Singapore-based Silverline is a project that adapts smartphones to meet the social, emotional and physical needs of elderly users. The programme’s suite of user-friendly apps are designed specifically for seniors, acting as replacements for basic features such as contact lists and reminder apps.
Address books become more visual with the addition of large photographs attached to each entry, while the Wellbeing app can be used to set reminders to take medication or other supplements. There’s also an Emergency app, which detects if the smartphone is dropped or is left idle for a while. This triggers a message to check the user is safe – if there is no response, the app will call the emergency services or the person’s caregiver to provide assistance.
Silverline’s collection of apps has undergone trials in Singapore in collaboration with Singapore mobile operator Singtel and other local charities, and is optimised for use in the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Silverline’s creators are now raising money on funding platform Indiegogo to develop the next set of apps, which could include a simplified map application, a Bluetooth-connected security bracelet and a picture-sharing tool.
Providing elderly citizens with simple, easy-to-use technology is a major focus of development in the tech industry. A host of products have emerged in recent months targeting this traditionally under-served demographic, such as US tech firm Clarity’s captioned phone, and Wonderwall – a smart entrance hall system developed by the Technische Universität München in Germany. See Redesigning Old Age for more.