Boomers As Early Adopters. WHAT?


It’s interesting to witness the adoption of technology across generations. My parents were older Baby Boomers and just barely enjoy today’s technologies (cell phones and Facebook, check). Boomers a little younger shop online to ensure they're getting the best deal possible on the new lawnmower. And most have embraced finding their way through GPS navigation. And while seniors may be a large growing population on social media, all of this adoption came well after most of us had already integrated these things into our daily lives. For my parents, sometimes it took a lot of convincing and nagging on my part

There’s one piece of emerging technology though, that I believe Boomers are going to embrace quite quickly – voice control devices.

Baby boomers didn’t grow up with cell phones or smart phones or touchscreens and many either don’t know how to use all the features or are frightened away by all the complicated technology. But they are very comfortable with that old-fashioned form of communication called speech. Saying “Alexa, what’s the weather” or “Alexa, play music” or even “Alexa, what time is it?” can be extremely beneficial to an aging population, particularly those with mobility problems or even those technologically challenged.

They also have more important things to do in their lives than fiddle with apps and type with thumbs. In fact, across all generations surveyed, an average of 67% of consumers said they would put down their smartphone more if they could do the things they wanted to do with other tools.

When it comes to voice-control technology, brands should widen the net to include older consumers and those without a history of buying into new tech platforms. Create voice-centric apps and experiences that allow them to put down their overcomplicated iphones and provide them not more work, but freedom. And an experience they’ve been dreaming of since they saw the infamous Dick Tracy watch. 

By Andy Jorishie, EVP, Ideas & innovation at Bright Red/TBWA