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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why aren't seniors wowed by tablets?

This is the title of the latest blog posting by Laurie Orlov. 


As usual the author makes a lot of good points. The latest Pew data showed that the 50-65 year olds in the US have increased their use of tablets, over the last year, from 8% to 15% but only 7% of the 65+ are using the devices.


The main profile of a typical tablet user is at the wealthy end of the spectrum and of course they need to have broadband access. A lot of older people don't fit that bill. So far I agree with the argument.


Where I depart from the logic is Laurie Orlov's 'pet rock' syndrome that argues that people don't really need a tablet. Of course she is right, in the same way as I really don't 'need' to 90% of the stuff I purchase .. but I do. 


I suspect that at the core of the argument is that she doesn't see the point in the tablets herself and is falling into the trap, where I spend most of my time, of extrapolating the universe from her own opinions. 


I believe that tablets will be (are for many) a key component of people's lives. The nature of the devices, touch screen, variable luminosity, single application interface  etc. make them perfect for older people. As the price falls I think I will be proved right. Dick Stroud

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