With such rapid pace of change, its often hard to keep up with current technologies – let alone predict what will be the norm in ten years time. However, key themes emerging today are likely to dictate which technology is going to be fantastically beneficial for older individuals.
Home automation and robotics
Although home automation already exists to some extent – it is nothing compared to how the future will be. Robotics will become the norm, meaning that having an army of small helpers around the house will be nothing unusual. For now these are still more likely to resemble appliances, such as the already available irobot (a floor cleaning device) but with more functionality built in. Think along the lines of fetching things, cleaning messes, answering questions, serving as a memory bank, controlling other parts of the house, monitoring its occupants, home defense etc.
As technology quickens and machine learning develops, we could end up with sentient robots serving not only as tools but also as companions.
Health monitoring clothing
With prototypes already in the works, clothing technology is coming with an aim to protect our health. From shirts that detect heart problems and alert family and doctors, to vibrating shoes that aid balance.
Self driving cars
Believe it or not, this technology already exists! What will be different in ten years time is the mass adoption of driver-less cars. With driving as a skill and the senses it involves often failing us later down the line – imagine the advantages of a car that can help you get out and about without your input.
Watch this American gentleman using autopilot in his Tesla on his commute to work. Absolutely amazing.
Pets can be a magnificent companion and a real benefit to health in older-age. However, if our pets pass away or we are ourselves in advanced years – there can be an inclination not to acquire a new pal if we don’t think we could facilitate their care. In the future, virtual or robotic pets are likely to be a certainty – especially as the human population itself grows rapidly.