Brainstorming, Unmet Needs, Ideation


On occasion, when we come across a "problem relating to aging that we wish someone would solve", our Longevity Explorers spend some time brainstorming possible solutions and fleshing out the details of the unmet need.


We have collected some of these brainstorming sessions here in one place, so that innovators looking for good ideas to work on can leverage our thoughts and ideas to help create useful solutions for older adults like our explorers.

You are welcome to learn from these sessions, and take advantage of them for your own projects. Tech-enhanced Life does not wish to assert any form of intellectual property ownership over the ideas themselves.

Of course, we think our community of Longevity Explorers can go much deeper into any of these topics, and add much more heft to any of these ideas if we give them the chance. We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with any researchers or product developers who wish to use these brainstorming sessions as a springboard to further work. If you are interested in that, just reach out to us using the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Note: Some of these discussions require a "Researcher membership". Others are available for free, but you need to login to listen to the audio.



Featured Content: Brainstorming, Unmet Needs, Ideation


Gerontech Products We Wish Existed

Here are some high-impact, gerontechnology product concepts that do not yet exist as commercially available products — although the technology to enable them already largely exists. Our hope for products like these: to significantly postpone the time at which frailty and functional disability get in the way of "living life".



Intergenerational Design Opinions

What happens when you bring together a group of older adult Longevity Explorers and the teams participating in the Stanford Longevity Design Challenge? You get some interesting and contrasting opinions about what the differences should be between designing for a 25 year old and designing for an 85 year old.



Artificial Intelligence and Robots: What Older Adults Want

While there has been lots written by academics, companies, and futurists about the potential of robots and AI in aged care, the voice of the older adult is generally absent from these discussions. Here are the opinions of the Longevity Explorers as to problems they wish a robot, smarthome, or Artifical Intelligence could solve for them.



Staying Independent as an Older Adult: The Challenges

Staying "Independent" as long as possible is one of the most important priorities for many people as they age. But what do older adults really mean when they talk of being "independent", and what are the obstacles to staying independent?



From MD to Alexa Skills Developer: My Journey

Retired physician, Dr Bob Kolock, shares his new "hobby": Alexa Skills Developer. He describes how he came to be interested in Alexa, and describes some of the 13 skills he has developed. Many of these skills are useful for older adults, and Dr. Kolock's perspective from "both sides of the stethoscope" makes them especially intriguing.



Brainstorming an App for Loneliness

An App to Make New Friends: Intergenerational Brainstorming

Ever thought "I need to make new friends: There should be an app for that"? Longevity Explorers and design students brainstormed the features they would like to see in an "App to make new friends" at an intergenerational design workshop at the 2018 Stanford Centre on Longevity Design Challenge.



Featured Explorer Discussions:

Can Photo Sharing Stimulate Deeper Interactions?

By: tel-editors

Our explorers are discussing photo sharing as a tool for deeper engagement with family living far away. Join the discussion. Share your insights in the comments.

Of course, we all know about sharing photos and videos on Social Media, and "Likes". But, what if your aging... Read More. Add your Opinions


Idea / Challenge

By: claudiacapo

Hi there! I want to start off by saying that if it wasn't for this community and the instructions on how to use the Amazon Echo and set up the device for a person without a smartphone, my family and I wouldn't have been able to interact with my father this past year while he was in skilled care... Read More. Add your Opinions


Dementia & Cognition Tech: Join the Discussion

By: tel-editors

Our explorers are discussing tech to help care for people with cognition issues. Join the discussion. Share your insights in the comments.

Do you have experience with a useful product, or a "problem that needs solving" — relating to dementia or mild cognitive impairment... Read More. Add your Opinions


Mobility Tech: Share Your Insights or Questions

By: tel-editors

Do you (or someone you care about) use any mobility tech — like cars, or bicycles? Or canes, walkers, or rollators

The Longevity Explorers are exploring mobility tech. We are interested... Read More. Add your Opinions


Better Bra for Older Women

Our Longevity Explorers have been engaged in a brainstorming session about bra's for older adults — ignited by a challenge from explorer Marly.



