There are not enough product designs that focus on the senior citizen demographic. As life around us speeds up, we incorporate gadgets that help us keep up. But for those who are much older, life is slowing down and they need gadgets that keep up with their pace to make life convenient for them. It is kind of like the fear of missing out if they don’t adapt to the faster tech, but that is the beauty of design – with products like Familia they don’t have to worry about missing out anymore!
Familia is a collection of smart objects that aim to restore dignity to seniors by making them feel less dependent and more confident. These are specifically created to appear like everyday objects with minimal aesthetics and simple UI to make sure it isn’t another thing they have to learn to operate. As people grow old they often tend to hide things that make them feel “old” and with a help of this smart clock, lamp/magnifying glass, and digital mirror, senior citizens can live without being stigmatized. Each object offers subtle functionalities that respond to challenges faced by the elderly ranging from memory loss and health issues to vision damage and isolation.
The smart clock performs all its expected functions and also features a reminder cuckoo bird that will pop out to deliver the medication which helps the user to not miss any dose. Medicines are not happy reminders and a small detail like the cuckoo bird adds playfulness that resonates with all ages. The mechanism is based on a 28-compartment wheel operated by a PCB which, by turning, pours the programmed dose of medication into the cuckoo cup that pops out at set times. Another object with a dual purpose is the lamp that doubles up as an illuminated magnifying glass that can also be used by any age group. It is a standing desk lamp that you can grab and turn around for reading because the luminous magnifying glass helps to see clearly. The final object is the mirror which is about looking at ourselves and at the same time at the ones we love – poetic and functional. “Because younger and older generations don’t use the same tools of communication, we designed an object that bridges this gap. On one side it is an app and on the other side, it becomes an automatically updated picture frame. The mirror is designed to facilitate the dialogue between family members and strengthen family ties,” said the designers.
While the objects are meant for the elderly, inclusivity is key and all of these can be used by children and young adults as well which helps to reduce stigmas around the challenges faced by the older generation – it is not a weakness if everyone has it and overcomes it with objects they cherish!
Designer: Studio Fantasio
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