Age Simulation Theory and Methods

SD&C celebrates 20th company birthday – new CEO

Since 20 years now SD&C is offering age simulation to the public. While SD&C has not been the first to try such a simulation, SD&C can be said to be the first company to offer age simulation to the public. This has taken place in Munich in 2003 during an open street festival.

It all began when the founder Dr. Schoeffel started his own business, after having left Siemens with a first version of an age simulation suit in his package. Being a highly qualified specialist for ergonomics, his business concept for SD&C included offering ergonomics consulting with a special emphasis on the ever growing population of the elderly in Europe. Dr. Schoeffel has been heading the international standardization group with special focus on usability for the elderly (ISO 20282) and has headed the usability concepts for the elderly within the Siemens home appliances branch.

In many fields in the last 20 years, SD&C age simulation has contributed to usability improvements for the elderly. E.g. cars now offer camera systems to help the elderly drive backwards; hearing aids turned from ugly devices to precious little helpers able to directly take phone calls; packages have opening indicators (which also help the younger ones); and many countries use the ISO tests to ensure that public vending machines are good for the elderly as well.

Nevertheless, the request for age simulation has developed in its own directions, and after ergonomic consulting workshops, SD&C started to build and sell the requested age simulation suits, and soon they also could be rented in Germany and Austria.

Knowing the functional decrease ratios when ageing, SD&C soon began to invest into research on better realizing them in the simulation gadgets. While the first simulation suits were not for sale, several outstanding developments were realized (and patented) in the later simulation suits. And while others tried to take advantage of this as business opportunity, academic tests on the way proved that SD&C was leading in realism and design. Concentrating on the real biological aging process rather than simulating all sorts of geriatric phenomena, SD&C age simulation suits were named Senior Suits.

The SD&C Senior Suits have won a lot of friends in many fields. The medical community embraced age simulation especially, many doctors and nurses now become trained with the SD&C Senior Suits suits. Wherever research is conducted including aspects of the elderly, the SD&C Senior Suits can be found in many universities on this planet. Moreover the simulation suits are widely used by architects and township planners to ensure barrier free design.

20 years are a long time, and now a new generation takes over. Since the start of 2023, Rene Schoeffel, the son of the founder, has become the new CEO of SD&C. The founder of SD&C, now 71 of age, will still help – as long as the technology stays usable for him.

M.Sc. Rene C. Schoeffel, the new CEO of SD&C- the new master of the SD&C Senior Suits
M.Sc. Rene C. Schoeffel
Delivery and Payments, Products and Progress

Age simulation shop of SD&C does now allow bitcoin payments

Payment with Bitcoins are now possible in the age simulation shop of SD&C for all products. The reason is, that SD&C has found Bitcoin payments to have become a front-runner in international payment technology.

Bitcoin wallets are today’s safest form of value storage.

What was an iron bank safe in former times, now is a bitcoin account in a wallet. While a steel safe in a bank was a good protection against robbery in former times and still is to some degree, the collapsing banks in 2007 showed the limitation. In comparison, as long as there will be electricity and an internet, bitcoin wallets will be accessible from anywhere. And the cryptographic safety never has been broken since the start of the bitcoin currency. It’s mathematically impossible.

Bitcoins are going to be the rarest and strongest commodity in the world.

Up to now, the limited amount of gold has been regarded as the most durable value, while paper money loses its value, because it can be printed in limitless amounts. Nevertheless, new gold is still found and arrives on the market. Not so bitcoins. Bitcoins have an assured limitation of 21 million pieces. And while it’s hard to transport the weight of gold, bitcoins do not have a weight at all.

Bitcoin payments are easy to handle.

There is no filling of bank transfer forms necessary, there are no long SEPA- or IBAN/BIC-codes to be written down without an error. There are no limits and restrictions like on many credit cards. For a payment by bitcoin, the customer scans a QR-code, thereafter he can read all payments details, and then he only needs to press a button. Therefor at some places you can buy a Coke from a vending machine using bitcoins. Pulling a smartphone can be faster than searching and counting coins.

