Repurposing technology for the ageing consumer

I wonder how many 50+ folks found a Nike Fuel wristband in their Christmas stocking this year? Not many, I guess. Yet many cool new devices to monitor fitness could be easily adapted for the needs of older people.

FuelIn Laurie Orlov’s blog – Aging In Place Technology Watch, she rightly suggests some new uses for trendy devices:

One could have a Body Media arm band (“know your body, change your life”), a Fitbit on a waistband, a NikeFuel (“the ultimate measure of your athletic life”) or a Jawbone UP (“know yourself, live better!”) on a wrist, or a Pebble on a shoe from a corporate wellness program.

To date, none of these offerings are applied (by the companies) to the world of seniors for passive activity encouragement or tracking.  Soon all of these, like Fitbit, will have APIs for writing new apps – soon someone will see and seize the opportunity to connect a simple and wearable device to senior market, and perhaps more in the senior market will connect caregiving apps like Philips CarePartners Mobile to information from their in-market devices like Lifeline with AutoAlert.

Not being an owner of any of these myself, I can only wonder whether the ageing consumer was considered in the design of these products, as well as the online experience and other aspects of the customer journey. Are they age-friendly? If not, why not?