Do you ever have trouble keeping in touch with older relatives? Sure, maybe you’ve kitted them out with the latest gadgets, but somewhere down the line there’s always a missed text, a deleted email or an upside-down photograph of the grandchildren. And can you blame them really? If you were born in the age of the telegram, imagine being faced with the onslaught of technology in this modern age. You wouldn’t be bothered to try and understand it all. Developer Andre Dettler is attempting to change this geriatric tech-stasis with the introduction of a new app called BigHappyInbox. He’s set up a page on Kickstarter to try and raise $25,000 in thirty days to facilitate the release and further development of the app.
The mission statement is ‘easy technology for Grandparents‘. The app’s utilised for iPad only at this stage, and what it does is clear the clutter of the crowded iPad interface, reducing it down to one simple icon; the titular BigHappyInbox. By clicking on this, the user is directed to a landing screen of a very basic newsfeed, comprising information such as weather, news and even horoscopes, if they’re astrologically inclined. A top header announces any new messages and this directs you to the main menu screen, comprising four simple functions, Mail, Photos, Contacts and Newsletter. Once you’ve got the grip of this, that’s really all the navigation that needs to be retained in order to work the app.
Each one of the four functions is designed for optimum ease of use. In Mail, messages are displayed in big, bold text, and if there’s a photo attached to the message, it will be proudly displayed at the top of the screen without the user having to open and/or save any annoying attachments. This is a smart move, as most digital communication with the old folks often contain photographs and images. The photo gallery itself is equally bold and simple, with no irritating turning of the device needed. This one even gets me, so I can’t imagine how older people deal with having to twist the device every which way just to see a bloody photo the way it was intended.
So far, Andre and the gang has raised $780 of their projected $25,000, which is impressive for a new campaign; but they still have a long way to go. As with any Kickstarter campaign, various rewards are offered for different levels of investment. These range from having your name in the credits of the app, to Andre offering to build your own app idea for you, not to mention a lot of cool stuff in between. This is a genuinely pioneering idea and one that is long overdue. Also, it’s universal. People all over the world will be able to relate to the problem of involving seniors in new technology, and Andre’s attempt to solve it is well worth checking out if you identify. We hope to see this one available on the app store in all its glory in the very near future.
Head to Kickstarter to check out this senior friendly app idea!