We were in trouble Contacted my mother-in-law for several months during the lockdown. Like many older people, he still relied on landline phones. When he didn’t pick up, my wife wondered if he was out, couldn’t hear the phone, or couldn’t answer. And when he picked it up, we’d still be surprised if he was really right.
He was a professional musician before retiring and can still turn on an impressive melody on the viola, but he lacks confidence in technology. He has a mobile phone, but despite our protests he insisted on turning it off, making it useless.
We’ve tried to set him up with Skype for years, to no avail, and we’ve spent hours trying to speed him up on WhatsApp-just to find out that he forgot his Wi-Fi password and not been online for months. Nothing worked until the wall-garden tablet grandpad for seniors.
Designed for the elderly
“Smartphones are designed for 30-year-olds,” said Scott Lien, CEO and co-founder of Grandpad. “We started designing a product for someone who is 0 years old.”
Leanne started the company because her elderly mother was struggling to use her smartphone and computer. He hired advisers in their eighties and nineties to find out what they wanted from a device and to identify common usability issues.
The GrandPad is an Acer tablet that runs heavily customized versions of Android. The glasses are dated. It is an Apple iPad mini sized with an 8-inch screen, an HD pixel resolution, a Qualcomm 625 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for apps and files. Both front and rear cameras rate 5 megapixels.
The tablet comes as part of a monthly subscription that costs $ 79 per month or $ 696 for the year, but it’s a complete package. There’s 4G LTE connection out of the box, so no need to worry about Wi-Fi passwords, and it’s more than 30 million tracks (supplied by 7Digital) – radio stations, browsing offering unlimited photos, offering ad-free music streaming with “secure” web access. And video storage, and a library of games and puzzles that include solitaire, sudoku, poker, and crosswords. If the GrandPad is ever damaged or lost, you will receive a replacement device.
The tablet rests on a wireless charging cradle that is permanently connected to a long power cable. My mother sat down at her living room table. The screen automatically comes to life when he opens the folding cover, so he doesn’t have to worry about turning it on or off, and he gets used to quickly popping up on the charging stand after using it to keep the battery up. For the large screen and simple interface he thinks it is much easier to use than his phone.
The front-facing speakers are not only loud, they are protected according to a frequency that makes it easy for the deaf to hear. Extended icons with text in the interface clearly label everything, and contacts have photos with names below them. 24/7 support is also available with a real person who speaks through the problem and provides remote technical assistance if needed.