When Old is New – Review of the Boomer Summit

It’s nice to run into excellence. That’s why the WHAT’S NEXT BOOMER BUSINESS SUMMIT was such a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, most of the conferences I have attended on the 50+ market have been a complete waste of time, so it was nice to finally attend one with topics and companies of some weight. My hat is off to Mary Furlong, she knows how to do it right.  Wall Street should have been in attendance (to be fair, there where some sharp investors there, including Andy Donner of Physic Ventures) to see what’s coming. With 77 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, the opportunities for profit and growth are enormous for businesses in the 50-plus marketplace. Boomers are the largest, most well-educated and wealthiest generation in U.S. history and represent an unprecedented market for businesses that know how to target them. But of course, I am preaching to the choir.

What did I find most impressive? Qualcomm is coming out with a device that could revolutionize the ability for older adults to stay in their homes longer. If I understood the presentation, in a couple of years they’ll have a phone that can:

         serves as an emergency response (push a Bluetooth button and it dials 911)

         can act as a hearing aide (and will look just like the Bluetooth ear piece most of us use, thereby eliminating the stigma of a hearing aide)

         monitor your loved ones movement in their house through GPS tracking

         possibly monitor additional health factors like blood-level sugars and blood pressure

If all of this is true, it has the potential to be a market homerun. I should note, that the good folks from Verizon were their as well, so I expect this to be a competitive field. Anyway, these types of innovations are fascinating developments that could change the face of aging.Another interesting development is the race to create media for boomers. My good friends from Retirement Living TV, along with the folks from AARP, PBS, and Martha Stewart were in attendance showing their love of seniors. My prediction is that this will soon be a very crowded, very competitive playing arena. One word of advice for the players that will soon be entering the field, “it’s about stage, not age.”

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