I Want to Do My Own Driving Evaluation

Explorer Ron frames the question: "How does one decide whether or not to continue driving?" Should it be one's self, or someone else?



Explorers Conceptualize a Better Grabber

In this fun brainstorming session, explorers conceptualize in detail a more versatile 'reacher-grabber' tool than those which are currently available.



If I Had a Magic Wand, Here is What My Smarthome (Robot) Would Do to Help Me Stay Home Longer

'Blue Sky' thinking about the things that Explorers would like done for them by a Smarthome or domestic robot is off with a rush.



What I do about pill organization and consistent maintenance.

By: N8

I would like to share what I do about pill organization and consistent maintenance.

I started out using the "day of the week" organizers pictured, which are sold in drugstores. That worked for a while, but I found that my memory of what medicines I take began fading because each pill was... Read More. Add your Opinions


Augmenting Alexa voice commands with a bedside Flic button.

By: N8

We have intensely automated lights and devices in our home with Alexa, and in most instances voice control is a wonderful substitute when painful backs and hips and legs discourage us from getting up to go turn things on and off etc.
But I use a CPAP machine and mask at night for sleep apea... Read More. Add your Opinions


Personal Display Devices - Why do we even NEED Reading Glasses?

By: djcoffey

So, it occurs to me to wonder...

With so many people experiencing presbyopia as we age, why can't our personal reading devices (smart phones, tablets, computer monitors, kindles) adjust for that?

Just imagine the time saved and frustation averted seeking those misplaced reading... Read More. Add your Opinions


Flexible, Light-weight "Training Wheels" for Adult Bicycles

By: mfcpd

I would love to have relatively inexpensive traing wheels - for want of a better term - that I could retrofit onto my current two wheel bike (a Specialized roll with low entry) and have as a back0-up when I feel unsteady on my bike.  In other words, I would like to be able to apply and retract... Read More. Add your Opinions


Brainstorming: Better, More Frequent Connections to Friends

This is a brainstorming exercise between a group of Longevity Explorers and a group of students participating in the 2018 Stanford Longevity Design Competition.

We are brainstorming a "product to make connecting with friends more likely and more satisfactory".




Brainstorming Gadgets to Compensate for Peripheral Neuropathy Effects

Peripheral neuropathy, which is common, can cause difficulties walking and gait impairments. Explorer Lyle speculates "there should be a gadget for that" and the explorers brainstorm.



Brainstorming Alexa: Use Cases for Older Adults

Saratoga Retirement Community Explorers brainstorm potential use cases for Alexa and the Amazon Echo, and conceptualize possible future Alexa skills for older adults..



Challenge: finding a bra that works

By: Marly

For plus size older women, it is impossible to find a bra that is easy to put on (ie front-closing, preferably a sturdy zipper rather than hooks), has cap sleeves so that straps do not create constant shoulder abrasions, is cut high to actually offer support to the whole breast, has good back... Read More. Add your Opinions


Peripheral Neuropathy & Gait Inventions: EVC pt 2

These explorers talk about peripheral neuropathy, and gait improvement ideas, and they comment on their personal experiences with the condition.



Agile Grabbers Invented, Demonstrated and Explored @ EVC

Explorer Lyle demonstrates using a grabber with soft pads in the grasping surfaces that is agile enough to pick up a slip of paper.



Off-Road Walker demonstration @ SPV

During a recent Longevity Circle meeting at Sequoias, Portola Valley, the group welcomed inventor Elaine Levin, creator of the Podna Rover, a wheeled walker (also known generically as a 'rollator') that she could take outdoors, and off of paved surfaces.



Older Adult Perspectives — Longevity Explorers Discuss:

Key words: 

Last Updated: December 13, 2022.