Virtually every age group’s needs have now been met when it comes to technology. Last month, AARP released their first tablet, called RealPad, targeted at people ages 50 and older. Priced at $189, RealPad offers 24/7 help over the phone and comes with over 20 step-by-step videos. According to the AARP blog, CEO Jo Ann Jenkins says, “Our members have frequently said that the complexity, frustration and headaches of using technology just aren’t worth the trouble. RealPad is our answer.”
What makes RealPad unique?
In truth, not much. A Huffington Post article claims, “It’s just another android tablet. But that’s the beauty of it.” With large icons and a simple layout, RealPad doesn’t look much different than an iPad or other tablet; however, the 24/7-phone support service is certainly a plus.
What does the introduction of this product mean for the 50 years+ age group?
In April 2014, PewResearch posted an article sharing statistics of American seniors’ technology usage. They found that 59% of American seniors (defined as people aged 65 and older) report they go online, 47% say they have a high-speed broadband connection at home, and 77% have a cell phone (up from 69% in April 2012). Certainly, technology usage among seniors is increasing, and it has likely increased since then.
Though much of the older generation has adopted new technology, many seniors have avoided it. The article listed some of the barriers to older adults adopting new technologies:
- Physical conditions or health issues
- Skeptical attitudes about the benefits of technology
- Difficulty learning to use new technologies
While RealPad does not offer direct solutions to the first barrier, it does for the second (check out their introduction video!) and third. What are your thoughts on this new product? Can and will non-tech users try out the RealPad? Or do you agree with this Modern Senior article which claims that it’s not worth the money? Please feel free to leave comments below.