Today the Lab played host to Hellen Bowey and Alexandra Eavis the inspirational founders of Alcove. It's a service that marries cutting edge tech with a re-imagined customer experience for people for who want to live independently at home.
"We've tried to imagine how John Lewis or Bang & Olufsen would do it. They wouldn't put their name to much of what's out there for older people now" said Hellen.
We wanted Alcove to pay a visit to aid our thinking about the type of services Bromford will be offering to older people. In traditional housing , people aged 55+ (Yep - that's what we considered old) have often been put out to grass and regarded as one homogenous group rather than one with diverse skills , aspirations and experience.
Often those with more complex care needs have had to accept badly designed services and atrocious tech (pull cords and unsightly alarm pendants anyone?). This simply won't do for a generation of baby boomers who've grown older with iPads.
As Alcove say on their blog:
What we love about Alcove is the design thinking and the focus on the whole customer experience rather than the tech. And we adore their refusal to accept that tech for older people has to look like crap. It can look - guess what - sexy.
We are currently thinking how best to follow up our meeting and whether we can get some tests done with Bromford customers.
As ever - watch this space.