As a blogger, I’ve been receiving many sales pitches of blogpost content ideas from companies and their marketng firms targeting at baby boomers. Recently, I came across two Canadian entrepreneurial ventures which I thought might be of interest to my readers and followers.
Earlier this month, Blaycation, a bucket-list travel adventure company was launched as an online travel planner for baby boomers and mature adventure seekers. Whether it’s walking with lions in Zimbabwe, kayaking in Vietnam’s Halong Bay, witnessing a Stanley Cup Final Game in L.A., or zip-lining across Victoria Falls, the firm wants to help its clients realize their personal travel dreams.
The company’s travel website www.blaycation.com features 20 personally-designed tours that include many exotic travel destinations and bucket-list adventures. The online service offers to boomers who have the time and the disposable income to realize their travel dreams while recognizing that the clock is ticking. The website features prepackaged tours, but also specializes in customized trips to suit their clients: from couples looking for a romantic getaway to families planning a vacation for multigenerational travel to corporations looking to reward top performers.
According to Blaycation’s founder and President, Mark Stiles, one of the company’s major differentiators is appealing to people’s dream vacations and bucket-list adventures and tying them both together in a personable product delivery. Stiles said that he wants to inspire people to see more, do more and to have rich authentic experiences through both his designed tours as well as their very own personal bucket-list items.
After reviewing and surfing the site for a while, I found the site very easy and fun to navigate. The bucket-list concept is also quite unique since there are a lot of adventure travel firms out there, but few focus on just fulfilling bucket-list travel dreams. When asked why there is no adventure travel just catering to single boomer travellers, Stiles responded that this audience might be a niche target that he’s planning for the future.
As the first travel group is just taking off this month, I will certainly talk to Stiles in six months’ time to see how his business is doing and whether boomers are responding positively to this concept.
Another interesting entrepreneurial service, targeting at baby boomers who are often caregivers of their elderly parents, is a monitoring system using wireless sensor technologies to help boomers’ elderly parents maintain their independence while monitoring their activities and getting help for them when necessary. The company, Everpresent, positions itself as a service that provides peace of mind for families with independent elders. According to their website, www.myeverpresent.ca, the company senses activity in the home and watches for regular activity patterns and irregular events via their heuristics engine. Based on rules that customers decide, mobile text or email notifications are then sent to selected family members or friends. For example, it’s 3 a.m. and the garage door has been opened – please check on Mom. Or, it’s midnight, and high temperature is sensed in the kitchen – please check on Dad.
According to the company’s founder, Keith Seibold, Everpresent Services developed the cloud-based “heuristics engine” that collects sensed information over time and compares readings against rules of interest or concern and notifies family and/or friends. Since this system is all computer-driven, there is no individual person who will be watching any sensor and ensures that privacy is maintained. The system is automated and runs 24×7. When addressing my concern about the possibility of batteries running out, Seibold said that the sensoring device is operated on batteries that can last for years. Some last for up to four years without any battery replacement. The system continually monitors battery levels and reports back to Everpresent and to the customer if the battery level drops below a defined threshold. If it does, a message will be sent to the customer to replace it. Seibold said that the sensors are proven industrial-grade solutions that they’ve integrated with the company’s heuristics engine to determine when behaviours of concern or interest occur.
Seibold developed this system when he and his wife faced the challenge of taking care of Seibold’s father-in-law while enabling him to maintain his independence. Because this is not a security solution, it does not require the elder to wear any device. The sensor sits passively in the background sensing activity (or lack of) and using customized rules to notify one or more family members or friends if there’s something of concern. Depending on which of the three services customers subscribe to – basic, enhanced or customized – the monthly service cost can range from $39 a month for one sensor to $49 a month for three sensors. Customized services would incur a higher monthly cost. There is also a one-time installation cost, that includes the installation of the sensors, which might vary depending on how many sensors are desired.
Since this service is also relatively new, I would like to check on them in mid-2015 to gauge their customer response. If successful, this would be great news for the aging-in-place population!