Technology and Aging
Wendy A. Rogers, Aideen J. Stronge, Arthur D. Fisk,First Published June 1, 2005 Research Article
Volume: 1 issue: 1, page(s): 130-171
Issue published: June 1, 2005
Wendy A. Rogers, Aideen J. Stronge, Arthur D. Fisk
Technological advancements have become widespread, and their implementation into products of everyday use is accelerating. Technology has the potential to improve the lives of older adults by increasing their safety, security, and independence in daily life. However, too often older adults' capabilities and limitations are not considered in the design of current and future technologies. In 1990, the National Research Council identified the importance of human factors in the design of technology for an aging population. The goal of this chapter is to review research on aging and technology since that report to determine the contributions of human factors research to issues of aging and technology design. In this chapter we address the extent to which older adults use new technologies, factors to consider in the adoption of technology (e.g., attitudes), the influence of technology design on older adults' performance (e.g., design of input devices), and ways to optimize training for older adults in using new technologies (e.g., age-specific instructional designs). We then review emerging areas of research that may direct the focus of human factors research in the next decade. These areas of research include ubiquitous computing (e.g., home monitoring systems), health care technologies (e.g., telehealth), robotics (e.g., Nursebot), and automated systems (e.g., cruise control). Finally, we consider opportunities and challenges to human factors research as the field continues to address the questions of optimizing technology for older adult users.