Virtual reality for elderly

Over the past twenty years or so the media have frequently carried reports about population aging. According to World Health Organization, the number of people age 60-and-over will rise to 2.1. billion in 2030, which translates into one fifth of the global population being in the retirement age. It goes without saying that this trend raises many issues, such as a significant increase of health or public and private pension costs. However, there is a silver lining to this phenomenon: older people are on average healthier than in past generations and especially in the developed countries, economic growth and accumulation of wealth have created a generation of elderly that is wealthier and more willing to spend money than ever before. As a result, the demographical trend has turned out to be a boon for business, creating an attractive, profitable customer segment. Companies who acknowledge that older people have slightly different consumer needs resulting from physiological changes connected to ageing, such as changes in eyesight, hearing, mobility and dexterity, can benefit from an access to a vast customer group. This attention shift is not entirely novel, and has already been recognized by some companies, especially in the financial and healthcare industries. What is new is that firms currently targeting this market have now started to leverage the most innovative technologies that allow them to personalize their offer and encourage their customers to co-create the products. One of the most interesting examples of innovative business ideas targeted at elderly is virtual tourism offered by Rendever.

Business model
Rendever is a company that leverages virtual reality technology to create a virtual journey experience by using algorithms that convert 360 panoramic photos and videos. The firm’s offer is a subscription-based service for individuals and facilities and is designed specifically for elderly. The virtual reality headset allows older adults to overcome mobility difficulties and virtually travel to a myriad of places in the world. The firm’s offer includes various touristic spots destinations, such as Machu Picchu, but also other ways of entertainment such as concerts, historical tours or architectural exhibits. Apart from the company’s existing virtual tourism destinations offer, Rendever also provides a service of a personalized content. This includes recreating spots of sentimental value such as childhood homes or wedding locations and converting photographs of family members, but also capturing a family event on camera that is later converted to a virtual reality experience. Finally, the Rendever wearable devices can be synchronized with other headsets, allowing users to virtually travel together.

Seniors at Maplewood Senior Living travelling virtually with Rendever headsets.

Apart from the entertainment aspect, the company puts an emphasis on health benefits of using virtual reality. As research shows, leveraging this technology can serve as a distraction from pain, which is especially vital for seniors, many of whom have to deal with chronic pain and painkiller medication side-effects. For this reason, VR can be used during exercises or rehabilitation. Moreover, using virtual reality helps delaying the progress of dementia, stimulating the brain and reactivating neuropathways. In such case of cognitive decline or memory losses, as a part of reminiscence therapy, the firm offers individualized packages created from images of family members and meaningful locations from the person’s life.

A senior diagnozed with dementia smiles for the first time in months after being shown a VR video with puppies.

Efficiency criteria
Both customers and the company profit from the product, therefore the joint profitability criterion is met. Elderly people, who due to mobility difficulties cannot commute, can overcome this barrier by travelling virtually – whether to far-off touristic destinations or places of sentimental value. The virtual technology helps them to avoid isolation that tends to increase especially when an older person needs to be transferred to an assisted living community, but also when he still lives at home but due to his age is not as dexterous as before. Customers of Rendever profit from goods and services tailored to their needs: the personalized offer helps them reconnect with family members and virtually attend events they would not be able to travel to. Furthermore, Rendever technology serves not only as an entertainment and an educational mean, but may also facilitate building new relationships through allowing users to virtually travel with others, therefore fulfilling their social needs. The health aspect is also of paramount importance, as using virtual reality may delay the diminishing quality of life due to memory and cognitive losses.
The company, on the other hand, gains access to two market segments. First, it can target a profitable and an increasingly larger group of elderly directly through their individual offer. Second, it can leverage a B2B business model. Marketing to elder care market and health care segment opens up a potentially vast revenue stream. As geriatric population increases, the number of elderly people suffering from chronic diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer rises. As a result, the senior care industry that encompasses elderly care or memory care facilities and assisted living communities has already reached 400 billion dollars of an annual revenue and is expected to grow at a significant pace. The company could also cooperate with the public health sector which struggles with providing care to an increasing number of seniors.
Furthermore, even though the company has to invest into costly advanced technology and production of wearable devices, a subscription-based business model allows it to reduce fixed costs. The manufacturing cost is also expected to decrease as virtual reality gear is becoming more popular and commonly used. Furthermore, the firm’s personalized offer creates an additional revenue stream and increases switching costs that customers may experience, as moving to a competitive product is connected to a loss of the personalized content.

There are two significant obstacles that the company may face in the future. Firstly, some of the elderly have an anti-technology views and can oppose using virtual reality technology. As a result, convincing assisted living communities to partner with Rendever may meet with challenges. Secondly, despite the fact that virtual reality technology may help sooth isolation in the short term, there is no guarantee that it would be able to still cheer elderly up as they get used to it. And while seeing family and friends in the virtual reality may ease the loneliness for some time, even an advanced technology cannot replace a real, human contact. In order for the company to overcome these barriers, an awareness about what virtual reality is, what are its benefits for elderly and limitations, needs to be built. Only then will Rendever be able to expand its reach and become profitable in the long term.

