A smartphone designed for elderly people has been developed by global technology company Fujitsu.
When setting up the Stylistic S01 phone the user inputs their age, which customises some aspects to work differently. For example, the audio frequency range will be optimised for older people so they can clearly hear the voice of the person they are speaking to, and the phone can also slow down the speech of a caller without losing audio quality, again making it easier to understand.
The Stylistic also features a forgiving touch-screen which highlights icons if they are only touched lightly. This means that accidental touches – common by people not familiar with smartphone controls – will not immediately lead to an undesired function.
Each sub-screen on the phone also contains a question mark icon which gives the user guidance for that page.
“People are living longer, have access to better healthcare and want to have access to the same communications channels (email, social media) that their younger family does.” James Maynard, product marketing director at Fujitsu, told E-Access Bulletin.
The Stylistic S01 phone will be released in France in June. The cost has not been confirmed, but it will be priced as a “mid-range handset”, Maynard said. The phone’s release in other countries is under discussion between Fujitsu and telecommunications partner Orange.
Fujitsu also recently unveiled another technological innovation designed to assist elderly people, the ‘New Generation Cane’. This is a prototype of a walking stick with built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor, which could send the user’s location and health data to a cloud network. Data could then be sent back to the cane to help direct the user. Family members can also check the heart rate of an elderly relative using the cane via the cloud, to check that they are not encountering difficulties. There is currently no indication of if and when the cane might become a purchasable product, however.