Saturday, September 06, 2014

Tablets for oldies - Breezie and now RealPad - all doomed to failure?

Companies have been having a crack at selling age silo products to oldies for a long time - with a spectacular lack of success.

For ages I have been meaning to write about Breezie and its arrangement with Age UK. To be honest, the reason for not doing so was that after an initial bit of PR the visibility of the thing has plummeted to such an extent that I was not sure that it was still active. The only way I could find out anything about it on the AgeUK web site was by using search.

Anyway, this morning I read that AARP in the US is having a go at selling its own age-silo tablet (RealPad), made by Intel in China.

This is what AARP says about the product

The user interface has large icons for one-click access to email, social networks, weather, news, games, entertainment, camera and pictures, and Google's search engine. A bar at the bottom of the screen has icons for AARP, the Web, apps and tablet-fixing tools. A specific icon connects users to technology support agents over the Internet who can access the tablet and fix problems. There are also icons to access Google Play and advanced tools.
I would think that the AARP device has the best chance of success because of the organisation's size and also because it is being sold via Walmart.

Even so, I don't think it or Breezie are long term contenders in the market. Why? Their are lots of reasons but here are a few.

Tablets are intrinsically easy to use, so why do you want a simplified, simplified user interface. Now I can well see that for people with very poor eyesight and dexterity problems there is a niche but AARP is going to be pitching this to all of its members.

What happens next? Where does the product go from here? I would think it is a one-off punt by Intel so as long as you are happy buying something that will not adapt to changing technology developments then that's fine. Maybe the segment of the market they are aiming at is a one-purchase consumer that will keep the thing for life?

I doubt if it is that much easier (if at all) than using an iPad and far less pretty.

In summary, this might be the last ditch product that somebody buys for their aged aunt who is resolute that they don't want to 'be on the internet' but as a mainstream product for older people - I give it less than 10% chance of success. Dick Stroud

1 comment:

DickStroud said...

Good to see that I am not alone in my thinking about these devices. Do have a look at Chuck Nyren's blog on the subject