Bitcoin payments are fast and safe.

International bank wire transfers still can take several days or even weeks. Every international bitcoin transfer only needs a few seconds to arrive. And the arrival is not only confirmed by one bank. With ongoing time, dozens of transfer confirmations arrive and make sure every payment.

International bitcoin payments are almost for free.

When we started international cooperation and a designer we employed in South America was sending us her wonderful work over the internet, our ways to pay her had its difficulties, as for the money transfer from Germany 25% were requested by one of the few organisations able to do so. Now, a bitcoin payment for any amount from anywhere to anywhere will cost a customer less than 0,25 €.

A present drawback for shops and commerce is the high volatility of krypto currencies, as all payments need to be registered in a company’s bookkeeping. We get around this by being connected to a system, that converts our shop prices from Euro to bitcoins in the moment of a payment request, and right after a payment the bitcoins a re-converted to Euros for our company account.

We at SD&C have an inclination for modern technology. Now SD&C also is financially ready for the future to come.

Application in Organisations, Senior Suit Delta

SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 delivered to Kolping Education Center

The Kolping Education Center in Warburg-Rimbeck near Kassel has received the first SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 from a new production stock of simulation suits.

  • Kolping Education Center with new SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3
    First SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 at Kolping education center in Warburg

On the forefront of integration

The Kolping Education Center integrates and trains professionals from all over the world for future work in Germany. At present, this is an issue of major importance for the country. Nevertheless, the organisation is dependent on funding from public and private supporters.

Lately, there especially have been students from Syria and Afghanistan. Some of them have a full certification from a university and are speaking German fluently. For those who will be working in elderly care, the Kolping education center will use the SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 as a tool to quickly establish knowledge about the functional losses associated with old age.

The SD&C Senior Suit Delta Series

The SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 is the result of more than twenty years of experience with old age simulation. Beginning around 1990, physicians in German hospitals experimented with first simulations of old age vision and force. Between 1995 and 1999 the first age simulation suits appeared in German industry as a marketing tools. They simulated a selected bundle of functional losses typical for old age. The suits consisted of components taken from sports and orthopedics.

Around the year 2000, systematic research into the functional losses of old age resulted in curves depicting average biological performance over the years of ageing. Thereafter, SD&C developed a first old age simulation suit, that simulated old age much more realistically. In parallel, SD&C researched the practical usability of old age simulation suits in hundreds of use cases. In 2007 SD&C was presenting a first age simulation suit based on scientific findings. Nevertheless, still simple suits also were in use ever since up to present. SD&C continued to improve simulation details for the later Delta series. SD&C presented state of the art and top of the line products in 2011 and 2016. And now in 2020, the SD&C Senior Suit Delta 3 has arrived and is available in our shop.

Application in Organisations, Senior Suit Delta

Old Age Simulation in Luxemburg

SD&C has already delivered several Senior Suits for old age simulation to Luxemburg. In this small and charming country in the heart of Europe most people speak French, but they also understand German, making communication and travel easy for SD&C. The latest delivery of a Senior Suit Delta was to the CNFPC in Ettelbruck.

The CNFPC educates and trains persons for old age nursing centers. Like in ever more training centers, the use of age simulation to improve understanding and learning through self-experience was very welcome, speeding up the education process via learning by doing. The CNFPC students, many of them on a secondary educational way, cover a broad age range from 18 to 50 years, which puts on special requirements on the simulation, which the Senior Suit Delta is prepared for. Young students have a strong adaptive ability to cope with sensory changes, thus e.g. the included variable tinnitus of the Senior Suit Delta helps to give them the right impression of what it means not to be able to understand. During the personal introduction into the usage of the Senior Suit for the responsible Mdm. Danielle Meyer (right side in the picture), the setting of the loudness to a point of 50% speech recognition was trained (leading to quite some special misunderstandings). On the other side, the normal setup of weights and bandages of the age simulation can easily be too much for a person 50 years old. Therefore the Senior Suits also allow a fast adaptation of the weights, and the bandages allow a more loose setup. In any case, not to be able to reach down to bend ones shoes is an experience one does remember.

