The next time you’re worried about being the youngest person at a cocktail party, you’ve got a new clothing option. MIT’s Age Lab, a research center designed to innovate technologies and services adept to today’s increasingly numerous elderly population, created a high tech suit that’s designed to inhibit movement and sensation in the same way as, well, being 70 years old would.
The suit, called the AGNES (short for Age Gain Now Empathy System), is built to help product designers better understand the physical toils of old age. Through empathy, MIT says, designers will create better products.
From the New York Times:
At first glance, it may look like a mere souped-up jumpsuit. A helmet, attached by cords to a pelvic harness, cramps my neck and spine. Yellow-paned goggles muddy my vision. Plastic bands, running from the harness to each arm, clip my wingspan. Compression knee bands discourage bending. Plastic shoes, with uneven Styrofoam pads for soles, throw off my center of gravity. Layers of surgical gloves make me all thumbs.
The age-empathy suit comes from the M.I.T. AgeLab, where researchers designed Agnes to help product designers and marketers better understand older adults and create innovative products for them.