Meet AGNES -- the MIT AgeLab's Age Gain Now Empathy System. This suit was designed to provide insight into the physical effects of aging.
Want to know what it's like to shuffle around the grocery store like achy old folks do? Just in case that sounds like fun, researchers at MIT's Agelab have created a jumpsuit that brings the experience to life for the young, able-bodied masses.
The Age Gain Now Empathy System (AGNES, get it?) was created to provide insight into the physical effects of aging.
That's important because all those baby boomers who've dictated politics and the economy for what seems like forever are now getting old. To continue making money by selling them stuff, products need to be designed that make life groovy for people with poor eyesight, stiff joints and a hunched back.
AGNES consists of arm, leg and neck braces as well as a web of stretchy cords that make moving around cumbersome and uncomfortable. Yellow goggles mimic reduced vision. A safety helmet strapped to the body gives the feeling of a compressed spine. Custom shoes make you feel off balance.
What's more, fashion-conscious researchers who get to wear the suit around will feel the bliss of what it's like to not give a hoot about how they look in the public.
More importantly, though, the suit really could help make life more comfortable and enjoyable for our aging population. In turn, maybe these happy old folks will be inclined to share their wisdom with those of us who wise up to their plight.
More on old age:
- Telemedicine rings off the hook
- 10 gadgets that make you look old
- As boomers age, 1 in 5 drivers will be oldsters
- 90 year old marathoner races to old age
- Your odds of reaching 90 keep getting better
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.
As the over-65 population expands, new gadgets and systems will allow seniors to live at home and receive improved healthcare. From sleep-sensing beds to robots piloted by grandchildren, we look at how "health surveillance" can improve quality of life.