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New Net Access For Elderly

Techstination feature for Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Schools and libraries are wired... .why not facilities for the elderly? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Learning to use computers isn't easy for a lot of adults... so how can you expect the elderly to adapt to the new technology. A company called EdlerVision is taking a different approach. It's the technology doing the adapting instead. ElderVision founder and CEO Jeff Pepper...

"We start at the beginning. And we said to ourselves..what would a computer look like if it was developed for people over sixty five instead of for people under twenty five. So the first thing we did is we got rid of the keyboard and the mouse... .those are not required... we communicate through a touch screen and through voice over IP. Secondly, we hide the operating system from people so they don't have to log in or deal with any of that. And third, we provide a community that is really elder friendly."

For the time being, the ElderVision Internet appliances aren't being sold to individuals, they will be made available to senior living facilities around the country... starting in late October. Pepper says field trials have been going well...

" These are the last concentration of people in the U.S. who are not getting the benefits of the Internet."

And says Pepper it is the one group where the need to stay connected to family and friends is greatest. You can find more information at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg News.