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Seniors are not always among the first groups that people expect to adopt new technology. The Pew Research Center has found that just 18 percent of people over 65 use tablets, and similarly small numbers have smartphones. However, one new technology may pose enough senior-specific benefits to get older adults on board. Google Glass and other wearable computers offer similar capabilities to mobile devices, with some significant additions that benefit seniors.
According to Senior Planet, the design of these gadgets makes them great for seniors. Since they aren't controlled by users' hands, like smartphones and tablets are, they could be easier for seniors to navigate while using them without losing balance or dropping the device. Alerts from Glass are also more noticeable, as they are shown on a display directly in front of the user's eyes, rather than on a screen hidden somewhere in a pocket or a purse.
Other advantages are useful for anyone, but could be especially beneficial for seniors. Wearable computers can generally track metrics such as walking speed and location, meaning that they can detect changes in health that might slow people down, or keep tabs on where they're being used. That may prove helpful in seniors with physical disabilities whose gait and the distance they walk could indicate relative health levels. It could also be a boon to Alzheimer's care, aiding those who may have difficulty finding their way home.
Medical Devices and Diagnostic Industry Online reported that the information that Glass and similar devices monitor could even aid doctors in making a diagnosis, or alert loved ones to a possible accident. The computer might also be used to assist with more day-to-day tasks. Apps for wearable devices could read bar codes to retrieve nutrition information, helping people with visually impairments better plan their diets.