This includes products as small as phone apps, to as large as self-driving semi-trucks, everything Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and in-between. Possibly, the fastest growing trend at the show has been the increasing number of products targeting seniors. Products include not only AR and AI devices, but technology that enables us to live longer in our own homes and stay healthier.
Elder Tech, as I like to call it, is something that benefits Elder Law Attorneys and others in our field. These technologies, in niche cases can assist our clients in ways that enable them to stay healthy and longer wherever they want to live. Just this year we were able to alleviate the stress of two families whose children lived out of town and wanted to be able to monitor the care their parents received at home. These solutions weren’t entirely possible for most just a few years ago, but are becoming more readily available and affordable for consumers. Here is a short list of some of our favorite new elder tech from this year’s CES:
E-vone – Self-proclaimed to be the first ever “connected shoe”. These babies have sensors imbedded throughout their soles, are WIFI connected, Bluetooth enabled and trackable via GPS. E-vone sensors can identify a fall or immobility for extended periods of time. Once a notification is sent out from the shoes to an enlisted caretaker and/or alert an emergency contact/agency, they vibrate notifying the disabled or injured person someone has been contacted about their situation. Expect these sole-grabbers to run between $100-150, plus an additional $20/month for monitoring.
Hip’Air – Another device targeting seniors because of the likelihood of falls in the home or out-and-about, is the new Hip’Air, specifically designed to protect your mid-section. This device essentially works as an airbag for your hips. Marketed as a wearable belt, the Hip’Air is activated when someone falls to the ground. The same company makes vests for motorcyclists. Hip’Air sells for $800. Much cheaper than a new hip, but also most-likely larger than your casual belt buckle, unless of’ course you were at one time the Heavy-Weight Champion of the World.
Oska Pulse – On its second generation, the Pulse is a wearable egg sized device that releases an electromagnetic field designed to alleviate chronic muscle pain. This technology causes an increase in blood flow to suffering areas of the body. So, I guess anyone over 30 could use a couple of these? As they say, getting old ain’t for sissies. This year, the Pulse is releasing an app, so users can track in-time the areas of the body that are suffering, like you wouldn’t already know. Oska advertises the Pules as "safe, easy-to-use, portable and wearable health technology product designed to help reduce muscle stiffness, temporarily relieve minor pain and increase mobility for people who have acute or chronic pain." The 2nd generation Pulse retails for $399. No word yet on the FDA requiring an addictive label for packaging.
L'Oreal UV Sense – Melanoma effects over 200,000 new sufferers every year and skin cancer is a leading cause of concern for aging individuals, especially if you enjoyed your time in the sun. The UV Sense, is a battery-free wearable that can “fit on your fingernail”, between 2-9mm in size, providing users with valuable information concerning their individual ultraviolet exposure levels. This tiny sensor works with an accompanying app, notifying the wearer when they should apply more sunscreen. Prices haven’t been released, but L’Oreal has announced they hope to keep costs for consumers below $40, or as we’re advocating free with the purchase of some sunscreen, because man what in the world is going on with sunscreen prices lately, you can’t even buy a bottle under $15.
Briometrix – Specifically designed for wheelchair users, Briometrix offers a wheelchair tracker and app. The device tracks wheelchair activities. Using innovative tracking technology that monitors users propulsive movements and the influence of gradients. Additionally, the device keeps effort rate used by different parts of the body and of’ course measures speed, distance, acceleration, push length and GPS tracking of where users have travelled. Recently, Google released a tracking device, but does not offer any of the all-important health tracking measures as the Briometrix Tracker.
Those in the industry know that many concerns for seniors staying in their home is the risk of falls, especially in the bathroom. For those concerns and probably others we can all relate to, high-tech bathrooms garner disproportionate amount of attention at CES, similar to those who enjoy a little reading with their own personal “bathroom-time”. Here are some of our favorites:
Toto Floatation Tub – “The posture of an astronaut resting in space” is the opening tagline of Toto’s newest bathtub. Fresh with a video of a resting bikini clad woman, with birds chirping in the background while floating in the middle of a pool on a sunny spring afternoon, the Toto floatation tub provides a constant stream of flowing water, massaging targeted muscle areas throughout the body. Specifically, the lower back and foot massage features are some of my personal favorites, just a bit disappointed there wasn’t a head message feature. Anyone ready to shell out $20,000 will be able to indulge in the newest bathtub experience.
Kohler Numi Toilet – Advertised as Kohler’s “most advanced” toilet, the Numi has several personalized features everyone will certainly love. This includes ambient colored lighting, Bluetooth enabled for music, speakers, heated seat, foot warmers, bidet, air drying, hands-free flushing and of’ course odor control. All options are hands free, touchscreen and Alexa enabled for control. The Numi from Kohler retails for almost $7,500, but for hands-free flushing and bidet, think about the monthly savings in toilet paper, soap and hand-sanitizer.
Voice-Activated Delta Faucet – Okay, in all honesty, Delta and several other home, kitchen and bath accessories have recently released a slew of options for at home living over the last year. However, we love the new Delta faucet, because it goes beyond simple on and off commands, partnering with Amazon’s Alexa, Delta’s latest faucet can adjust temperature and even measure specific volumes of water, making your next cooking or baking task that much more convenient.
Elmer Smart Shower – For those who like a little bit of entertainment in the morning, French manufacturer Elmer has a smart shower that includes full surround sound without the risk of electrocution. Like new Delta and Kohler products, the Elmer shower works with Alexa and seems to be reasonably priced for a fully enclosed shower, costing between $1,500-3,000. Let’s just hope the French manufacturer leaves the French attitude behind and doesn’t crack demeaning jokes about your private life/features while in there.
Kohler Verdera Mirror – Another home product that not only works with Alexa, but has Alexa technology embedded in it, is Kohler’s new Verdera mirror. Designed as the centerpiece of a range of Alexa enabled Kohler products, just outfit your entire bathroom and bedroom with smart devices and control them all with your built-in Alexa self-lighted mirror. The Verdera costs between $700-1300, depending on size (from 24” to 40”), and don’t worry about the personal information Amazon collects in the meantime, its free.
Foldimate – Probably my most favorite item discovered this year at CES was Foldimate’s laundry folding machine, that promises to fold a load of laundry under 4-minutes. Easily fitting in your closet, just drop an item of clothing into the top and watch it come out the bottom perfectly folded into your stack. Save yourself countless hours and several painstaking eye roles from your significant other about how bad and inconsistent your folding is, unless you do that to just get out folding laundry. Foldimate guarantees to save relationships by the thousands after their release and promises to come in under $980, when it will be brought to market in 2019. Free order, be the first to get one and 10% off whatever the final retail cost is HERE.
Berger Estate & Elder Law P.A. has been finding solutions throughout Kansas City for over 30 years providing Trusted Counsel with Proactive Solutions for many. Give us a call today at (913) 491-6332, visit our website berger-lawfirm.com or stop by our conveniently located offices at 11233 Nall, Suite 140 Leawood, KS 66211 for more information.