Do you need a voice activated device while in the bathroom?  Do you need the ability to remotely feed your dog snacks? How big does your TV screen really need to be?

As I have done for several years now, I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and was bombarded with new products and technologies. It  left me pondering: How far does technology need to penetrate our day-to-day activities and life? 

The primary reason I attend CES is to stay abreast of what is out there that may compliment, grow, improve iN2L’s engagement experience. Our big question: What will iN2L deliver in 3, 5, 10 years from now?  

CES offers many potential options and opportunities: Robots, holograms and gesture based technologies are flush with possibilities to improve resident engagement and support senior care staff. It’s mind-blowing, exhilarating and overwhelming. My friend Laurie Orlov wrote an excellent post as to specific companies with creative solutions relevant for the aging marketplace. 

While possibilities abound for engagement technology improvements, it’s impossible not to stop and ponder the insanity of what’s happening (or not happening) from a human-to-human standpoint! It’s a total yin and yang reflection.

For example, there were amazing product prototypes and technologies for health prevention – wearables that can unobtrusively help detect changes in gait, prevent heart attacks, falls, etc. In the next booth, I see 50 people laying on beanbags totally into the smartphone gaming aimed at getting “your” Mario Kart around the track faster than your beanbag counterpart. I encountered one “cool” voice activated technology after another designed to remotely send instructions to drive the world around you whether it be feed your dog, heat your house, cook your dinner, mow your lawn. You get the idea. Technology = convenience.

The way I see it, it’s as if the ultimate evolution of humanity and Darwinism is to live your life while just sitting on your couch. At some point, you do have to go the bathroom, but Kohler has that covered too as they introduced an intelligent toilet that uses surround sound speakers and dynamic ambient lighting systems. Holy cow!

But even while having tongue-in-cheek commentary, I would like to congratulate Steve Ewell, Executive Director at Consumer Technology Association Foundation. He continues to devote time and attention to ensure aging, and people living with disabilities, are well represented at CES. It was exhilarating to see how he is moving the needle. 

So that’s my perspective of CES. It’s a mind-blowing feast for the senses. I’m sure I’ll be there again next year and, if you’re a forward-thinking healthcare provider, you should be there as well.

For example, take Davis Park from Front Porch. We always meet up there as he loves expanding his perspective outside of traditional senior living conferences to see what technologies may benefit Front Porch residents.

And I’m still on the fence as to whether we are evolving or devolving as a society. I’ll sit on my couch and ask a robot to tell me the answer!

Jack York is the president and co-founder of It’s Never 2 Late® (iN2L).