By Pam McDonald
Finally, staff are getting some greatly needed assistance. This unexpected little helper stands 3-and-a-half feet tall and weighs only 25-pounds. It’s an autonomous robot named Temi, one of Time Magazine’s Inventions of Year (2019).
Now, if you’re anything like me, you might not be able to imagine what a senior living robot looks like, or does. Thankfully, Brian McWade introduced Temi during our virtual summit in August, Tech Foresight 2020. Brian is the Chief Technology Officer for Connected Living, a social impact technology company that has specialized in building engagement solutions for senior living communities, for more than 10 years.
What is Temi?
You can think of Temi as a tablet on wheels loaded with tons of software that enables it to carry out a tremendous range of functions with or without humans around. It can recognize your face, take your temperature, lead you through yoga exercises, and then call your daughter so you can check-in.
What enables Temi to do all of that? Sensors, cameras, video chat, mobile applications, lasers, machine learning, AI, and voice technology. Temi is the only fully certified Alexa-enabled robot on the market. And it’s used in senior living!
It’s revolutionary. Connected Living technology, according to its website, is powered by purpose to Protect, Connect, and Engage.
It hasn’t been easy overcoming the substantial barriers to adoption by our tech-reluctant industry. Making it even more difficult was the tech aversion of potential users. As Brian notes, when the company started in 2007, only 32% of seniors were online and only 16% were using social media via a handheld device.
Familiarity and usage of tech and devices by folks of all ages has increased over the last 10 years until now when 64% of seniors own smartphones and 70% use them multiple times a day. Brian says, “It’s less about adoption numbers and more about understanding the importance of tech. Early on our role was primarily convincing seniors and communities that tech was a good thing. Now less than 5% think tech has a negative impact on society.”
Connected at a Distance
The coronavirus pandemic moved resident life from the community at large into residents’ rooms. And because any content in the Connected Living system goes to any device, including Temi, residents and staff are able to create interactive experiences on regular TVs, making them the hub of new activities.
Residents can register for and attend virtual events or view live streams. They can order food, submit service requests, participate in remote classes, and join in a myriad of other activities. They can also easily communicate with their family, friends, and staff. Every day, communities find more uses for Connected Living’s technology — allowing them to stay connected with the outside world.
Brian points out that as great as tech features are, they’re not the only thing. It’s also about the company behind them; its structure, its products, and how they can support users when situations arise. Brian says, “Data security is everything.” And, Connected Living worked with McAfee, a global computer-software security company headquartered in Silicon Valley, to eliminate system vulnerabilities.
Watch Brain’s session at Tech Foresight 2020, and get access to all 20 presentations, by registering here.
Learn more about Connected Living and Temi, its robot. Visit www.connectedliving.com.