There are already sympathy suits out there for men who want to know what it’s like to be pregnant, so why not invent a suit that lets everyone know what it’s like to be old? It’s not quite like the fat suit Tom Cruise wore in Tropic Thunder, but someone at MIT was thinking that the AGNES suit could give us an understanding of what its like to be, well, old.
Standing for Age Gain Now Empathy System, the AGNES suit was developed by researchers from the Agelab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It’s designed to mimic all the things that come with more advanced age. You get reduced dexterity, reduced flexibility, and reduced mobility. There are braces to make your joints feel stiff, straps to slow down how fast you can walk, and even a helmet that pushes your head forward.
But it’s not just about all the limited mobility either. They also throw on some yellow goggles to make your vision not quite as good, as well as earplugs for the “what did you say, sonny?” experience. The MIT researchers didn’t make AGNES to be mean; they made it so that engineers and other folks can better design public transportation and other projects, making them friendlier to seniors.