SILVER PLANER – Design Sprint 10

The SILVER PLANER was designed by the product design student Alicia Kastner-Pöhlmann. She focused on creating a device to prevent the loneliness and isolation of the elder generation.


Right now, there are more than two million elderly people only in Germany who are living on their own without any family members or other social contacts. Every fourth of them gets visitors just once a month. This current situation will intensify in the future due to the ageing population and the increasing globalization. This has often the effect that family members work and live many kilometers away in different cities, countries or even continents. Therefore, the key idea was to help the “silver generation” (60 years and upwards) to get back their joy of life due to more interaction and a better relationship with their families and friends.


With the help of ideation sketches, cardboard mockups and 3D printed models, the initial idea becomes a first look and feel. At the same time, the models were tested with the user to make sure that an interaction with the final product is intuitive.


It is a device which allows the user to communicate with other people and to manage the life of the elderly. The outcome is an interactive concept of a planer and the additional application.

The SILVER PLANER is the portable device for the elderly person at home. The app is a communication device for family and friends, as well as doctors and nurses.


The SILVER PLANER, which has the appearance of a book, is operated physically with knobs and sliders without the use of a touch function. Almost everything will be controlled with the main button. It sticks out of the front and the second page and helps to communicate on several levels.

The front page is all about essential news. Reminders for dates or tasks, as well as messages and requests. The display will show the notification on the integrated display.

The first double page deals with what is up in the life of the elderly person. It provides information about all the upcoming dates and tasks. The user has the opportunity to edit it.

The second double page focuses on the needs. The elderly person can set his current mood and whether he wants to have calls, visitors or just if he wants to have calls or just wants to be left in peace. Additionally, individual requests like – I need some „milk“- can be selected and adjusted with the help of an app.


The SILVER APP is a device for family members, friends, as well as doctors and nurses. It´s a communication device to stay in contact with the silver, but also internally with the other app users such as relatives and friends.

The admin users have a complete overview of all dates and happenings including how the silver feels today, what he or she needs and so on. Messages including videos and photos just like date requests can be send to the elderly person.

A highlight is the possibility to individualize the help answers on the last page in the SILVER PLANER. Other options like the period time of snoozing, sounds and other things can be configured in the settings.


With the SILVER SYSTEM it is now possible to stay in social contact with the family members on a regular basis. Especially those silvers who have little or perhaps not any know-how about modern technology are able to communicate more frequently.

On the one hand, there is more digital contact thanks to the possibility to send messages and other media easily to the older generation. Thus, they can take part in the life of the family although they might be many kilometers away. It´s the little things in life, often even a short message or a picture can make the silver´s day. It gives them the feeling that they are loved and somebody is really caring about them.

On the other hand, there is more face-to-face contact. In the app, the admin users can have a look at all the dates of the elderly person. Thus, they can arrange visits more easily. If there were no tasks or dates for the last days – what about visiting or calling grandma? Also, relatives can check the mood of the silvers in the app. Maybe grandpa feels bad and needs a call? But maybe he only slept bad and wants to be left in peace. The app assists to improve contact showing this information. Nurses or other friends can help to keep up to date about the elderly´s mood by posting messages in the SILVER APP CHAT, too.

Furthermore it is a helpful tool to organize the silvers´ life. With the help of reminders, they will not forget a thing – no matter whether it is a medicine or a coffee date with the grandchild. Even doctors can send them their next medical appointment, medication schedule and guidelines.

The SILVER PLANER – the gentle way to increase the quality of life.

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Lydia writes about design processes and our medical design projects.

Originally written by Lydia Münstermann, 22. July 2022. Last updated 13. January 2023


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