Ageless computing

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Ageless computing refers to computing technologies used to improve the life of senior citizens and help people to build an "ageless society."


Many existing computing services are not designed with the needs of elderly users in mind. The way information is often organized and presented (such as user experience design) and the complexity of many computer based operations create difficulties for many elderly people. This not only makes it inconvenient for the elderly to make use of information and services, but also contributes to isolation from other members of the society.[1]

As the average life expectancy increases in most countries across the globe, a greater percentage of the world's population is falling above the age of 65.[2] This group commands major purchasing power, and possesses unique knowledge, experience, skills and wisdom. As such, it is important that computing design paradigms be revised to accommodate the special needs and preferences of the elderly population for the well-being of both seniors and society in general.


Ageless computing is defined as any service-oriented computing[3] design that can achieve at least one of the following objectives:

  1. Bridges the gap between physical services for the elderly and the online environment
  2. Enables the elderly to effectively use computing technology without conscious physical and mental effort
  3. Enables the friends and relatives of the elderly to interact closely and meaningfully with the elderly
  4. Enables aging societies to mobilize the elderly population as a productive force

Ageless computing should make the elderly feel ageless when using computing technologies, make their loved ones feel the elderly are ageless as part of daily life, and make an aging society feel ageless by revealing the hidden potential of the elderly population.


Researchers from University of British Columbia and Nanyang Technological University summarized the major challenges in the field of ageless computing as follows.[4]

  • Emotional: The feeling of loneliness is the biggest emotional challenge. This can be caused by numerous aging related reasons including children migrating to other places for careers, relocation to unfamiliar places, deaths of family members, difficulty in joining social activities, health problems, etc.
  • Physio-cognitive
  • Social
  • Enjoyment of modern e-commerce
  • Convergence of ageless computing technologies
  • Knowing what the elderly want


  1. ^ "Online Habits Coming Slowly to Older Adults". New York Times New Old Age Blog. April 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ Wikibooks:Introduction to Sociology/Aging#Global Aging Trends
  3. ^ "Service-oriented computing: key concepts and principles" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Cyril Leung, Chunyan Miao, Han Yu, Martin Helander (2012). "Towards an Ageless Computing Ecosystem" (PDF). International Journal of Information Technology. 18 (1).