Mobile PERS manufacturers and dealers should take notice of some recent updates in mainstream technology. Unfortunately, the PERS industry is not known for having the most advanced or visually appealing products. And as PERS devices remain behind today’s technological capabilities, Apple announces a new Fall Detection feature in the Apple watch series 4, bringing PERS technology to everyday consumers.
Beyond The Big Red Button
The future of PERS technology will not include big red buttons, landlines, or bulky hardware with a 90’s printer aesthetic. And, unfortunately, if PERs manufacturers don’t update the way their products look and how people interact with them, they will become obsolete within a decade. Although looks aren’t everything, a product’s appearance influences buying decisions significantly. According to research featured in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, 17 percent buy products that fit aesthetically in their home environment. More than 50 percent make buying decisions based on symbolic meaning and other associations. 50 percent based product choice on functionality, and more than a third of participants considered ergonomic features such as display size, clarity and placement of buttons.
A Lesson From Alexa
Technology is quickly becoming invisible, providing support in the form of voice command and artificial intelligence without taking up space. Brands like Kytera are developing PERS products that work in the background, analyzing common movement patterns using machine learning, helping them determine when a subscriber is actually in trouble. Instead of having to wear a giant pendant, or placing a box with a big red button in an inconvenient place, their device functions using strategically placed sensors throughout a home.
That’s why Apple’s introduction of fall detection in their latest watch raises concerns, because without making a significant effort, they surpassed existing PERS technology simply by adding a new feature to their existing hardware. And, their fall detection doesn’t require a monthly monitoring charge.
A Call For True Innovation
PERS manufacturers need to step up their game. It’s as simple as that. Today’s mainstream technology is easily providing all the same features PERS products charge pricey monthly fees for. New PERS technology needs to do more, and it needs to do it better than mainstream technology. Otherwise, when the sandwich generation looks for independent living solutions, are they going to look for a 90’s printer with a big red button and a monthly fee, or an Apple watch?
Click the image below to read our PERS product eguide to see what technologies are available in the PERS industry.