Part of AARP’s well-rounded lineup of innovative age tech solutions at CES 2022, Beeyonder is a digital marketplace providing live and interactive virtual travel experiences and tours. Beeyonder allows aging populations and those with disabilities that prevent physical travel to experience new cultures and destinations around the world.
Beeyonder’s interactive travel experiences feature certified local guides from more than 50 countries. Users can see and speak directly to the live guide via Zoom and other streaming platforms during public or private tours. Beeyonder subscriptions cost $15 per month for individuals and smaller groups, while larger groups and corporate subscriptions pay $250 monthly.
Featured experiences include Lisbon, Portugal’s bustling downtown scene, Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, and the city center of Delhi, India’s iconic capital city. Smaller destinations off the beaten path will appeal to users with a penchant for history, such as Sakamoto, Japan. Located near Kyoto, this tiny Japanese village, surrounded by historic Buddhist temples and shrines, has retained much of its medieval architecture and landscape. Modern-day “marathon monks” from the Tendai sect still come to Sakamoto to rest after completing the kaihōgyō, a yearly ascetic practice that involves walking 26 miles a day for 100-200 consecutive days around nearby Mount Hiei.
In addition to seniors, Beeyonder makes these destinations accessible to adults and kids with limited mobility, developmental disabilities, degenerative diseases, brain injuries. Individuals, families, schools, and other groups can also join Beeyonder for interactive tours worldwide without risking COVID-19 exposure or incurring the high costs of in-person travel.
While not strictly health tech, Beyonder tackles issues that negatively impact older adults, homebound individuals, and those with dementia, such as isolation, loneliness, and cognitive decline. Recent research shows that active travel may slow the onset of dementia. Another study found that VR travel experiences improved memory and reduced negative emotions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Beeyonder’s high-quality experiences should certainly provide stimulation and stress relief without breaking the bank, a prospect likely to lead to tangible benefits for older adults and anyone else seeking a digital adventure.