Every year, IBT researchers take some time off from their work on journal publications to organize an event where members of the local community can learn about the latest findings in the world of behavioral and technology research. This year, we dedicated the event to the very current subject of new technologies and the future of aging. To our great pleasure, we partnered up with two local experts in elderly care, benevol St. Gallen and Stiftung Zeitvorsorge, to organize it.

Following our invitation, more than 30 senior citizens from St. Gallen and the surrounding areas joined us in the welcoming facilities of benevol St. Gallen. A talk illustrating the shift from stigmatizing specialist technology toward age-supportive features within lifestyle technology and featuring recent research findings on the psychology of aging with new technologies set the stage for an inspiring and fun afternoon. At four technology experience stations, participants could get hands-on experience with the latest tech gadgets from the IBT lab.

IBT researchers showcased how social robots could change the future of healthcare, how autonomous systems like robotic vacuum cleaners simplify household activities, how voice assistants can help with taking notes and checking the weather, and how the latest smartphone apps can support healthy activities like meditation practices or staying in touch with loved ones.

The event was characterized by enthusiastic interactions, vivid discussions, and a wide range of exciting technology encounters, ranging from amusement by robotic dogs to skepticism towards fully autonomous household appliances. Once again, it was evident that connecting with local communities and sharing research is of tremendous value. We are very pleased with the successful outcome!

We want to thank our partners from benevol St. Gallen and Zeitvorsorge for co-organizing the event. We already look forward to our next Pro Bono event!

Are you interested in local initiatives on elderly care? Learn more about benevol St. Gallen (specifically their telephone chain benephone for elderlies living alone) and Stiftung Zeitvorsorge.