Delays in ‘game-changing’ PERS

Both Philips GoSafe and Lifecomm have apparently blown past at least two in-market dates.

Philips Lifeline GoSafe: Announced at CES in January [TTA 11 Jan], it is a mobile, souped-up PERS chunky neck-worn pendant with the fall detection features of Lifeline Auto-Alert plus GPS detection through multiple systems such as Skyhook, Wi-Fi and ‘intelligent bread crumbing’. The CES-announced debut was March, reconfirmed in February to Leading Age [TTA 14 Feb]. Then a small blog, The Senior List, confirmed with Philips in June that in-market would be delayed till fall. Now that fall is here, an industry insider tipped us to the further delay till December, confirmed by a later article in the The Senior List blog. Notably Philips is beefing up its website and video demo presence, apparently building up to an announcement near the end of the year. In the PERS category, one of the peak selling seasons is post-New Year’s, after holiday get-togethers bring the realization that a loved one is getting frailer and in need of some protection.

On the polar opposite, the Lifecomm PERS (from the Qualcomm/Hughes Telematics-now-Verizon/AMAC-now-Tunstall JV) seems to be hanging in limbo–again. Prior to 2010, it survived several iterations under Qualcomm, to be revived in 2010 with a new concept and partnership–then proceeding through mergers affecting two partners. The last word in January was that Lifecomm was due out early this year. Based on this July video interview with a Verizon Telematics VP, the clunky, ugly watch/screen/bracelet form of two years ago hasn’t changed an iota. Moreover, there’s no recent press at all, no public date and a single screen website linking only to an inquiry form, “To receive product and launch information as it becomes available…”–all of which look dicey for the device’s future. (Tunstall seems to have vanished, which may also be indicative of Lifecomm’s future.)

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