What is the story behind its creation?
10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and our world is facing an impending caregiver crisis as life expectancy increases and the birth rate decreases. While it may not be the trendiest application of technology, the aging, and senior care industry is ripe for innovation – and universally relevant because we all have older people in our lives that we care about (and we’re all aging ourselves every day!). 90% of the population would prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, but as families grow farther apart geographically, it can be difficult for older adults to safely and confidently remain independent. There is also the issue of social isolation and loneliness, which becomes more prevalent if seniors remain homebound due to mobility constraints, cognitive impairment, stigma from society, or any number of other reasons.
ElliQ was created to address these challenges. Designed for individuals living alone, it is a voice-first device that proactively suggests exercises, games, and health tips. Keeping in touch with family and friends has never been easier since there is no app to download or software to navigate. Reminders about medication, hydration, and important appointments give peace of mind to users and their loved ones. ElliQ is a friendly presence that helps older adults remain engaged and active throughout the day.
What makes you different in terms of your culture, products, services, inception, etc.?
One of the first questions we typically get is: “How is ElliQ different from other voice assistants?”
At its core, ElliQ was built to support our elders. Every aspect of functionality, approach, and design has been thoughtfully tested to provide maximum impact on its users. There are a host of custom features, but the most important differentiator is our philosophy. ElliQ is proactive, personalized, goal-driven, and empathetic.
Proactive: The user doesn’t need to remember the wake word and continuously thinks of questions to ask or commands to give. In contrast, ElliQ finds times that the user is available to initiate conversion or suggest activities. ElliQ can be woken up by name or touch at any point, but it doesn’t collect dust waiting for the user to initiate an interaction.
Personalized: As the user spends more time with the device, ElliQ uses artificial intelligence to customize the approach based on daily routines, preferences, and needs.
Goal-Driven: ElliQ’s engagement is intentional. Suggestions have a purpose behind them, starting with wellness coaching upfront to set health-related goals.
Empathetic: Perhaps most importantly, ElliQ uses warmth, humor, and personality to build a genuine relationship with the user. While other home assistants answer a single question, ElliQ will build context and conversation. For example, if you ask about the weather, ElliQ will not only tell you the forecast – but she might follow up with a question about your plans for the day and remind you to bring an umbrella if it’s going to rain.
How can your business help other businesses as well as people in their everyday lives?
Our mission is to help older adults in their everyday lives – empowering their independence and motivating them to take control of their health. Through proactive engagement, ElliQ offers entertainment, assistance with daily activities, connection to loved ones, and a host of wellness features.
In addition to helping individuals in their homes, ElliQ connects seniors to the outside world. Thanks to collaborations with organizations like Uber Health and Silver Sneakers, users can leverage their service offerings in a frictionless way via ElliQ. Since older adults represent nearly 20% of the population, it also provides other businesses access to an important demographic that may be difficult for them to reach otherwise.
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had owning/working with your business?
Without a doubt, the best experiences are when we get to hear directly from ElliQ users to hear how the device impacts their lives. We have had some users tell us stories about how socializing with ElliQ had brought them out of a depressive state and another user turned to ElliQ after her son passed. These stories reinforce the fact that we’re not just providing another device for the home. We’re creating a resource – and in some cases, a lifeline – for our elders to live more fulfilling, engaged lives.