What do you picture when you hear the phrase “smart home?” Do you see a hipster changing the lighting mood for a meet up, a mom starting the dryer from a soccer game or a time-starved millennial ordering groceries through their voice assistant?
All good examples of how technology is making things simpler, faster and giving us more control. But’s there’s another significant area that you don’t hear as much about. Yet.
How to tap into the millennial shopper captures the headlines and our imaginations as marketers, but there are also approximately 50 million Americans over the age of 65, and that number is expected to increase by more than 50% within the next 20 years.
And think about this, today’s 65 year old ‘Baby Boomer’ has been using the internet for 20+ years, and has likely had a smart phone for a decade. So, although not digitally native, there is a broad swath of aging Americans who are fully technologically connected.
Best Buy is solidly seizing this opportunity in the healthcare and wellness market. With the acquisitions of GreatCall and Critical Signal Technologies (CST), they have the home monitoring technologies and services, and a robust user-base (more than 900,000 combined) to build a solid marketplace for legions of graying customers.
“We are excited about the prospects of combining CST's services and relationships with the existing GreatCall business,” Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s outbound CEO, said during an investor call. “More broadly, this tuck-in acquisition, together with GreatCall, complements our existing capabilities like Geek Squad and In-Home Advisors to better serve both the seniors in their home and those who support them like payers and providers.”
It is easy to imagine the smart home ecosystem that is forward thinking in providing wellness coaching, remote fitness and health tracking, and personal emergency response systems (PERS), through connected devices and communications tools that ensure safety and support independent living. Smart home indeed.