Is Google ignoring the silver surfers?

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After learning about the company’s creative campus, Matt Adams wonders whether the over-50s aren’t being left behind.

GOOGLE has come under much attack – certainly in the UK and Europe – over its approach to taxation. The internet giant has also been criticized for being too big and potentially for over-reaching itself.

From its most immediate purposes of providing– for most users I suspect – a search engine and free gmail e-mail addresses to developing the technology that takes over from humans to drive cars, the firm’s 2015 portfolio of inventions still appears to omit some of life’s greatest fundamentals.

The digital world is reputed to be the habitat of the young – which clashes with the reality that, in many parts of the world, the silver-haired generation is now largest and, politically or economically, extremely dominant.

So, where is Google for the wrinklies?

As far as I am concerned, just as I enter my dotage and factors such as choosing somewhere to live that is within easy ambulance reach of a good hospital, the stairs can be climbed by someone using a zimmer frame or a chair lift can be installed easily, Google seems to be ignoring me – and my ilk.

Google could, I suspect, avoid much potential disparagement by encouraging its young employees to think about their grandparents and great grandparents for a few moments – and urging the young to think about the frustrations of life that become increasingly irritating as the days, if not the years, go by.

Those philanthropic geeks should be focusing on a device that will quickly find your keys and your glasses and your phone.

Some landline phones have base stations that cause handsets to emit sounds so they can be located; smart phones don’t. Consequently, this great device should be small enough to go on a necklace or bracelet and perhaps work with an app so that the need to call the number is avoided. It should also, somehow, work when the phone is otherwise turned off.

The device could work alongside medicalert alarms – as the benefits for the mental health of the user may, very easily and quickly, be immeasurable.

Perhaps as chips become cheaper and more easy to attach to other items (and strong enough to survive trips through the washing machine and tumble drier) they could be extended to gloves, for example, or socks and handkerchiefs; everyday items that are forever being lost or separated.

The locatable chip would – for ‘those of a generation’ – become the 21st century equivalent of the Cash’s name tapes that were sewn religiously into so many items of clothing during one’s schooldays.

Once this amazing device can be produced at an affordable price, the whizzkids of Silicon Valley can move on to their next assignment – developing a device that will open a bottle of red wine while you’re still on the way to the kitchen.

February 24, 2015


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