Mobile makers need to adapt and innovate to cater for our aging tech-savvy population

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The Independent Tech

During the next ten years, the first generation of consumers who grew up with computers, mobile phones and electronic gadgets -- those who have fully integrated technology into their everyday lives and rely on these devices to live a full and happy life -- will begin to (or have already begun to) have difficulty using this technology due to the physical constraints of aging.

(Relaxnews) -

During the next ten years, the first generation of consumers who grew up with computers, mobile phones and electronic gadgets - those who have fully integrated technology into their everyday lives and rely on these devices to live a full and happy life - will begin to (or have already begun to) have difficulty using this technology due to the physical constraints of aging.

While these consumers will still heavily rely on mobile phones to keep in touch with their families, to check up on breaking news stories or to tell them what the weather is like tomorrow, they may find that they can no longer read small fonts displayed on a tiny screen.

In years to come they may even find it difficult to locate letters and numbers on the phone or have problems hearing the person on the other end of the line.

Companies like Snapfon have crafted mobiles that have enlarged number keypads that are bright and easy to see. Their latest phone, the Snapfon ez ONE was released on March 8 and includes an SOS button that automatically dials up to four different contacts until the phone is answered in the event of an emergency.

Other telecommunication companies such as Doro are carving out a market for themselves in the senior mobile handset market, designing mobiles that can be used by less-dexterous and sightly impaired consumers.

Doro presented a study conducted by Synovate on mobile usage amongst seniors in February. The study showed that almost 90 percent of seniors in the USA, Germany, UK, France and Sweden aged between 65 and 74 owned a mobile phone.

With the rate of mobile phone ownership increasing amongst the elderly, the senior phone category will no longer be relegated to a niche market. There will be increasing numbers of aging technology-savvy users who will need new devices to take them into the next part of their lives.

While companies like Doro and Snapfon have been creating new technology for the elderly, most of the features have been marketed to users who are, relatively speaking, new mobile phone consumers.

The real difficulty lies in creating highly-functional smartphone-like products for the future generations of aging technology-users. Mobile phone makers will have to learn how to create new products for these hearing-impaired and blind technology-minded seniors or hope that scientists invent commercially viable bionic eyes, hands and ears beforehand.

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