HOME ALONE, SORT OF
Isolation-mitigating innovations for homebound consumers are here to help
Cassandra recently released the State of Mind report, which explores young adults’ current attitudes around loneliness. While this “shadow” epidemic is being heightened by the pandemic, luckily, those in the tech industry are creating products and services that foster deeper connection and community for today's consumers. Some of these isolation-driven innovations aren’t just for teens, but for anyone feeling alone right now.
Meet Pepper, a humanoid robot that’s been deployed to the frontlines during the pandemic. Designed by SoftBank Robotics, Pepper provides information, interaction, and even emotional support for isolated Covid-19 patients in hospitals, who are dealing with extreme loneliness during their recovery. Pepper’s telepresence capabilities allow for low-risk interactions between medical staff and their patients, and gives families a platform through which to reach out to their loved ones. From hospitals to hotels and even homes, Pepper and other such robots are here to help consumers, with functionality that services a variety of needs, including around both physical and mental health.
KOMP is a super simple, single-button computer that gives seniors who might not have a smartphone or tablet a way to conveniently and safely connect with friends and family during this highly-isolating time. This low-tech device, created by Norweigan startup No Isolation, allows for video calls, photo sharing, and messaging. With large font, high-contrast content, and clear, loud sound, KOMP is just the right solution for seniors.
Lyf is an app that allows teens to talk about their mental health and the challenges they’re facing during this time. Billed as a virtual support group, Lyf allows users to share personal experiences through discussion groups called “beats,” providing an intimate space for users to share thoughts and even commiserate communally. Users also have the opportunity to chat with professionals, as the app offers on-demand access to licensed psychologists who provide users support.