TAGlab:a Promise Envisioned

Technologies for Aging Gracefully. What a perfect tag line, pun intended. Conversation recently steered me to this wonderful University of Toronto initiative- TAGlab , a collaborative research team that explores ways in which digital media can basically help people “preserve their identity” through their life course, aging gracefully, with full interaction in their community.

TAGlab’s web site Project page outlines remarkable examples of what digital technology can do as a positive contribution to the world. TAGlab is further example to me that the “promise of longevity”, and all the challenges associated with extended lifetimes, is an exploration point for intergenerational connectivity.

It’s a wonder that TAGlab hasn’t grabbed more headlines. Maybe they need a few more advocates. The Digital Life Histories project demonstrates the application of digital multimedia assisting those with cognitive impairment. This touched my interest given personal experience with my mother who lived with dementia later in her life. If you want to get inspired read some of the papers on the web site on this and other projects.

So why do we wait to record personal histories when a person gets to a state where perhaps memory gets in the mist? Years ago I recall tape recording a conversation with an 80 something woman who was a friend of my Grandmother. The technology was a small tape cassette and as valuable as it was to hear her stories from the 1930’s, the tape will most likely be unplayable one day. Where was TAGlab back when?

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