Although a fair amount of research around older adults’ perception of digital technology exists, there is only a moderate amount of research investigating older people’s reactions and sense-making in real-world contexts with emerging digital tools. This paper reports on the constructivist research approach used by the author, which initiated co-production with participants to gather older and younger adults’ reactions towards digital video connectivity during a series of design research interventions. For this, the author had built a research tool, the Teletalker kiosks (TT), which connected two locations using digital live video to provide a ‘window into the other space’
. Participants, if they wished, could activate the volume with a designed mechanism aimed at non-computer literate people, which was used in order to speak to each other. The three connections were between an older people’s charity day centre and the university, between two locations at the university, and between two-day centres in the U.K. The returns collected revealed overall positive reactions towards video connectivity by younger adults and mixed reactions by older adults. The design for the volume mechanism did not work as expected for both groups. The interventions also brought out opinions and conformity dynamics within groups of older adults and attitudes by younger audiences towards older people. More research is needed to understand these reactions and attitudes in comparable contexts.
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