Products and Progress, Renting, Senior Suit Alpha

New Age Simulation Suit Alpha 3 now for rent all over Europe

The Senior Suit Alpha 3 does not only deliver a most impressive simulation, it also offers exceptional durability. Because of our participation in many events and workshops, and because of our renting activities, we know very well which element of an age simulation suit has to bear what stress. However, creating our own elements instead of taking them off the shelf always means a lot of work. Nevertheless, with our new Alpha 3 we now offer a specialized goggle in a robust box, more effective and more stable ear pieces and a better cervical bandage. And, in parallel to the improvements, we managed to reduce the production costs, so that we can also offer the product at a lowered price.

SD&C Senior Suit Alpha 3

Renting age suits all over Europe is not easy, as the logistic situation is rather different from place to place. To be honest, organizing the pick-up of one of our age suits from a place with a different language some thousand kilometers away is quite a challenge. But we love it.

The normal renting period is only two days, but together with the transport times, an age suit rented to a location in Europe is away for one to two weeks. Mostly there is no delivery over the weekends or fees are extremely high, and then different holidays in the different countries have to be taken into consideration. We also experienced labor strikes on the way.

Nevertheless, so far we have always been successful, although often enough a lot of phone calls were necessary. Only once there was a secretary who went into a vacation after renting an age suit from us for her company, and then her backup did not even know what an old age simulation suit is. On another occasion we could talk someone out of having us pick up an age suit from his private living room while away, where he wanted to leave a garden side door open for us.

Transporting 20 kg of weight is by itself not an easy task. If a case including the age suit falls from some height during handling, the load inside has to take quite a push. As a matter of fact, our first packages were getting several problems. But now we have a specialized transport case, as every customer will recognize easily.

All age simulation suits going out from us go through a detailed quality control process. Completeness, cleanliness, and function are checked. And this twice, once when arriving, once when going out.

Age Simulation Theory and Methods, Products and Progress, Senior Suit Beta

New Senior Suit Beta 3 now available

After internal tests over the entire year 2017 with more than 100 test persons, SD&C is now offering the new Senior Suit Beta 3. The Beta 3 uses a part of the patented Senior Suit Delta, and it has a significantly improved simulation of the movement restrictions in higher years of age. The Beta 3 can be recognized by the black stripes on the sides.

A realistic simulation of the deteriorated movability of the arms and legs in older years is not easy, as the reachable movement angles of the elderly do not differ much from the angles that the younger ones achieve. It is the overall movement, that becomes more difficult in higher years because of arteriosclerotic changes and a shortening and hardening of the muscle tendons.

The first age suits wrongly restricted the movement angles, and some age suits on the market still do. Later age suits were using orthopedic bandages, but these rather have a medical warming and holding effect and do not stiffen sufficiently. In addition, they tend to leave their places or they are not on the right anthropometric positions when built into an age suit. However, most age suits available today use orthopedic bandages only.

SD&C solves this problem by using special restricting bandages with built in stiffening elements. These special bandages can be attached to the anthropometric correct positions by using the fixation system of the Senior Suit Delta.

The technical question was, whether the somewhat reduced system from the Delta would still hold the considerable forces when using the age suit on a typical parcours. Thus tests were conducted. The result was, that the special bandages hold, and the improved effect has received a lot of positive feedback. So now everybody may try it out.

Together with the other high quality realistic simulation elements, like the two stages simulation optics and the hearing deterioration with an electronic tinnitus, the SD&C Senior Suit Beta 3 is intended to establish a worldwide standard on old age simulation based on the human abilities as declared in the International Standard ISO 20282.

