We had a company representative on campus recently to do a demonstration of a product helpful to individuals with disabilities. She said something that really struck me—“all of the major technology companies now have units that are involved in products for health care.” They are seeking to make money by selling products to aging boomers.
I admit I have some hesitation about consumer technology companies creating products aimed at individuals with disabilities—the group that they have mostly ignored while selling their mainstream products in the past. What do they know about the people they want to buy their product? How much time and effort will they invest to discover the true technology needs in the lives of such individuals? And then, how much time and effort will they take to create a product that meets those needs?
Perhaps the answers to those questions can be found in the company leadership. Are they intent on creating a product that meets a need, or are they trying to make a quick buck? I think in 5 years it will be relatively easy to identify which kind of leadership is being exhibited by any particular company selling products for people with disabilities. Until then, I think that the buyer should beware. What do you think?