Six-button computer for senior surfers: why so many?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Interesting article this morning in the London Daily Telegraph about a new simple computer for senior surfers. According to reports, this Linux-based device has "only six buttons" and is designed for the eldery technophobe. Since, presumably, there is no physical keyboard, why so many buttons? Surely a simple on/off switch would suffice. I haven't seen any photographs, so maybe the six-button claim is not intended to include the keyboard, which would provide a further 50 buttons.

Either way, it's a move in the right direction. One of the big problems with the growth of modern communications is that many older people are denied access to cheaper prices, information and help. In some ways, the information available on the web is ideally suited to senior citizens, especially those who cannot get around and are, maybe, confined to home. What better window on the world and what better way of keeping up social contacts?

It will be interesting to see if this initiative is successful in bringing more people into the world of technology; if it is, many will eventually graduate to a more fully featured computer. And if it is successful, mainstream computer manufacturers will be keen to jump on the bandwagon. 

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