Delivery and Payments, Products and Progress

One price for everybody worldwide

SD&C has a fair price policy – offering its age suits for the same price to everybody worldwide. EU countries however pay a smaller delivery fee than the rest of the world. During the last months, SD&C has delivered Senior Suits to countries in all directions from Germany, to northern countries like Denmark and Sweden, to eastern countries as close as Poland and as far as China, to southern countries as close as Swizzerland and Austria or as far as Nigeria in Afrika, to countries in the West as close as Luxemburg or as far as the USA. SD&C has been taking care of all the necessary export customs paper handling, has always been tracking the transports and has ensured that all Senior Suits have arrived safely at the customers doors. While customers may have to realize a small exchange fee from their currency to the Euro, SD&C takes responsibility for the transportation insurance and the money transfer fee. And worldwide delivery has become fast. A recent delivery from SD&C (near Munich in Germany) to Milwaukee in the USA took only 2 working days.


Inside SD&C

Christoph Heuser new in the team

Christoph Heuser has joined the aging simulation team at SD&C. Christoph Heuser, an expert in gerontology and nursing sciences (see his newly published article) has joined the SD&C consulting team in age simulation. 

Christoph Heuser im

Chistoph Heuser beim Schuhezubinden im Alterssimulationsanzug


Im SD&C Senior Suit Delta vor einem Buffet

Christoph Heuser lectures at an institute for nursing research in Frankfurt and has already publishes several articles. Last week, Christop has received his introduction to the theory and practical application of aging simulation, and he participated in a workshop given by SD&C for the nursing staff of a high class residence in Ingolstadt.

Fabrication, Inside SD&C

Senior Suit Fabrication Process

SD&C has already delivered several Senior Suit this year, and customers have been asking for larger quantities. This has not been easy so far, as the simulation suits have become rather complex, just like other specialized jump suits, like diving suits e.g. The fabrication process requires several sophisticated stages to ensure correct functionality for the user in the end. However, the production of larger quantities has now become possible, as our textile design in Leipzig has promoted the production process to a German factory with experience with complex suits, as, e.g., they produce special clothing for fire fighters.  The necessary machinery and know how are available. Now the textile production of the Senior Suit is organized in one location, and several Senior Suit can be produced in parallel. The process is digitized to a large extent, and as the only separated stage before delivery there remains the finalization and a further quality control at SD&C.

SD&C Logo Bestickung
SD&C Logo im Aufstickvorgang

Manschetten für den Senior Suit
Manschetten für den Senior Suit

Ein Klettstreifen des Senior Suit wird aufgenäht
Ein Klettstreifen des Senior Suit wird aufgenäht

Druckknöpfe für den Senior Suit
Druckknöpfe für das Trägersystem des SD&C Senior Suit werden angebracht

Garnrollen für den Senior Suit
Garnrollen für den Senior Suit

Age Simulation Theory and Methods, Application in Organisations

Barrierefreier Nahverkehr

Barrierefreier Nahverkehr. Der Nahverkehrsverbund Schleswig-Holstein NAH.SH hat im August zum zweiten Mal einen Alterssimulationsanzug eingesetzt, um die Barrierefreiheit für die Benutzer seiner Verkehrsmittel sicherzustellen. Zu dem Verbund zählen nicht nur Busse, Bahnen und auch Schiffe, die über die Kieler Förde hinweg Stationen verbinden. Die Ergebnisse finden sich in einem gut gemachten 14-seitigen Magazin für Mobilität wieder, dessen Ausgabe für den Sommer 2015 der Alterssimulation mit unserem SD&C Senior Suit gewidmet ist. Man wollte wieder “ein besseres Gefühl dafür bekommen, an welchen Stellen wir den Nahverkehr für Menschen in fortgeschrittenem Alter oder mit körperlichen Einschränkungen attraktiver machen können.” Die Fahrkartenautomaten und die ausgehängten Fahrpläne der Bundesbahn erwiesen sich noch als schwierig, während an anderen Stellen inzwischen Verbesserungen zu spüren waren. So erleichtern moderne Züge und die Niederflurbusse jetzt deutlich den Einstieg, und 60% der Haltestationen sind jetzt barrierefrei.

