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Longevity-focused products and services

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 06 April 2011

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Many industries have traditionally shied away from openly marketing to people aged 65 and older, viewing them as an unfashionable demographic that might taint their otherwise modern brands.

 

 

But now that people are living longer and more actively, a number of companies are recognising the staying power of the market.

 

With that in mind, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed the Age Gain Now Empathy System, also known as AGNES.

 

AGNES is designed to help product designers and marketers better understand older adults and create innovative programs for them.

 

It consists of a helmet, attached by cords to a pelvic harness, and yellow-tinted goggles to blur one’s vision.

 

Plastic bands run from the harness to each arm while compression knee bands discourage bending.

 

Plastic shoes, with uneven Styrofoam pads for soles, throw off the wearer’s centre of gravity and layers of surgical gloves stifle flexibility.

 

Joseph Coughlin, director of AgeLab, believes baby boomers will not “go gently into the night” like previous generations, representing an opportunity for companies to offer longevity-focused products and services. Can you think of any?

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