Skip navigation

A service for intergenerational communication in a system of volunteers

Communio aims to restore contact between old and young people through an exchange of help in a system of voluntary work: an exchange of information and lessons for the mutual benefit and enrichment of old and young. Older people provide the skills and experience of work accumulated over their lifetimes, while young people provide a link with development and technological innovation. Communio creates a network of users that work together through the service.

Communio aims to solve misunderstandings between young and old, creating a new common language and using simultaneous communication to connect the two different types of user. Through videocalling, users interact by responding to requests for help or seeking experienced volunteers for assistance.

Communio comprises a service which organizes and manages the entire network of volunteers, and two communication tools because the two age categories have different needs and use different  ‘languages’. For young people Communio provides an application that unites software for instant communication and video recording with a social networking service. For the elderly Communio means a device, a tangible interface which uses their natural interactions with objects in everyday life and can be integrated into their normal environment without raising hostility and mistrust.

The thesis starts by analysing social, political and economic problems related to the aging population. It then deals with the relationship between different generations and how scientists and researchers are focusing on older people and their inclusion in today’s technological development. Communio tries to respond to the social needs of the elderly and simultaneously solve a problem of design and interaction that sees them defeated by a flood of technological progress.