SD&C Senior Suit Alpha auf dem Kieler Hauptbahnhof
SD&C Senior Suit Alpha auf dem Kieler Hauptbahnhof (mit freundl. Genehmigung von NAH.SH)

Barrier-free public transport. The public transport authority NAH.SH of Germany’s most northern country Schleswig-Holstein has for the second time used an age simulation suit to ensure barrier-free use of transportation. The public transport includes trains, busses and also ships connecting stations around the fjord of Kiel. The results are publishes in a well-made magazine of 14 pages, that shows in it’s issue for summer 2015 the simulation using the SD&C Senior Suit Alpha. The intention was to get a better feeling about where there remain possibilities for improvements for the elderly or for those with physical impairments. The ticket vending machines and the time tables were still showing problems, while there were overall improvements. The modern busses with lowering floors improve access and 60% of the stations are now barrier-free.


Renting an age suit from anywhere in the EU

The EU is now including 28 member states and stretches over 5000 kilometers, from Utsjoki in northern Finland to the mountain of Gibraltar before the Spanish coast. We are about 500 Mio people, we all share passports naming us Citizens of the European Community, we share similar license plates on our cars, and we can travel without border stop from one end to the other.

This also means, that our age suits can come to any place in the EU without a border stop and an inspection, i.e. without delay. Deliveries have become predictable, timing is possible. This only excludes, as a white spot, Switzerland in the middle of Europe, not belonging to the EU, where there still is full customs control at the borders.

The EU with 28 member states and the location of SD&C.
The EU with 28 member states and the location of SD&C.

Nevertheless, we regarded some of our recent deliveries within Europe as trials, and I have to admit, we had our doubts. E.g. there was a delivery of an age suit to a really far away and high up location in the alpine mountains, a hotel in France near the Montblanc. Could our Senior Suit get there in time for an event? Would the hotel be found, far away from the next city? Would the 20 kg package with the age suit be brought up the small serpentine roads in time? Well, our age suit arrived in time, the event was a success, and we received a very positive feedback.

So, I can confirm, there is nothing to fear, and the overall procedure is easy. After a request for a location and a date, we send a quotation. After accepting it, the age suit will come to you, wherever in Europe you are. And the day after your event, we will come and pick up the age suit again.

Application in Organisations

Der Alterssimulationsanzug in der Kunst.

Der Alterssimulationsanzug in der Kunst. Auf Einladung der Dozentin Karianne Fogelberg zum Workshop „Die Zukunft des Alterns“ an der Akademie für Bildende Künste in München boten Dr. Schoeffel und der Physik-Student Luis Flacke einen theoretischen und praktischen Beitrag mit praktischer Selbsterfahrung im Alterssimulationsanzug SD&C Senior Suit Alpha .

Dr Schoeffel & Karianne Fogelberg im Workshop 'Zukunft des Alterns'
Dr. Schoeffel, Karianne Fogelberg und die Teilnehmer im Workshop ‘Zukunft des Alterns’

Der Alterungsprozess wurde von Dr. Schoeffel nicht, wie früher unter der Defizittheorie, als „unaufhaltsamer Verfall“ gesehen, sondern als ein auf zellulärer Basis ablaufender epigenetisch gesteuerter Prozess mit organischen Auswirkungen, bei dem der Einzelne teils selbst mitbestimmen kann, wie fit er im Alter ankommen will. Die „Usability“-Norm ISO 20282 kann dabei helfen, die Welt altengerecht zu gestalten, doch stellen Normen lediglich qualifizierte Angebote an Staaten dar, die Umsetzung muss jede Nation selbst vorantreiben. Zur seniorengerechten Gestaltung fehlen in vielen Ländern noch Anpassungen, wie beispielsweise in Deutschland bei der seniorengerechten Ampelschaltung.