Bruun-Pedersen J.R., Serafin S., Kofoed L.B. (2015). Simulating Nature for Elderly Users – A Design Approach for Recreational Virtual Environments. 2015 IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology. doi: 10.1109/CIT/IUCC/DASC/PICOM.2015.235.
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Spread Your Wings with Triberr

You have this perfect idea of creating a blog that is going to be fed with eye-catching and breath-taking blog posts. You then decide to sign up on (or any other blogging platform of your choice) and start to upload your first posts. Only to find out that your content is not as spectacular as you thought it will be because nobody is actually reading your posts. So, after a few more trials, you see no progress and decide to abandon the whole blog. Why? Because you assume after a few trials that your posts are useless and boring for the audience? Slow down. Relax. The chances are, your blog posts have not even reached your targeted audience.

In today’s fast-paced world, the internet enables you to connect with almost everyone around the globe. You must already know this when you first considered blogging. But what you might have forgotten is that the internet gives not only gives the reach but also a pool of tools to maximize that reach. One of those tools, given we narrow it to the blogging sphere, is Triberr – a blog post sharing platform that will give life to your blog (posts). Not by using fake humans that will artificially increase your readership figure but by connecting you with real humans who will help you grow your blog organically. We are not talking about social media bots, we are talking about a whole community of like-minded bloggers, who share each other’s contents and this way, support each other. Triberr calls this community a “Tribe”.

So, how does this ‘Triberr’ platform, that I have (hopefully) hyped you on, work?

Triberr is a platform that aims to connect like-minded bloggers to support each other. To understand how the platform works, let’s have a look at its core element: Tribes. Let’s say you are a fashion blogger looking for (more) readers to read your latest blog post that you put so much effort into creating. Triberr does exactly that. It helps you increase the readership rate of your blog posts by connecting you with another fashion blogger, let’s call this person Blogger A. Once you connect with Blogger A, after few procedures, you become a member of a tribe that Blogger A is currently enrolled in. That is, you are now surrounded by people who blog about fashion as you (aspire to) do. After you are officially in, you can start sharing your blog post in the community. What happens next is, once you share a blog post, your team members (called tribemates) will support your blog post by sharing your post on their social media – this way, your post reaches more people but also a more relevant audience. As said before, Triberr is a community of bloggers that support each other. As such, you should reciprocate the received favor you received by doing the same thing – you share your tribemates’ blog posts’ on your social media. Your tribe(s) hence becomes fuel for your blog’s organic growth.

Let’s evaluate Triberr’s business model further via efficiency criteria

Triberr is a platform that aims to increase the same-sided network effect by engaging and connecting bloggers around the world. We can thus define Triberr’s business model as crowd-sourced based. In theory, it means that at Triberr, consumer co-production is high and a network is a unit of co-production (Tsekouras, 2019, p. 28). In lay terms, the previous sentence says that bloggers (i.e. consumers) are willing to actively participate in activities that will create value for Triberr which brings benefits to the platform but also to bloggers themselves. That is, Triberr grows as more bloggers are active on the platform but bloggers also benefit from a higher number of shares and thus, a higher readership of their blog posts. This mechanism thus satisfies the first efficiency criteria, which is [joint profitability] of partners involved (i.e. bloggers and Triberr) who work together to create greater value (Tsekouras, 2019, p. 35). Triberr works as a customer-driven value system and it works because both consumers (i.e., bloggers) and the platform both benefit from each other. To name a number of benefits for bloggers: an increased audience that is relevant, getting to know other like-minded (successful) bloggers from whom they can learn from, and satisfied social needs through the feeling of belonging into a community (aka tribe). To name a number of benefits for Triberr: lower marketing prices because of (electronic) word-of-mouth and increased platform value as the number of bloggers grow. In terms of effort and investment, both participating sides exert minimal efforts: bloggers produce contents they enjoy and outsource sharing efforts, Triberr leverages bloggers and outsources the growth of the platform to them altogether.

In many cases, bloggers can abuse the platform by creating inappropriate tribes as well as tribes could be polluted with inappropriate bloggers. Triberr solves this issue by disabling aspiring members to join the tribe immediately. Aspiring members must first go through an “introduction period” in which they can follow their desired tribe and “join” the tribe as observers (Triberr, 2019). As observers, aspiring members’ posts are not (yet) visible to the members of the tribe. Nevertheless, they are allowed to interact with the members of the tribe and share their posts – this way aspiring members can “earn” the tribe’s trust and thus a place in the tribe. Only after observers become full members, their posts will become visible (and thus shareable) to all members of the tribe. Bloggers are responsible for their own content, which must be original. Contents that are perceived hateful or involving threat and harassment are taken care and act upon Triberr as well as US legal bodies. Moreover, a user’s identification is linked to the user’s social media profile to increase authenticity. In addition, a user’s privacy is protected by Triberr’s compliance with GDPR. As such, the Triberr’s feasibility of required reallocations, the second efficiency criterion, is considered met as (aspiring) members are carefully screened (by the community) and user’s trust is achieved with legal compliances.

Triberr goes beyond tribe community and content sharing.

In addition to the above-mentioned two services, the platform provides three premium services. Users can measure content performance with “triberrAnalytics” in the form of post analytics (e.g., number of clicks or content shares) and growth analytics (e.g., number of new and active members). With “triberrQueue”, users can optimize the posting time of their contents. Lastly, “triberrCurate” helps clients with discovering and choosing the relevant content for their targeted audience.

So, my last question for you is:

“Are you now ready to spread your wings with Triberr?”


Triberr man proof [Digital image]. Retrieved from