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BizReport : Research archives : January 08, 2009

Geriatrics gear up with gadgets

A new joint study from the Consumer Electronics Association and TNS Compete discovered that age is no barrier when it comes to tweeting, searching and texting.

by Helen Leggatt

In the U.S. today, consumers aged 50 and over are a formidable force. They number around 78 million and control billions in disposable income. Their age isn't a barrier to their use of technology, found TNS/CEA's "Greying Gadgets: How Older Americans Shop For and Use Consumer Electronics" study.

In fact, their use of cell phones nearly equals that of 18-34 year olds, as does their use of search engines, and they are as likely to own, or plan on owning, an HDTV as their younger counterparts.

To this end, the Consumer Electronics Show will host the first 'Silver Summit' this weekend, focusing on technology products and services aimed at keeping the older generation alert, entertained and active, reports Technology has been developed to not only keep older Americans active - such as the Wii - but also safe and secure, with home monitoring services.

Where the older generation differs from youngsters is their need for human interaction when researching products and services. Many still prefer to speak to a sales person, despite their use of the Internet for research (63% compared with 47% of those aged 18-34).

In's article, Mary Furlong, 60, a marketing consultant, is quoted as saying that Boomers will never be seniors in the traditional sense. "Hell, no, they won't go," she says of Boomers trying to resist old age. "We text, we Skype, we Twitter."

For those who want more information on the study, including detailed findings, TNS Compete and the CEA are running a webinar on Thursday, February 5th at 2pm EST.

Tags: Boomers, Consumer Electronics Association, Consumer Electronics Show, old age, Silver Summit, TNS Compete

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