Computer Images Used to Alter the Boomer Generation’s Perception of Ageing

By on June 1, 2012

By Peter Kruger –

As they approach late middle age members of the boomer generation are forced to come to terms with ageing. This often puts them on an emotional roller coaster ride similar to the one they experienced during their teens. And again parents are the source of some of this angst, this time by providing the boomer with a rolling demonstration of the ageing process in action – the ‘in twenty year’s time that will be me’ syndrome.  This can produce a family dynamic that is particularly corrosive for carers and, in the extreme, causes psychosomatic illness as the adult child mimics their parent’s poor health. For other people a negative perception of ageing can cast a shadow over what might otherwise be twenty of their most creative and fulfilling years.  Now Cambridge UK based researchers Steinkrug.com have come up with a novel way of addressing this problem.

As part of its Alphadaughters project, Steinkrug has been experimenting with imagery that both alters people’s perception of ageing and subtly changes the relationship between the elderly parent and the adult child. The technology links an image of the elderly parent with a photograph of them as a child. The current image can be captured using a digital camera or smart phone. The application, based on conventional image morphing software, is intended for use within the framework of either an online or mobile family photo library or as a stand-alone CBT based therapeutic aid. In either case a ‘gaming’ or entertainment element exposes the Alphadaughter to a small subliminal shift in their perception of their parent and this also alters their own attitude to ageing.

It was Peter Kruger of Steinkrug.com who recognised the potential of imaging as a tool for altering a person’s self image. Kruger was one of the pioneers of the use of PC based imaging in medical, scientific and commercial applications. As he points out, “As far back as the 1980s we realised that inserting the consumer’s image into the narrative of a marketing message made that message an order of magnitude more powerful. Today the near ubiquity of mobile devices means the potential of imaging technology has increased to the point where therapeutic imaging applications can be accessed at the press of a button.”

Kruger goes on to explain. “We are seeing a lot of social media services focused on technology that taps into the boomer generation’s growing interest in nostalgia. What we are doing at Steinkrug is concentrating less on the user’s past and instead helping them gain a clearer, and more confident, view of their future.”

Details of how regressive ageing applications work within the framework of the Alphadaughters service can be found at:- http://www.alphadaughters.com

 

Video imaging is just one component of the Alphadaughter branding concept, which is designed to give organisations access to the growing boomer demographic. This particular tool provides boomers with a sense of well-being and contentment, especially with respect to their perception of ageing. This is seen an important part of a strategy a company should adopt when starting a dialogue with the fifty plus consumer. 

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Computer Images Used to Alter the Boomer Generation’s Perception of Ageing