Baby Boomers and Technology

Although there's been a lot of talk over the last decade about the importance of creating technology for Baby Boomers, the conversation has largely focused on the size of their population, their charateristically different behavior than previous generations (thoughout their lives) and the amount of disposable income they have available. When working on the Whirlpool in.home project last year, I realized that there was another compelling reason why design for Baby Boomers is important: their familiarity with computer technology. A lot is made of the fact that today's teenagers have never known a world without inexpensive mobile phones, 3D graphics cards, gigabytes of data storage, fast Internet access, etc., but there are also some interesting statistics to note about Baby Boomers that put that generation into a similar perspective. During my Whirlpool book research I came upon the following collection of statistics:

Baby Boom begins: 1946
Transistor invented: 1947
Average age of retirement in the EU: 60.4 years
Number of hours of the day spent at home at age 65: 20*
(source: EC)

If you add these up, you get: 2006 is the year that Europe's Baby Boomers start retiring, they've never known a world without a transistor, and they're going to spend a lot of time at home. What are they going to do with that time? Maybe they're going to use much more technology than previous generations of retirees, since they're so comfortable with it.

*=this statistic is, of course, based on the behavior of pre-Boomers, and as with much else Boomers may behave differently.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on July 26, 2006 11:29 AM.

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