Smartphone for older people offers simplified software
A NEW smartphone especially designed for older users has been announced, with the aim of helping senior citizens join the mobile internet revolution.
It is the first smartphone from specialist manufacturer Doro. The device, which features a slide-out keyboard as well as a touchscreen, runs an adapted version of Google’s popular Android software.
The firm has developed its own, simpler interface, which it calls ‘Experience’, and is recommending apps that it thinks older users will find particularly useful.
The Swedish company made the announcement at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the mobile industry's annual get-together, alongside a slew of announcements mainstream manufacturers such as HTC, Nokia and Sony.
Doro's Experience software can also be installed on any other Google Android device. The company says it “provides a ‘fuss-free’ experience with well-spaced, large and clear application icons”.
Doro has also developed an internet-based way to let users or carers manage the mobile phone remotely, and has built its own Facebook application to help users keep in touch with family.
The firm hopes that its products will address some concerns from governments that a growing ‘digital divide’ is opening up between older and younger users. Official data shows that more than half of Brits now own a smartphone, but take up has been slower among older people.
Doro’s chief executive, Jerome Arnaud, said “The senior audience is overall becoming more tech savvy and demanding a smartphone they can use.”
Other companies are increasingly also focusing on healthcare, with a blood pressure monitor recently launched for the iPhone. Fujitsu’s range of devices, currently only available in Japan, is also accredited to work with blood pressure and glucose monitors, as well as including a pedometer to help users monitor their fitness.