Meaningful Age-Friendly Design. Case Studies on Enabling Assistive Technology
The world population is steadily aging and the World Health Organization recently stated that 8.5% of people worldwide are aged 65 and over. This cohort is projected to account for 1.6 billion people by 2050.
Assistive Technology has been developed over previous decades with a particular aim to support people with disabilities.
With the evolution of the market and the introduction of wearable technologies and IoT-based (Internet of Things) appliances, Assistive Technology has been influenced by the discipline of Age-Friendly Design, which has been applied to meaningfully improve the autonomy of a larger segment of the population, including older people.
In order to discuss how Age-Friendly Design can influence the response of the market, and how users can better engage and benefit from Assistive Technology, this work aims to critically review, through a case study research methodology, a series of recently developed devices that have the potential to change user perception around Assistive Technology.
As a conclusion, the reported case studies represent a preliminary validation of how Age-Friendly Design can represent a meaningful solution for enabling a wider group of people with different ages and abilities. Findings show that user experience, satisfaction and Emotional Design are the key drivers for developing marketable solutions in the area of Assistive Technology.
KeywordsAssistive Technology Design thinking Usability Emotional Design Age-Friendly Design Inclusive design Neurodesign
This research has been possible through the Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship, administered by the Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America, Belgium and Luxembourg and jointly financed by the U.S. State Department and the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. A joint team from Stanford University (USA) and the Technological University Dublin (Ireland) has been working under the internationally cooperation and cross-cultural principles.
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