Amazon has been meeting with AARP about sharing research and working together on technology for older consumers.
According to CNBC, the eCommerce giant has been talking to AARP, an interest group focusing on people over 50, since 2015.
Without going into too much detail, Amazon’s vice president Babak Parviz spoke about reaching older consumers at a rare public appearance last month.
“Something…we’ve been building for some period of time and we deeply care about… relates to what happens to older people,” said Parviz, the company’s vice president of special projects. “We have looked at the older population in the context of health…and we know this group has a lot of issues and unmet needs.”
It makes sense that Amazon would want to target this demo: A 2016 report found that the market for technology for aging adults is expected to grow from $2 billion to more than $30 billion within several years, with more people choosing to age at home.
One way to reach these older customers is through Alexa. While the AARP has already developed its own Alexa skill to provide news briefs to its readers, the virtual assistant could potentially do so much more, such as tracking medications, providing daily check-ins, and more.
In fact, many proponents believe that voice tech can help the same number of health professionals give better care to a greater number of people.
One source reported that Parviz’s team has questioned the AARP on size of the market, whether elderly populations and their adult caregivers trusted Amazon over other vendors, and the technology needs of this group.
While the AARP has declined to comment on the talks, it did say, “As part of our mission to be everyday innovators in aging, we meet regularly with other innovators that may be able to improve the lives of older Americans.”