Maior reinvents the smart home for seniors.
Home automation and Internet of Things products have largely targeted a younger demographic. Google and Amazon, for example, market their products to the young and tech-savvy: the Home and Echo are intelligent devices designed to enhance the home experience, not to provide essential assistance. Maior (“greater” in Latin) focuses on improving the life of those who need it most – senior citizens – while also challenging expectations around how we live and age .
Maior anticipates the future needs of a population that is rapidly growing older. In the U.S., roughly 41 million individuals were of retirement age in 2011, and that number will increase to 72 million by 2030 – at which point approximately one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. These increase are compounded by other societal changes. While today manhowingy seniors rely on family support, future seniors will both live longer and have fewer children. Additionally, despite studies showing that aging in place in the home can prevent declines in mental, physical, and psychological states, almost 92% of older Americans live alone or in assisted living facilities.
Maior’s product line helps seniors with key tasks, provides safety and enables independence in the home. Designed to become home essentials – not gimmicks or gadgets — Maior’s products bring technological innovation to those who most stand to benefit.
Maior focuses on improving living and aging in three main ways: mentally, emotionally, and physically. We want to offer all the functionalities a senior citizen would want and need, but maintain a simple user experience. Additionally, one out of three individuals who are 65 and older sustains a fall each year. Therefore, safety is one of the primary concerns for Maior. To ensure 24/7 access to emergency care, whenever the user calls out “Help, Maior,” to any device, 9-1-1 is notified.
The Frame is the ultimate assistant in the bedroom – think Siri or Alexa merged with an iPad and Wii, with functionalities specifically designed for the elderly.
The picture frame offers cognitive and physical assistance by showing the senior citizen a morning “puzzle of the day” such as Sudoku, a brainteaser, or a crossword puzzle. With the element of surprise, the picture frame provides a quick morning exercise of the mind.
Each day, the picture frame also schedules a 30 minute exercise for the senior citizen. Depending on the level of physical fitness of the user, the picture frame will serve as an at-home personal trainer and walk through key exercises in an easy-to-follow video format.
When the user is not exercising or doing a crossword puzzle, different types of kinetic art are displayed. This increases the user’s appreciation of art and brings various artworks “home” for those who are immobile or cannot travel to see these pieces (an example art piece is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JuPdHlQh8M).
Near the bottom of the frame, the time, date, weather, key reminders, and calendar appointments are displayed. The user can “check off” items on the to-do list by saying, “Done, maior.” The picture frame has functionalities similar to a smart voice assistant, including the ability to control lights, temperature, and music, all activated by voice. Additionally, when the doorbell rings, the picture frame can show who is at the door. Lastly, it provides medication assistance. The picture frame reminds the user when to take medication and contacts the individual’s preferred pharmacy for refills to be delivered to the home when medication is running low.
The Planter is a daily companion in the living room.
Taking the form of a simple indoor terrarium, the planter becomes an object of cultivation and ritual. By serving as a long-term, slow-paced focal point, the planter promotes physical and mental activity. While the planter can easily be cared for manually — just like your everyday indoor terrarium — carefully integrated capabilities make accessibility possible for less abled persons. A combination of voice interaction and light/audio feedback enable new ways of digital gardening: users can speak to their plants, ask the planter to orient toward the sun, even get detailed feedback on the quality of soil.
The planter is also doubles as a point of actuated feedback for the smart home. Where other devices speak to users through a limited range of expressions (primarily light and audio), the terrarium offers as an entire new landscape for interaction. Indicators for environmental conditions, time and other basic pieces of information are incorporated directly into the planter itself — in ways that seem both natural as well as non-invasive.
The Dial is an active assistant in the kitchen.
At its heart, the dial is a better kitchen timer — able to respond to voice while offering helpful suggestions and tips within the kitchen. The dials helps recreate feelings of confidence and ability for seniors in the kitchen — teaching new foods, recipes and methods.
Where Dial inspires independence, it also provides a reassuring second presence in the kitchen. Correctly mounted, dial can help watch our for fires, forgotten stove ranges and other issues in an out of the kitchen.