George Takei: Teaching tech to an older generation in AARP online series

Written by Hayley Tsukayama
Hayley Tsukayama

Not content with being a beloved geek icon and a social media superstar, “Star Trek” actor George Takei is about to take on new frontier: bringing next-generation tech to an older set of Americans.

Takei is taking his own love of tech, and his distinctive voice, to the Web, where he’s anchoring an AARP series devoted to teaching older people about industry’s latest innovations. The series, “Takei’s Take,” which premieres Tuesday on YouTube, will have 12 episodes and air every two weeks.

Takei said that he was delighted when he was approached by the AARP to host the shows, because he likes to encourage people who are wary of new technology to learn about it.

“I have a sister who is technophobic; she doesn’t even use a computer, ” Takei said in an interview with The Washington Post. The show, he said, is trying to reach out to those who may watch online video but are hesitant about branching out much more than that.

The shows will be four minutes — “give or take,” Takei said — and will aim at not only at educating more people about technology trends, but also at presenting the information in such a way that viewers may want to adopt some of the ideas from the tech industry in their own lives.

Takei said one of the most interesting topics that he’s learned about while doing the series has been the sharing economy.

“The idea appeals to me,” he said, speaking of tech companies that connect people looking for places to stay, rides, or even leftover food. “We’re overconsuming.”

The show, the AARP said, will have an audience. The AARP notes that 54 percent of baby boomers watch online video, according to an April Google/Ipsos study, and that one in three spend more time watching online video than television.

And while Takei will be explaining the latest tech such as Google Glass or trends such as the sharing economy to the AARP’s target audience, he hopes that the shows will have wider appeal as well.

Original “Star Trek” fans are now AARP-eligible, Takei said and their children are middle-aged. He even now sees fans’ grandchildren at conventions, and all are excited to speak within about the latest tech topics of the day.

“This is broadening the audience for the AARP,” Takei said. “I meet so many people who are absolutely fascinated by tech and the exploration of space. Our audience for this will be very broad.”

Check out the first episode here:

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