Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cellphone for old farts

Clarity is a division of headset-maker Plantronics that markets amplified phones, big-button phones and gadgets for the hearing- and seeing-impaired. It's getting into the cellphone business with a new phone designed for the elderly.

The prepaid unlocked-GSM ClarityLife features large buttons, simplified user interface and a dedicated emergency dialing button like its competitors. It also has a large screen with magnified text display, amplifies incoming voices up to 20dB, and is said to make "conversation clearer and easier to understand for people with all degrees of hearing loss."

When closed, the slider format phone displays only four large buttons. When open, it reveals a dialing keypad with large numeric buttons.

Unlike the Jitterbug-branded phone for the elderly, the ClarityLife model doesn't use a large 911 button for emergency use but a red heart-shaped back-panel button that cycles through five phone numbers until someone picks up. It also lets users select their eight most-called contacts. Other features for the elderly include a strong vibrating ringer, flashing orange LED incoming call indicator, and a flashlight.

The phone will be available in the fall through special-needs distribution channels, including audiologists and specialized retailers. Pricing has not been announced yet. (Info from TWICE.)
This is a preview, not a review.

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