Fans of Iron Man know well how Tony Stark’s technologically advanced suit gives him superhuman vision, hearing, and movement. At CES this past week, however, Genworth Financial wanted to remind attendees that without his super suit, Tony Stark is a mere mortal who ages and will become obese and unhealthy if he eats too many donuts or doesn’t exercise. To demonstrate this point, Genworth teamed up with technology innovation firm Applied Minds to develop the R70i Age Suit.
The R70i, which is named for the reality that 70% of Americans over the age of 65 require some form of long term care during their lifetime, can be thought of as the ultimate anti–Iron Man suit. It allows the wearer to directly experience common age-related vision, hearing, and mobility problems that many senior citizens have. On-board cameras with an augmented reality vision system demonstrate glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and floaters. Noise-cancelling headphones and on-board microphones simulate tinnitus, hearing loss, and aphasia. The exoskeleton is controlled by sensors and software to create resistance and limit range of motion in response to joint movement that together simulate arthritis and muscle loss.
The R70i was created as a first-hand experience to educate younger generations about the difficulties that come with aging and the importance of diet and exercise. It is Genworth’s hope that the experience will also help others express more empathy toward their loved ones who suffer through age-related diseases.
Our editor Scott had the opportunity to don the suit in front of a live CES audience and feel what it’s like to be somewhere around 70.
More information: The Genworth R70i Aging Experience
Scott wishes to thank Dr. David Ahn for his assistance in the filming of the video!