A Bionic Suit Lets You Experience Old Age And It's Changing How People Feel About The Future
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be old? Insurance company Genworth is taking the phrase "step into somebody else's shoes" to the next level with the Genworth R70i Aging Experience.
This experience involves a state-of-the-art bionic suit that allows its user to experience various conditions associated with growing older.
The Genworth R70i Aging experience is currently exhibited at Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. According to a TechInsider report, the bionic suit uses a high-tech exoskeleton to make people feel like a 75-year-old.
Genworth's co-founder and CEO Bran Ferren said the suit can mimic the stage and conditions of aging 20, 30 or 40 years ahead.
Its exterior is made of a physical structure which uses electronic breaks to limit the range of movements. It also has a high-definition camera that takes images and sends them to the image processing system.
It also has noise-cancelling headphones which can easily demonstrate hearing conditions. A backpack housing the electronic computer and the cooling system is also installed, which allows the suit to function up to a maximum of one hour.
True to its promise of letting people experience the aging process, the user can feel some common old age conditions. It can let its wearer experience glaucoma, cataracts or eye floaters by using the camera and the advanced image processing systems which transform the normal vision.
When it comes to hearing, the suit also lets people experience tinnitus and presbycusis, which are both hearing conditions resulting from exposure to loud noises.
They also wouldn't leave out mobility issues, too, which is a common problem of older people. By limiting the movements of the suit's joints, it enables the user to experience how difficult it is to walk by the age of 75.
One of the most remarkable functions of the R70i Aging Experience is that it can recreate aphasia. It is defined by the National Aphasia Organization as an "acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence."
Ferren explained this is possible by tricking the mind into hearing a delay echo of the user's voice so that the wearer's mind gets distracted. Therefore, the wearer unable to properly communicate what his or her mind is thinking.
According to data from the United Nations, only 23 percent of the population reached the age of 60 in 2013 but the number is expected to gradually increase until 2050.
Meanwhile, Business Insider reported that as per the U.S. Census, it is predicted that by 2020 there will be more Americans older than 65 than those younger than 5 years old.
This is the reason why Genworth decided to build the bionic suit to help educate people about the aging process.
Janice Luvera, Genworth's global brand leader, explained that this technology can help in understanding the conditions experienced by older people. This will also help younger generations discuss and understand the aging process.
At the same time, it can also enable people to prepare for their own inevitable aging.
The people who experienced the R70i said it was an eye-opener and a life-changing experience. It takes some kind of miracle to be able to be a 75-year old in a second and then go back to the normal young self, but now it is possible--all because of science.