Leslie Miller’s days are jam-packed. Being legally blind hasn’t slowed down the 70-year-old resident of Casa de Mañana Retirement Community in La Jolla, California: she frequently gets lunches with friends, goes dancing, reads, and loves to listen to radio soap operas. Lately, she’s gotten into guided meditation.
None of that would be possible without Alexa.
“I just love Alexa,” Miller gushed recently. “She’s been a real life-changer.”
Miller is one of a booming group of older adults who have become enthusiastic consumers of voice technology. Pop culture may be enamored with a stereotypical idea of older people struggling to use gadgets, but it’s a demographic that’s excited to use voice tech in their daily lives.
It’s also a potentially huge market—in the United States, 4,600 people turn 65 every day.
But the idea that the age group is tech-averse is a myth attributable to the technology industry’s penchant for fetishizing youth, says Derek Holt, the president and chief operating officer of K4Connect, a technology company focused on seniors.
“Twenty-, 30-, and 40-year-olds are building things for 20-, 30-, and 40-year-olds,” Holt says. “The misconception is that seniors don’t like tech. But they actually do. They just have a different set of features they are interested in.”