Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pantech Breeze: AT&T's New Cell Phone for Seniors

It seems that the mobile phone for seniors market has become active in the last few weeks. After the Life Phone was recently announced, AT&T launched a handset that is suitable for senior mobile phone users. Let me introduce the Pantech Breeze from AT&T.

There have been a few updates on when AT&T will launch the
Pantech Breeze After a few months of waiting, the carrier has finally released the device and has marketed it as a handset suited for seniors. Let us examine the elements that make this mobile device a good cell phone for the elderly.

The Pantech Breeze is an uncomplicated or basic mobile phone. It has a clean and uncluttered design, simplified menus, over sized display, large keypad and quick-call keys. Clearly, its a useful device for people who want an easy way to stay in touch with friends, loved ones and caregivers. I don't think I need to explain why a simple or basic phone is best for seniors.

AT&T's Pantech Breeze is also part of the carriers "Universal Design" approach. This approach the practice of designing products and applications that are usable by the most customers possible. This means that application developers and handset manufacturers were encouraged to consider the needs of seniors or customers who have disabilities when creating products and services. The Pantech Breeze is an example of a device design with this approach.

Here's a statement from an AT&T representative that would further explain the Universal Design concept that was used in the making of the Pantech Breeze:

"Universal Design helps define important design criteria to meet the wants and needs of as many of our customers as possible. The Pantech Breeze is a result of our efforts to meet these criteria and offer a great-looking phone that's a breeze to use for everyone — from tweens to great-grandparents."

These are the fruits of the Universal Design being applied to the creation of the Pantech Breeze.
  • Simplified Menu : senior users can easily navigate the phone's features with the simplified "breeze menu," which prioritizes the features that customers want to access most.
  • 1-2-3 Quick-Call Keys : The Breeze has 3 preprogrammable quick-call buttons that are located below the screen. By selecting one of the three quick-call contacts and pressing the send button can easily tart a call.
  • Easy-to-Use Buttons - When users press the Pantech Breeze's oversized buttons, the buttons respond with a tactile click. The amount of time the keys remain illuminated after use is extended tp benefit seniors with weak eyesight.
  • Large Font - The menu screens on the device use a highly visible large font for greater visibility. The font of SMS messages is also enlarged to aid weak eyes.
  • Clear and Loud Speakerphone - the design of the Breeze takes seniors with poor hearing into consideration by offering a large, dedicated button starts and stops speakerphone use.
  • Audible Keys - mistake-free dialing for those with limited sight is also offered by the Breeze. this is possible through the option to have audio accompany numeric keystrokes.

I guess it should be clear by now that the Pantech Breeze is a mobile phone for seniors. It has the attributes that are design to make communication by mobile phone a breeze for seniors.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

The Life Phone Handset for Seniors

Here's another phone that has been explicitly targeted towards seniors. This handset could be the Jitterbug's biggest rival. Here is the "Life Phone" from Emporia.

The Life Phone is designed for seniors so you can expect it to lose all the flashy features found on most mobile phones today. This mobile phone for seniors is a back-to-basics handset that should prove simpler to use for the technologically challenged senior citizens.

However, some expert say that it would be a good phone for any age. The Life Phone is perfect for those who do not want all the high tech specifications. Personally, I think that the younger generations would prefer other devices. For them it's all about flashy design and features. Anyway, let's get back to the Life Phone.

The main feature for this cell phone for seniors is a built-in, large red emergency button designed for use in emergencies. This button is locted on the back of the Life Phone and can be programmed to call a designated number and send off a pre-written text message in any emergency.

The Life Phone also offers other attributes that makes it a suitable mobile phone for seniors. For instance, the handset has a large screen and larger buttons. The large screen makes it easier for seniors with weak eyes to see information on the screen. As I have often mentioned in this blog, large keys are best for the elderly because pressing them are easier. Emporia's mobile phone for seniors also offer a louder than normal speaker for those who have impaired hearing.

Here are the other features of the Life Phone:
  • 2.7 inch (6.8cm) mono-colour screen
  • Dualband
  • Five emergency numbers can be stored
  • Very loud
  • Very strong vibration mode
You can also watch this Life Phone video to get a better idea of this handset for seniors. Tune in to this blog for more cell phones for seniors and other services for oldies.

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