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Blended Futures of Aging & commerce Innovation


A giant of communication and convenience (Nasdaq: RIMM) RIM, the creator of the ubiquitous Blackberry, sees a series of trends in advance. These reflect the themes of my research and are cornerstones of MIT AgeLab

Jan Dzombak's article on Motley idiot January 26, "4 Key RIM Trends" is a talk given by RIM Head of Innovation & Technology Futurist, Joseph Dvorak, PhD. Dr Dvorak identifies four trends that influence the future of the smartphone:

(1) The world of aging: the average age on the planet in 2000 was 26, by the middle of the century it will be 36 and the number of people above 60 will triple – to nearly two billion people;

(2) Connectivity: smart phones, other devices and wireless providers will blur the activity, place and push the trends we already see in social media and in interaction;

(3) Empowered consumers: consumers will continue to adopt tools that help them monitor and manage their relationships with companies, such as social media advising everything from restaurant choices to financial services to "hey, where & # 39; is my package? "

(4) order of values ​​(eg Green consumers). The order of values ​​is not just for children. Where there is an increase in the "causes of color" (my sentence): buying green, supporting the rose and helping the baby boomers that age in red are increasingly interested in their social affect and their heritage. I mean, what am I contributing and what will I leave behind?

Insight and innovations

Only these trends are interesting and the commerce and the government must be aware of their possible affect on the future. However, the future of aging and innovation is a fusion of these trends, not the extension of anyone.

What happens when older consumers are connected ubiquitously, empowered and make purchasing decisions on values ​​that go beyond cost and quality? For example, what would wireless health care or assistance services look like in the pocket of an aging boomer? The ubiquitous computing power, social media and value buying will create virtual collaboration networks of service providers for delinquent boomers nowadays and fragile boomers tomorrow? Can you suppose the emergence of a 24-hour on demand service, always "visible" on your smartphone, green, transport service for a social network of "friends"?

The commerce opportunity is not to simply be aware of these trends, but to merge them, suppose competing realities and see these alternative futures as motors for product and service innovation.

By Joseph Coughlin
Social Innovation

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