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Senior Vice President, Market Innovation, AARP
Baby boomers have a bad reputation as digital luddites, but the generation was actually the first to have computers in the workplace and remains open-minded about emerging technology. Any hesitance likely stems from a frustration with unintuitive design, according to Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation at AARP. Holtzman spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about boomers’ evolving relationship with technology, and what tech companies are doing to cater to this massive group.
eMarketer: Many baby boomers have smartphones, but data suggests they don’t use them for nontalk functions as much as younger people do. Is this likely to change?
Jody Holtzman: It depends on what happens with design, and whether or not tech companies will be able to remove the existing friction from the device interface. Look at Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home—if these devices continue to effectively combine voice interaction with artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things [IoT], then the technology will become easier to use. In that case, boomers will increasingly use it because it will be much more intuitive.