Die Frage, ob der Einsatz eines Alterssimulationsanzuges in Zukunft alle übrigen Methoden der Datenerhebung beim Design für Ältere ablösen wird, wurde dahingehend beantwortet, dass durch die metrische Validierung des Alterssimulationsanzuges tatsächlich eine Prüfung von Produkten und Räumen möglich ist und der Alterssimulationsanzug deswegen auch immer mehr eingesetzt wird. Die Methode der User Participation beispielsweise erlaubt allerdings bei Produkt-Updates die Einbeziehung der Erfahrung von Nutzern eines Produktes und kann deswegen zusätzliche Informationen bringen. Zudem sind weiterhin umfangreichere Tests mit Älteren immer da notwendig, wo man genaue Messwerte braucht.

Wie das Altern „erlebt“ wird ist unabhängig von den simulierten Einschränkungen eine sehr persönliche Angelegenheit. Die einen leiden, die anderen nehmen es gelassen hin. Eine seniorengerechte Gestaltung der Welt mit der ISO 20282 erlaubte es Älteren, selbstbestimmt am öffentlichen Leben teilzunehmen, es bedeutet aber nicht, dass Jüngere dann davon befreit wären, sich selbst um ihre Großeltern zu kümmern. Die Leistungseinschränkungen im Alter sind Jüngeren weitgehend unbekannt, und es bedarf des Lernprozesses durch Sensibilisierung, denn so wie Ärzte ein Studium brauchen, um Krankheiten richtig zu erkennen, so wie Automechaniker lernen müssen, technische Mängel zu erkennen, so sollten angesichts des demografischen Wandels jüngere Gestaltungverantwortliche lernen, was es bedeutet, alt zu sein.

Bilder zur praktischen Selbsterfahrung im Alterssimulationsanzug finden sich auf der Facebook-Seite von SD&C.

Age Simulation Theory and Methods, Old Age Biology, Senior Suit Delta

Age Simulation and Sample Size

Prof. Dr. Simone Besemer and Prof. Dr. Simon Ottler from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Ravensburg visited SD&C in the north of Munich to inspect and evaluate  the Senior Suit Delta.

Prof. Dr. Simone Besemer und Prof. Dr. Simon Ottler zu Besuch bei SD&C
Prof. Dr. Simone Besemer and Prof. Dr. Simon Ottler visiting SD&C

Despite their difference in their size, the age simulation suit fitted both professors, and a weight adjustment on one suit was quickly done. The tinnitus simulation impressed them, because the knew well that many people suffer from it. There were glad to be able to switch these sounds off again. The cervical collar significantly limited the mobility of their heads, and with regard to the elbow joints, a light wrapping of the bandages was sufficient, and both were almost not able to reach up to their own hairs. The simple variants of gloves produced a realistic and not exaggerated reduction of the sense of touch. As usual, visual performance was compared using font sizes on an opticians sheet. Without the simulation, the smallest font (1) could be read by both professors, with the optic’s visor folded down, both needed size (5) to (7). By carrying an empty crate of bottles over stairs, the visitors were able to experience themselves the effects of the reduced strength, and when throwing darts, to experience the effects of age simulation on coordination. Counting money in the simulation suit was of the practical importance, and when sitting in a vehicle, several restrictions were quickly noticed, such as a difficulty to reach for the seat belt.

The interesting question of the minimum size of a sample for market analyses was discussed. ISO 20282 requires a minimum size of 20 persons for usability tests, but recommends 50 or more. This also corresponds to the SD&C-known general industrial standard of meaningful tests in product development, although purely explorative studies sometimes want to get by with only three test subjects. For age simulation a study exists, in which 20 younger test persons in suits were compared with 20 real older test persons in numerous operations, and the results were consistent. An age simulation suit is thus a valid research instrument for demographic change. With the age simulation suit, the university ordered, students at universities will be able to investigate how Germany and Europe can be prepared for the rapidly approaching time when every second person in the country will be over 50 years old.

