Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mobile phone - simple or smart or both

There is a conference in London, in late September, about mobile and older people.  I really wish I could attend but I can't maybe the organisers will be nice and send me copies of the slides.

Interestingly, the event's main sponsor is Emporia, the company that manufactures handsets like the one displayed. 

I have to admit that I have never used one of the devices but they certainly look a lot better than the first wave of simple handsets that came onto the market aimed at older people.

Perhaps it is not surprising that the tone of the content of the company's promotional material is somewhat dismissive of smartphones as being designed for the young.

I have no doubt that there is a market for the older old (probably 70+) who just want a phone, on contract, that they can use in an emergency or for the occasional call.

As the next cohort of older people enter this age group I think they will want a lot more than the basic funcitonality.

Within 24 months there will be nothing other than smartphones produced. Of course there will be a long tail of people who hang-on to their trusty old Nokia but slowly this group will convert.

My guess is that the functionality of touchscreens and apps provide infinitely more scope for creating inclusive designed products than generation 1.0 handsets. We will see. Dick Stroud 

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