IBM makes mobile phones for the elderly and illiterate

Big Blue is spending a fortune developing a phone that can be used by the elderly and the illiterate.

Apparently IBM boffins thinks that there are similarities between those who are getting on a bit and those who cannot read.

The project to develop a multimodal interface platform for mobile phones which will help aged users and illiterates to gain access to various mobile services.

In a press release IBM researchers said that the new platform could be used to build mobile applications that supports multiple modes of user interaction-based on voice, images, icons, and text.

It would be “common across different applications” and not an operating system itself, they said.

Apparently wrinklies who suffer from various physical ailments, and illiterates, both can’t type texts. Although judging by the SMS’s we have received most people can’t type texts.

 In the new system, speech input and output will also be conveyed along with texts, the researchers said.

Manish Gupta, Director, IBM Research India, said that an illiterate person, who does not know to press keys according to alphabets, will find the tasks like filling up an online form easier using voice.