19 Dec 2019 | 12.43 pm
Irish Company Launches Tablets For Seniors
Acorn smart device uses uncluttered displays
19 Dec 2019 | 12.43 pm
An Irish company has developed a smart device created specifically for older people. Called ‘Acorn’, the tablet is the brainchild of Openet co-founder Philip Hogan.
Hogan said that €1.5m had been invested over three years into developing the Acorn tablet through his company, Cliffrun Media.
The tablet and its user interface have been designed to make going online more accessible and beneficial for new users of digital technology. The Acorn uses clear, uncluttered displays and it supports an integrated mobile SIM, as well as instant video/audio calls, messaging and email.
Other features of the Acorn tablet include a customisable news feed and an extensive help section with tutorial videos. Hogan has also created a companion mobile app for friends/relatives of Acorn tablet users to help the parties communicate more easily.
According to Hogan, Acorn was trialled and tested through a pilot study which was carried out among 95 participants living in rural and urban areas nationwide. The study was led by Age Friendly Ireland in collaboration with Hogan and three local authority partners.
Research furnished from the pilot study showed that users tended to interact with the tablet daily, while also enjoying a decrease in anxiety around the use of computers.
Hogan said that smart devices are often not designed with older people in mind, thus increasing the risk of social exclusion and loneliness.
“Acorn will significantly impact positively on the health and wellbeing of older adults living in urban and rural communities, allowing them to fully participate in our increasingly digital society,” Hogan added.
The Acorn tablet is available through the company’s online store, priced at €260 plus €15 per month for mobile internet data/telephone support, with a minimum one-year commitment.
Hogan has competition in the market for smart devices aimed at older people. Earlier this year, company behind the ‘GrandPad’ device for seniors opened its US headquarters in Gorey, with plans to employ 75 people there over the next five years.
GrandPad is a touchscreen tablet designed for older people. The device itself is produced by Acer and the company was founded in the US in 2014.