Smartphones too "smart" for older mobile users

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CHANCES are if you mention a QR code to an over-50, they would, most likely, not have a clue what you are going on about.

According to research, the over 50s age group are being ignored when it comes to the smartphone companies designing technology that is sleek, yet simple for them to use.

Of the 55 – 64 age bracket, only 17% own a mobile phone – and 39% of those that do, only use it to make voice calls, according to OFCOM, which, after all, was what a mobile phone was initially built to do.

Forget about uploading pictures, playing music, gaming, or social networking. Only 19% will ever use the camera, and 45% will not even use the facility to send a text.

Smartphone’s do not appeal to them.

There are currently more than 9.8million people in the UK aged over 65, and emporia Telecoms’ research, a mobile market research company, has demonstrated the desire within this age group to use mobile phones as a way to retain autonomy, self-determination, social esteem, access to their network of friends or acquaintances and to be seen to be able to play a valued role in society. Unfortunately, the drive to create more functionality and complexity within smaller devices is in complete opposition to what this growing market tells us it wants from new technology.

Smartphones now make up 67% of all UK mobile phone sales.

The call is clear.

Some mobile smart phone terminology for readers who fit into this age bracket, who may not know what they are.

SMS = simple messaging system. Instead of making phone calls, people send a mini message to friends, family, rather than making a long phone call.

Predictive Text = A way of simplifying your messages in your SMS to save time when writing one.

QR Codes = a piece of software that enables you to access a website or any type of document on a mobile phone. A black pattern on a white platform, people scan their mobile phone like a camera, and the image from the QR code comes up on the screen. This could be a website, a PDF document, a WORD document, or anything that is readable on a phone. You can download QR code readers for free as mobile apps.

Mobile apps = These are again pieces of software built to carry out a specific function on a mobile phone. There are thousands of apps designed for different purposes, including, games, how to navigate your way around the tube, socilaise with your friends via facebook, or what to have for your dinner in the evening.

SMS Marketing = Companies can use this type of marketing via the simple messaging system to inform people of new products for their businesses, and build relationships with customers.

Blackberry Messenger = A kind of personal messaging service used by Blackberry users to keep in contact with others who have Blackberry. They were controversial when some younger members of the UK were trying to instigate riots a few weeks ago.

Touch screen technology. This functionality enables people to navigate their phones easily without tapping the keys. Most smartphones now have touch technology.

Mobile websites = A special type of website designed to fit the type of phone. Most internet websites look terrible on a phone, but with a slight tweak of code, people can navigate a website on a phone better with one.

Mobile Redirect Scripts = If a reader accesses an internet website on a phone, there is a special line of code which can detect if a person has accessed that site on a phone. The script redirects that user to the mobile website version, either by a CALL TO ACTION, or, AUTOMATICALLY when the person loaded the page.




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