Application in Organisations

Die Welt der modernen Medizin und die Alterssimulation

Vom 18. bis 21. Mai veranstaltet das Helios Klinikum (H) in Salzgitter wieder seine Gesundheitswoche, inzwischen das achte Mal. Das Programm bietet über mehrere Tage qualifizierte Vorträge zu aktuellen Themen, die auch Fachpublikum ansprechen dürften. Zudem gibt es Führungen und Einblicke in den Klinikbetrieb, den Reanimationsraum beispielsweise. Dabei sein wird auch ein SD&C Senior Suit Beta, mit dem Interessierte an sich selbst erleben können, welchen Herausforderungen sich Menschen in der zweiten Lebenshälfte zu stellen haben, so bei der Alterssimulation des Zubindens der Schuhe beispielsweise:

Schuhezubinden im Alterssimulationsanzug
Schon das einfache Anziehen und Zubinden von Schuhen ist im SD&C Senior Suit eine schwierige Angelegenheit.

Inside SD&C

Beauty and Aging

Denise Cotte, our model for the SD&C Senior Suit Delta, is participating in the contest to become playmate of the year 2015. Denise has already been Miss Waldkraiburg, she was one month’s cover page of the famous Playboy magazine, and she has been the Wiesn-Playmate of the Oktoberfest in Munich last year. Denise studies at the IHK academy and, besides all, is quite a wonderful person.

Our simulation suit almost completely hides away the beauty of Denise. As in the simulation, when getting older the fresh appearance of a person naturally disappears, nevertheless in some cases one can still see, that a person must have been a beauty in younger years. In comparison to real ageing, the SD&C Senior Suit offers the advantage, that it can be laid off again. In the case of Denise, this makes quite a difference.

Our model for the SD&C Senior Suit Delta, Denise Cotte.

Application in Organisations, Senior Suit Delta, Workshops

SD&C workshop with ageing simulation in the design department of RECARO in Stuttgart

After discussing the ergonomic changes during the ageing process relevant for a project, the participants of the workshop were testing products themselves aged in an SD&C Senior Suit Delta. They filled a complete moderation board with their notes.

Over the years, I have worked with many well known companies and often was responsible for ergonomics and usability, and sometimes for the entire project. Several times I was invited to travel and lecture even in Japan. This time I also spoke about the different ways companies run their projects, and I presented on market leader’s most efficient form of organization to successfully place products on the market. The participants found this most interesting.

One thing is for sure: The team with Michael Heimrich and Tomas Grupp will develop innovative products, one can already look forward to.

RECARO-Designteam mit Alterssimulation
RECARO-Designteam with Michael Heimrich (left, front) and Tomas Grupp (left, background).

Age Simulation Theory and Methods

New Tinnitus-Headset for Age Simulation

Tinnitus has become a widely spread illness. Some studies claim that half of all people over 50 years of age experience these unwanted ear sounds. Therefore SD&C has decided to include the phenomenon of tinnitus in the company’s catalogue of instant aging. SD&C does now offer a cordless tinnitus headset that allows the experience of eight different tinnitus sounds. These sounds were rebuilt as a simulation with the help of those suffering from the illness. The different tinnitus sounds can be selected by a display in one side of the headset. Changing loudness allows the linear simulation of normal hearing loss with the ageing process. The tinnitus-II-headsets will be included in future deliveries of the SD&C Senior Suit Delta, however can also be ordered separately.

SD&C Tinnitus-Kopfhörer für die Alterssimulation SD&C Tinnitus-Headset with 8 integrated different tinnitus sound simulations.

Age Simulation Theory and Methods, Products and Progress

Doktorarbeit bewertet Alterssimulationsanzug von SD&C als besten Benchmark

Dr. Christian Scherf hat in seiner Dissertationsschrift über die Entwicklung des Alterssimulationsanzuges MAX der Volkswagen AG Simulationsanzüge von Ford, Duke, SD&C und das Set LM-060 der japanischen Koken Corporation als Benchmark verglichen und dem SD&C Modell 2007 mit 9 Punkten die beste Bewertung für Realität, Modularität, Universalität, Design und Schnelligkeit gegeben, gefolgt von 6 Punkten für Duke, 5 Punkten für Ford und 4 Punkten für das japanische Set.

