Business

Doro smartphones for seniors keeps everyone in the loop

Gail Bell

A NEW range of smartphones specially adapted for 'silver surfers' and disabled people is being launched in Northern Ireland this month by Doro Ireland.

The Swedish-based company which has carved out a niche market in "technology space for seniors" over the past decade, has now created its first smartphone for blind users.

Speaking in Belfast ahead of the launch of three new devices for the Irish market, managing director of Doro UK and Ireland, Chris Millington, said extensive research had shown that older people and those with sight and hearing loss wanted to embrace the latest technology - but needed help to do so.

Designed specifically for the 65-plus market, the new 'Liberto 820', '820 mini' and (fully speaking) '820 mini claria' - all hearing aid compatible - look exactly like a normal smartphone but have special features making them easier to use.

Among the adaptations are larger icons and spacing, clearer sounds and more adjustable contrasts on screens - all devised to revolutionise relationships between technology and older smartphone fans.

"We have carried out extensive research and what we found is that older people want a smartphone, but they need a device which has been adjusted to suit their needs," Mr Millington said.

"This age group - and more than 90 per cent of 65-74 year-olds now own a mobile phone - are keen to use online banking, play music and take photos on their mobile, but they find buttons on conventional phones too small, the sound too low and the functionality too complex, so we have taken all of that on board."

The new Doro smartphones will also help family members to stay better connected with elderly relatives, thanks to a new app, 'My Doro Manager', which includes a tutorial and third-party helper tool.

"It records how many times the elderly person's phone has been used and is a useful 'soft' alert if help or assistance may be needed," Mr Millington said.

"It is all about building confidence in older and disabled users - and keeping them in the loop of the smartphone conversation."

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