Tech Prowess Transcends Generations: Older Adults Keeping Pace with the Youth in Technology Adoption

By Marco DiGirolomo posted 01-24-2024 11:27 AM


Let AARP’s 2024 Tech Trends and Adults 50+ report be your guide for navigating which technologies are a must see this upcoming year! Many of the technologies touched on in the report were showcased at the AgeTech Collaborative from AARP's CES Booth


One significant trend that the report highlights is that  50+ adults in the U.S. are adopting tech devices at a rate comparable to the 18-49 demographic. This may come as a shocker to some, but when taking a deeper look into tech adoption, it is no longer a want but more of need especially with the pandemic having exacerbated the need for older adults to use things like smartphones or tablets. 


Though smartphones and tablets are in the top three most adopted pieces of technology by older adults in 2023, with 89% of adults 50+ owning a smartphone and 59% owning a tablet, wearable technology did see a significant increase between 2022 (28%) and 2023 (34%). 


The report also highlights that though there is high awareness of smart home technologies among the 50+ demographic, adoption has plenty of room to grow. This trend may change as smart home technologies become more intuitive (and in some cases infused with AI) to the needs of the growing older adult population. 


Here are a few additional statistics worth mentioning that are both interesting and thought provoking, whether you’re a startup looking to create your next big solution or a testbed wondering what trends are impacting the demographic you serve. 


Older Adults 50+ : 

  • 99% own one primary tech device 

  • Increase in tech ownership is driven by the 60-69 and 70+ age demographic 

  • 69% purchased tech in between September 2022 and September 2023 

  • 70% stream entertainment using a Smart TV outpacing the 18-49 demographic (64%), by 6% 

  • 79% rely on technology to stay connected with friends and family. 


During CES a few weeks ago, we brought a number of our portfolio startups who were showcasing some the tech solutions discussed in the report. We’ve identified some of those companies by category below: 


Wearable Tech Solutions 


Lotus - wearable ring controls objects at home by pointing. Unlike Alexa, there are no apps, no rewiring, no internet needed. 


Sana Health Inc - simple mask and headphones, worn on the head. The device uses audiovisual stimulation to increase balance between the left and right side of your brain, leading to greater relaxation. 


Smart Home Tech Solutions 


Prisidio - offers a digital vault to capture and securely share your most important information with the key people in your life.

SingFit - digital health platform turns your smart home into a therapeutic music studio. 


Smartphone Tech Solutions 


Artifcts - patent-pending mobile and web-based platform that lets you preserve memories, share stories, and build legacy, one object at a time. 


Zoog - Through visual communication they build meaningful and personal interactions that allow grandparents to connect with the children in their lives in meaningful and engaging ways.  


Raz Mobility - develops and sells assistive technology, including the RAZ Memory Cell Phone, a mobile device designed for seniors with cognitive decline.  


Interested in learning more about the latest tech trends? Join us on March 21 at 1pm ET for an in-depth discussion with Dr. Brittne Kakulla, AARP Senior Research Manager, as she shares her findings from the 2024 Tech Trends and Adults 50+ report. More details coming soon! 


All data points mentioned or referenced in this article were pulled from AARP’s 2024 Tech Trend and Adults 50+ Report