the wearer knows that someone has been contacted.
Also for 30 euros a month, there is now a “toolkit” for the elderly you can rent from LiLiSmart that has three components: an app where caregivers communicate with each other and with healthcare professionals who have partnered with the company, a very simple watch that vibrates and shows a picture of a pill as a reminder, and a set of motion sensors. The sensors can adhere to things like a pill organizer to make sure the person is taking their medication, or a refrigerator to make sure they’re still opening it several times a day.
And last but not least are the sleek new smart hearing aids from companies such as Oticon and ReSound that can communicate with smoke alarms and doorbells.