AGNES Given an Entry in the "Atlas of the Future"

by Adam Felts

A futurist web publication titled The Atlas of the Future includes the AgeLab's Age Gain Now Empathy System, or AGNES, as a project that is working to create a better future:

In 2020, for the first time in history, old people will outnumber young people across the globe. That’s a challenge for society on a scale that has never been seen before. As a result, ageing technology research is now in the vanguard of innovative design. A more empathetic world would be transformational for the physical and emotional wellbeing of an ageing population.

MIT AgeLab is a research programme that believes that by experiencing a specific problem, there is better understanding – and ultimately better design. Their AGNES body suit (an acronym for ‘Age Gain Now Empathy System’) is not a perfect representation of what it feels like to be late-70s or early 80s, but an empathy experience tool to help researchers or designers see the world differently. The simulator allows users, from students to engineers to people who are designing products, services and spaces – whether commercial, home or public spaces – to wear the suit and understand what it feels like to age.

Read the full Atlas entry on AGNES here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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