CES 2023: The Rise of AgeTech
by Kyle Rand on Jan 12, 2023 10:39:08 AM
Our first CES back in-person felt so good. While I’m still heavily reliant on coffee (a week in Vegas will do that….I arrived three days early for media events!), I’m feeling so excited about the future.
For Rendever, it was a huge week for our team, and I’ll get into that in a bit. I want to start by unpacking what’s most exciting for the industry as a whole: AgeTech took center stage.
In my 2021 Roundup, I highlighted the growth of mission-driven technologies. It’s undeniable that this year, AgeTech shined brightest. What I love is the continuity between the growth of technology that focuses on human impact building towards the events of the past week, where technology focused on empowering a better aging experience really shone brightly amidst the vivid colorful lights of the city.
I mean, literally, look at these giant ring lights over AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative booth. Also, check out the award we won for RendeverFit™ 🥳
Rendever wins AccessABILITY Award at CES 2023
This is the first time I’ve attended CES without a booth to staff each day, which means I really had the opportunity to integrate myself into the event and explore everything CES offers. From making friends in media suites to participating in panels on center stage, while rooting on other AgeTech companies and their founders, this was by far my favorite year at the event. It also helped that I met Ken Jeong and he gave me a giant hug when I told him I’m a fellow Duke alum.
While I’m brimming with pride and excitement for the growth of this industry, I want to take a moment and recap some of the highlights this year, as seen from the lens of a CEO who has been deeply integrated in the growing category of AgeTech over the past 7 years.
Rendever Acquires Alcove from AARP
I have to start with this highlight. It’s just so exciting. At CES 2019, AARP and Rendever jointly announced the launch of Alcove, a consumer-facing virtual reality platform that enables family members to come together and share in the magic of VR. It’s been a defining partnership for us, one that helped us continually evolve and make sure we were delivering the best experiences for the widest aging audience possible.
While the product has been successfully incubated and built in AARP’s hands, the time has come for us to bring it in house, as one of the cornerstones of our social engagement ecosystem. We signed the definitive agreement to acquire Alcove just before CES, and announced it with a quick feature in TechCrunch.
This is an exciting moment for us. This acquisition broadens our reach to older adults living at home (known in the industry as "aging-in-place"), bringing the benefits of virtual shared experiences to an even bigger network of people. We're on a path to blend the boundaries between the senior living community and the aging-in-place individual, and this is a giant leap forward.
Check out the overview video below, or head here to learn more about Alcove.
Reviewed hosts the first AccessABILITY Awards
The Reviewed team launched the first ever AccessABILITY Awards, honoring 8 products at CES and holding the reveal right in front of the convention on the famous CTA Center Stage. I was proud to represent Rendever on the panel and accept our award for RendeverFit™.
This is an important milestone for the growth of accessible products and an opportunity to educate the broader tech ecosystem on the importance of accessibility design. Some key messaging that was shared:
- When designing for older adults, it’s critical that UX avoids the introduction of frustration to users. Older adults aren’t tech averse - in fact, many are early adopters - but nobody wants to feel like “I can’t figure it out.”
- Accessibility design needs to consider more than an individual, it has to take human-centered design to include each stakeholder who will be involved in use and delivery of the product
- Pricing is an important component of accessibility. As impact-driven innovators, it’s our responsibility to continually iterate to bring prices down, build lower cost product offerings, and increase our potential reach.
AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative Hosts an Incredible AgeTech Showcase
Along with these amazing startups exhibiting, the showcase included a stage that highlighted an incredible lineup of speakers throughout the show.
A selection of the speakers hosted by the AgeTech Collaborative at CES 2023. Learn more about ATC at CES here.
Startups to Watch
The energy of CES is unmatched, and I love meeting new and emerging companies and founders at this event. Here are some of my favorites from the week:
- PeerLyfe. They were one of the startups pitching at the AgeTech After Dark pitch event, and are already getting started with pilots at The Villages in Florida. Focusing on social engagement with a fast growing product, they seem to be onto something for the ever-growing segment of active adult communities!
- Labrador: Maybe I’m biased because I’m a dog person and their robot on display is literally called the Labrador® Retriever, but this assistive robot is the first I’ve found that looks sleek. It’s clearly designed to fit into the modern home. My grandpa is sharp as a tack but has severe mobility restrictions, and this would be perfect for him.
- Trust & Will: I’m a big believer that we need to reduce stress related to the logistics of navigating the aging process. Tools that allow families to be proactive will help to avoid acute emotional decision-making, reduce events with high cognitive load, and - when done correctly - can also overcome taboo topics with a natural approach. With a flagship product focused on digital estate planning, Trust & Will is one of those companies.
As we jump into 2023, there’s no doubt that this year holds so much to be excited for in the world of AgeTech. The industry is rising, largely thanks to the continued efforts of some long-standing organizations and a big focus on collaboration. While other industries are facing an onslaught of challenges related to larger macroeconomic trends, it feels like there’s never been a better time to be innovating on behalf of our aging population.
Here’s to a brilliant year ahead! 🥂
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