AGNES Allows The Young To Experience Instant 'Aging'

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Most of us have at some point or another become impatient with a 'slow, bumbling' elderly adult or a grandparent 'moaning' about aches and pains. Would we be as dismissive, if we knew what they were going through?

Now, thanks to the AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System) suit developed by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Age Lab, we can all experience the plight of the elderly.

Thankfully, however, the transformation is not a result of an irreversible chemical reaction, but a temporary condition caused by different gadgets that are attached to the suit. To emulate slow movement and joint pain, two stretchy bands, restrict the legs from extending all the way. A special helmet with straps attaches to the spine and alters body posture, so that person can experience how it feels to walk around with a little stoop.

Special shoes restrict the gait by reducing hamstring flexibility. And that's not all - Wear the gloves that come with the suit, and you will realize why the elderly cannot lift things as deftly as a young person. To complete the experience, AGNES comes with special earphones that make it difficult to hear to hear really sharp or soft sounds.

While an AGNES experience is bound to emanate some sympathy for the elderly, that is not the primary purpose behind its creation. It has largely been invented so that designers and engineers can create safer crosswalks, stairs, accessible grocery aisles and so on - A very important consideration given that the elderly population in the US alone, is expected to exceed over 7.2 million, by the year 2030.

In addition, AGNES has been modeled after an adult who has led an extremely unhealthy life, hence projecting a senior citizen in the worst possible health condition. By doing so, the scientists are hoping to encourage today's youth to make better food choices and remain active, which in turn, will help them age better.

So, the next time you are feeling lazy or eating too much junk, be sure to reflect back on AGNES and, while 75 may seem like eons of years away, it will come by sooner than you think - Just ask your grandparents!


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  • Bob the guyover 5 years
    Shouldn't there be suits for getting younger instead of getting older?
    • Ayaniiaawsneusnover 6 years
      That is cool
      • Jefferyabout 8 years
        i love it
        • im awesomeabout 8 years
          • OMGover 11 years
            • Brandon W.over 11 years
              Fifth graders should keep themselves healthy because when they get older like in there mid 60s they can have some troubles like balence lift and hearing and if your very sure that this wont happen to you try the suit if not ask an elderly peson or your grandma or grandpa I'm sure there tell you how its like to age in your life.
              • Vieniq R.over 11 years
                I know what it is like to be constantly pesterd by grandparents. Every time I go over there, they always ask for me to get someting for them at least once. But know that I've read this article, I know why. Also don't think that all the side effects don't happen untill later in your life. they can hapen, oh let's say, NOW! For example, if you eat a lot of candy and junk food, you'll find that you energy will be sapped a lot faster. Eat healthy food. It's delisious, and I'm saying that from experience, because I eat healthy every day. Your body just craves it. Also, don't stay up late watching T.V. or playing video games, or even reading. Those things will eat away at your eysight and the amount of enrgy you have. This is because you don't get the amount of sleep that you need. Be healthy know and live a longer, happier, life.
                • Iover 11 years
                  GIRL! That is totally not cute!
                  • Shayne C.over 11 years
                    A older person would say to take care of your selfs and eat healthy. They would tell you to eat as many fruits and vegetables, and try to stay away from junk food. They also might say try to get much as sleep and exercise as possible. When you do the opposite of those such as watch TV and eat junk food you can be unable to do stuff and your body will be very unhealthy, and it will need sleep and exercise. So you should eat healthy and be active.
                    • Shyal C.over 11 years
                      I remember when I was your age. You should be eating healthy foods like celery, carrots, and broccoli instead of junk food. Make sure you get enough exercise so you can stay healthy. If you don't eat healthy food or get enough exercise you can become weak and unable to do things. Being healthy will help you in the future.