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Industry Advancements, Impacts and Predictions

The following outlines both current products and services with voice over applications, and provides future predictions on what is to come, within select industries that will see drastic changes as the population structure of the U.S. morphs. Those industries are:

Technology & Communications

Of all the industries that are mentioned in this report, technology and communications is unique in that innovation in this sector will help to feed products and services in all others - from health care to education and beyond (both for seniors, as well as caregivers, friends and family).

Voice-activated tech, as well as technology that communicates with the user through voice, are also of particular interest. Not only is communicating with one’s voice a natural inclination, it also provides accessibility for those who face the barrier of visual impairment.

Creative professionals are also excited about the possible applications - Voices.com’s survey revealed that 95% see the emergence of voice-activated devices and voice internet searches as an opportunity and not a threat.

When it comes to tech devices for communications, such as cell phones, tablets and computers, adoption by seniors is on the rise. In 2000, 14% of seniors were Internet users, but today that number is 67%. Historically, it has been common to market tech devices towards younger age groups, but this statistic is just one indicating that marketing can and should be directed towards seniors as well.

Kim Handysides

“Boomers are half the population, account for over half of consumer spending, but only see 10% of marketing targeted to them. Sounds like opportunity. Doesn't it?" - Kim Handysides, Voice Actor

While the possibilities for applications of technology and communications are nearly endless, a few notable areas of focus for the senior demographic include:

Technology for Social Connection

From cellphones, to video chatting and online community building, technology represents a bridge to social connection for seniors, who traditionally suffer from loneliness and isolation. Even today, seniors are becoming more tech-savvy and more willing to learn new technologies, especially if it means it will make communication with family and friends easier - as well as improve their daily lives.

In 2017, 4 in 10 seniors owned smartphones - more than double compared to seniors who owned one in 2013. Reports also indicate that close to 50% of tech-savvy seniors use social networking sites, such as Facebook. These social network adopters are also said to have more persistent social connections with the people they care about.

46% of older Americans surveyed believe that tech products allow them flexibility in being social and use their tech devices to socialize with others.

Safety, Health Care & Pharmaceutical Technology

The aging in-place technology industry, which allows seniors to stay in their own homes longer, instead of relocating to assisted-living housing - is currently a 2 billion dollar industry and is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2020. This may include devices for seniors, their friends, family and caregivers, to monitor their health, alert to emergencies, set reminders for daily activities (e.g. take medication) and ensure that independence is maintained longer. Additionally, the health care industry, including hospitals and assisted living facilities, also stand to reap great advantages from tech advancements (see Health Care section below for more details).

Education & Gamification Technology

Seniors are loving tech - such as iPads, tablets, computers and cellphones. Along with this proficiency comes the potential to gamify self-care (e.g. fitness) as well as education for seniors. One study even shows how telemedicine could be gamified for seniors, to increase adherence to health practices.

Voice Over Trends in Technology for Emerging Senior Market

Over the past 3 years, voice over jobs posted on Voices.com seeking a senior voice in the Internet category, has increased by 47%. This number is steadily growing and has increased at a rate of 18% from just last year alone.

Why might this be happening?

Typically, senior voices are requested as a way for businesses to appeal to a target market that is also senior. The increase in demand for senior voices in these categories is a key indicator that seniors are increasingly developing their technological skills, and becoming of higher interest to businesses.

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