UCLA Professor Matthew Lieberman once said, “being socially connected is our brain’s lifelong passion … It’s been baked into our operating system for tens of millions of years.” Now, in light of stay-at-home measures and social distancing, such connection has never been more important.
During the COVID-19 pandemic alone, internet use surged 70 percent as billions of people around the world moved their personal and professional connections with the outer world online seemingly overnight.
While the mass online shift has driven predictable technology booms in edtech, social media, e-commerce and digital entertainment, the new normal has unearthed “new problems” in parts of society that had once been resistant to digital transformation. In response, there’s a wealth of opportunities for startups that are able to pivot and tackle the most pressing issues for newly connected communities.
Housing, cultural events, local business activity and friendly interactions are being powered by smart technology that is better serving community inhabitants. That’s why consumer-focused products are at the heart of what we call connected communities — where emerging technology improves services and quality of life within populations.
Cater to newly online demographics and industries
New, nonorganic user markets are currently emerging. These are demographics that aren’t traditionally digitally fluent but have recently been transitioning online. The most notable is the elderly population. (Read more…)