Smart Living for Older People and the Aging Consumer 1
Significant demographic shifts that our society is currently undergoing are highlighted by the aging of our society. These trends, while posing unprecedented challenges, also pose an opportunity for innovation and collaboration. We propose a new approach to design and consumption that addresses the needs of an aging society from a life span perspective. We focus on the potential of smart living as a unique and productive approach to meeting anticipated societal challenges. Smart living refers to the integration of innovations and advancements to promote a lifestyle that is more connected, efficient, economical, and sustainable. These innovations are often bolstered by smart, digital, and assistive technologies that promote bi-directional communication between the user and devices. We propose three principles to guide the marketing of smart living products and services to older people including applicability across life domains (e.g., health, mobility), universal design while still being customizable, and promotion of intergenerational integration. Next, we discuss two relevant models, which address the major demographic shifts we are experiencing (university-industry collaborations and the age-friendly cities initiative). We conclude with a discussion of proposed approaches to marketing, research, and inclusivity from the perspective of smart living in the 21st century.