A Bias Detection Test

What is the obvious (and in my estimation) amazing bias and prejudice the video above embodies? Here’s another one: same problem.

I hope it jumps out at most of you as much as it does to me. This product’s most obvious market, both in terms of those who most need it and those most willing to look ridiculous wearing it, is seniors. My parents, both of them, would have loved to have one of these on their regular excursions. Yet the promotional video not only doesn’t show any users over the age of 35, it seemingly doesn’t know such creatures exist.

My mother used to complain bitterly once she reluctantly reached her Golden Years that younger people acted as if she were invisible.  I wonder if this video is one more example of the fracturing of American culture and consciousness into hostile groups that choose to regard non-group members as “the other,” not worthy of consideration or acknowledgment.

After all, one would think that at least the profit motive would be enough to prompt us to include the elderly in our world view. In this case, at least, apparently not.

10 thoughts on “A Bias Detection Test

  1. That was the first thing I noticed. The second was the total lack of anything but white people, which was more likely a matter of location and convenience than bias.

    So this thing is made for fit young Millenials. M’kay. Yeah, they are totally the most likely people to have back and leg issues. Totally.

  2. Actually, this is their marketing strategy. They are showing hip, young people using the product, so that their target customer doesn’t feel old fogy buying it.

    This is the same with many gadgets advertised on day time TV. They’re target audience are the elderly and persons with disabilities (ie, people at home during the day). Gadgets that chop/mush food, pickup dropped items, etc are of little use to the able-bodied, but are marketed to a general audience in the commercials to make their target customers feel, well, less targeted.

  3. Pretty weird product. Looks incredibly unstable to me. Is it even safe for the elderly? Max capacity 246 pounds. Seen mang seniors lately? One application I could see would be for use in art galleries. I’ve always wanted to use a mobie or a tricycle to really enjoy serios art galleries properly. I’m 68. Older than dirt.

  4. My guess is they don’t want the liability of marketing it to seniors. That thing looks dangerously unstable for an elderly person who may have issues with balance and leg/lower back strength. If they showed some old geezer using it comfortably, then the ambulance-chasers would be showing that in court, saying that the company targeted seniors with their dangerous product, which resulted in their client suffering a broken hip.

    There is no way I’d let an elderly person under my care use this rickety contraption.

  5. I think you can cut them some slack. They are Danish, so that can explain the lack of diversity. The lack of older people can probably be explained by the young vibe of the company, since they got a lot of funding from Kickstarter, I think their exposure is limited to techy young people. Side point, they kind of look sharp and dangerous, these legs. Couldn’t imagine wearing those on the T in Boston during rush hour. You get grief for wearing an empty backpack, since that is bad public transit etiquette.

  6. Yeah, a light portable seat would be nice, but the people who really need it will have balance, bulk, and issues with dead weight. My mother has really bad knees and has to use a cane. She’s right at that mass limit and simply cannot walk smoothly. It also seems clearly demo’d on interior and level surfaces… those are the spaces that usually have seats or benches. Outdoors and uneven ground is not addressed early, this seems a rigged demo.

    I would also worry about how that contraption would make falls considerably worse.

    One of those factoids that made for concern as my mother’s mobility has dropped is that hip damage from falls is a leading cause for the elderly to go into homes permanently. After surgery, her roommate was in the home over a year until she could go home. I suspect teaching the elderly how to take a fall safely and fall awareness would be far more productive. The people who most need the ability to rest, are also the ones who would be the most likely hurt using it.

    I do think exoskeleton/support will come eventually, and would mature faster than full prosthetics. But unstable seats for the young and still nimble in the workplace is not a convincing path.

  7. TBH I only thought of the field use case (in the military sense). Being able to take a seat with dumping your pack is pretty freaking sweet. You’re already wearing a hip belt / Cumberland kit most of the time. So long as it doesn’t interfere with movement (walking, running, crouching, going prone, etc.), then a carbon fiber version of this might add more comfort and convenience to field exercises than the weight of the thing subtracts from comfort and convenience.

    I didn’t think about old people at all – my 95 year old grandma would never wear this thing.

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