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Mobile phone for the 50+ generation

1. October 2007

An Austrian company has developed a mobile phone for elderly and older people. Now on sale in the UK , the Life Phone is aimed at those aged 50-plus who find existing handsets too fiddly and complicated to use.

Created by Austrian firm Emporia, the Life Phone is aimed at older people who do not want a handset crammed with every possible feature. The phone has only the most basic functions on board, allowing owners to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages and manage their personal phonebook.
Instead of a camera or music player it has a loud speaker tuned for those who are either partially sighted or use a hearing aid, a big screen and buttons. The orange backlight for the 2.7in (6.8cm) monochrome screen has been chosen because it is easy to read for those with failing sight. It also has an extra-strong vibration function to alert its owner that someone is calling.

On the rear of the phone is a big red button that can be pressed in the event of an emergency and which will call one of the stored emergency numbers to summon aid.

Text messages that should be sent in the event of an emergency can also be created and stored on the handset.

The Emporia Life Phone is distributed in the UK by Communic8. It is available to buy directly from Communic8 and the Royal National Institute of Blind People , and Matobmobile . Emporia Life can be used with a pay as you go simcard, but is also available on contract from O2 and Virgin mobile. Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone are coming soon.