Scherf verglich in einem Experiment die Montagearbeit von 18 durchschnittlich Fünfundzwanzigjährigen im Alterssimulationsanzug mit der von 10 durchschnittlich Fünfundfünfzigjährigen und stellte fest, dass der Simulationsanzug die Arbeitsleistung der Jüngeren ziemlich genau (um 21,5 %) auf das Niveau der Älteren verringerte. Scherf resümiert, dass die Alterssimulation mehr ist  als ein einfaches Sensibilisierungstool, sondern sie ist “ein wirkunsgvolles Instrument, um gezielt alterskritische Montagetätigkeiten zu identifizieren.” Er schreibt, dass “die Alterssimulation wesentliche Vorteile gegenüber Nutzertests und Studien hat. Die Vorteile liegen in der direkten Abbildung der Zielgruppe, den prozess- und produktbezogenen Informationen, einer hohen Abbildungsgenauigkeit sowie den vertretbaren Kosten.”

Bei SD&C schließen dIe firmeninternen Benchmarks weitere Kriterien wie Hygiene mit ein, und die Bewertung der Realitätsnähe erfolgt für jede Einschränkung separat. Auch das neue SD&C Modell von 2014, der SD&C Senior Suit Delta 2, positioniert sich heute nach diesen Kriterien im internationalen Wettbewerb vorn. Eine neue Simulationsoptik ersetzt hier die Simulation der Sehunschärfe als Grauen Star und den Visusverlust per Folie, und die Beweglichkeitseinschränkungen sehen nunmehr von der Simulation einer Bewegungseinschränkung von nur 10° ab und simulieren stattdessen eine arthritische Beweglichkeitseinschränkung über den ganzen Bewegungsweg, wie in einem kürzlich veröffentlichten Artikel deutlicher dargelegt wird. Die von Scherf vorgelegte Doktorarbeit zur Alterssimulation ist die vierte Dissertation zum Thema und ein wertvoller Beitrag, der sich als ingenieurtechnisch saubere Konstruktion eines Simulationsanzuges und ergonomisch wertvoller experimenteller Vergleich der Gesamtwirkung bei Monatgearbeiten auszeichnet.

Der SD&C Age Suit Modell 2007 im Einsatz
Der SD&C Age Suit Modell 2007 im Einsatz

Inside SD&C, Products and Progress

Senior Suit Upgrades and new Products

Pausierendes Model im SD&C Senior Suit Delta 2

Resting model during fotoshooting of delta 2

The SD&C Senior Suit Delta 2, which has been tested in March and April of this year [2014], is now available. The novelties include improved weight pockets, additional stiffening elements for the back and shoulders, climatizing openings, lateral strip elements to adjust overall width, cable openings, and stronger fixation for the ankle and wrist weights. For those interested in scientific details, an article under the menu entry SCIENTIFC describes the meaning of the innovations in the larger context of modern age simulation.

There are also improvements for the other Senior Suit models. The SD&C Senior Suit Beta 2 is now equipped with the electronic ear muffs, which can simulate a tinnitus sound. And all Senior Suit Alpha 2 are equipped with the improved variable special elbow and knee bandages with stiffening elements. Further changes in the price list are more items to be selected for rent and additional simulation goggles. However the best news for all customers probably is, that pricing for the Senior Suits remains the same.

Application in Organisations, Products and Progress, Renting, Workshops

Age Simulation all over Europe

Zwei SD&C Senior Suit Beta
Two SD&C Senior Suit Beta during an event in Vienna.

SD&C has in June 2014 served customers all over Europa. Senior Suits have been sold to research instituts and universities from Danmark to Swizzerland, requests from further countries like Belgique have been answered, and events have been contributed to in Germany and Austria. In Vienna, Hamburg, Bad Segeberg, Dortmund, Berlin, Cologne and Bad Hombach, the Senior Suits were non stop active over the scheduled events. There was much positive feedback. Dr. Sylke Raboldt-Werthe from the Agaplesion Clinic in Seehausen showed herself impressed by how reaalistic the simulation was. She noticed that almost all test persons searching for money were finally giving their purse to a cashier asking him to take the requested amount – Just like in real life.