A must-read article, In A Graying Population, Business Opportunity, appeared in the February 5, 2011 New York Times. Reporter Natasha Singer describes her visit to the MIT Age Lab as well as her experience wearing the Age Gain Now Empathy System (listen to an NPR system about these special suits), and she writes about the need for better designed and more “age-friendly” products for seniors. Quoted in the article is aging and health expert Eric Dishman (watch his TED lecture below) as well as others who are seeking to make products with features for many ages, but with features that also offer support for people who are aging.
Seniors do not like aging products, period. The personal response necklace that we gave my husband’s mother to wear around her neck was a bust. We know she wore it when we were around, but we do not think she wore it at other times. Now if the producer had designed the product as jewelry or a watch that just happened to have the extra response feature, she would have worn it happily.
The best quote in the article comes from Professor Joseph Coughlin, director of AgeLab, who commented, “…you can’t build an old man’s product, because a young man won’t buy it and an old man won’t buy it.”
Watch Eric Dishman’s TED Lecture