Monday, October 24, 2011

Wireless CapTel an Application for Mobile Phone users who are Hard of Hearing

A number of senior citizens suffer from some sort of hearing loss due to a variety of factors including, illness and old age. Some estimates show that nearly half of the seniors in the U.S. suffer from some form of hearing loss. Fortunately, mobile phone technology has provided solutions for users who suffer from hearing loss such as extra loud ringers and hearing aid compatibility.

Well, here's a new service that aims to serve seniors and folks who are hard of hearing. Sprint recently introduced the Wireless CapTel, an application that is designed to help seniors and others who are hard of hearing to more easily interact with their family/friends through their phone. Let's take a close look at this service for senior citizens.

So how does it work? Well, the application routes all calls placed to/made from the through a captioning service. Then, the service transcribes the conversation into text and displays it on the phone's screen where it can be read. Obviously, a phone with a large screen is suitable for this app. Adjustable font sizes and brightness also fit the bill.

So is there a downside to this service? Well, the Wireless CapTel service from Sprint is only is compatible with devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and up. Seniors do not usually carry Android smartphones around and the service won't work with the Jitterbug or any basic cell phone. One cn get it from the Android Market for free with an Everything Data plan

But there is hope. Manufacturers and carriers have released cheap Android phones that are designed for new users. Some of these device are simple and easy-touse. Also we should not under-estimate the ability of seniors to muse and operate a smartphone.

So what do you think? Is the Wireless CapTel service suitable to the needs a of senior citizens? Share you feelings in the comments.

That's it for this service for the elderly. Stay tuned as we look at plans, and cell phones for seniors every week.

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