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Web designers partner to create cell phones for the elderly and illiterate

on Wednesday,March 10,2010 00:03

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To make mobile phones more accessible to senior citizens and individuals in underdeveloped nations, web designers from IBM, the National Institute of Design in India and Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology have partnered to develop more user-friendly devices.

IBM chose to launch development projects in these nations because Japan has a rapidly growing aging population, and India has many illiterate citizens. Their underlying goal is to create mobile devices that can help members of these demographics become better connected to information technology, as many of them cannot use or afford computers.

Through their research, the scientists hope to find a common thread between the technical abilities of these two groups and work to create a multimode interface that will cater to both types of consumers. Researchers have already proposed designs that are more closely related to the physical environment than typical mobile phones.

The technology company aims to use their findings to build upon current designs that are tailored to the needs of older persons. Spapfon's recently released ez ONE model, for example, features large buttons, an emergency contact feature, an LED flashlight and an FM radio.
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