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Simple tasks, part 2

The great search for the one-button, voice-activated/speakerphone cell phone portion of email to friend:

For a long time now, my mom has not been able to answer a regular phone.

She can't reach over to answer it, and if she could, all the buttons would confuse her. She can see clearly, so big numbered buttons aren't the solution.

The woman who had a photographic memory, can't remember a single phone number.

Does the perfect phone for Mom exist? Requirements:

1) Preferably a cell phone;

2) Light enough to wear on a cord around her neck;

3) Has one button to answer and end calls;

4) Is voice activated (if not too complicated) ... ie: "Phone, Wake up!" ... wait ... "Call Nancy." Eh, so what if she activates the phone a million times a day, thus, calling me and other loved-ones every five minutes. She'll be in communication with all of us;

5) Has a speakerphone so she doesn't have to hold the phone up to her ear;

6) Will it be compatible with one of our local cell phone companies be able to work with what we find?

I've been trying desperately to find a cell phone with all of these features for my mother.

I've looked everywhere ... high-tech sites; sites for the disabled; sites for the mentally and/or physically disabled; cell and regular phone sites; aged/dementia sites.


No gold.

Did happen upon some cool stuff. Ideo created a really cool wrist phone ... though it seems a bit too complicated ... and it might be only a prototype.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2005 05:05 am (UTC)
Verizon has this: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail&selectedPhoneId=1575

I've got one, it has voice dialing, a speakerphone and can be made to answer when you flip open the phone. I've never used "driving mode" which goes into voice command mode when you flip open the phone, so I don't know what happens if you try to flip open the phone when it rings and is also in driving mode. The voice recognition can be finicky, but it can be set to give you a short list of possible contact names when it isn't sure what you said.

There is a version of the phone which isn't locked to the verizon network, but I don't know how easy it is to find. It's a multimode phone that can work with most of the major cell carriers.
May. 3rd, 2005 03:51 am (UTC)
C, you always have good answers.

Thanks for letting me know.

The only concern: Will the "flip-open" action confuse my mother?

I've been looking at "candy bar" phones ... or is it just "bar" phones? However, most of those don't have these features discussed and are more Push-to-Talk ... that wouldn't work.

Thanks, again, Man.
May. 3rd, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)
It's like flipping open the communicator from the original Star Trek. She'd have to try it out I'd think.
May. 3rd, 2005 07:35 am (UTC)
yes. this is true.

my plan is to take her to verizon and check out some phones. though many of them seem way too complicated for her. i'd have to do something stylish to cover up all the buttons and, of course, completely configured the phone for her and help her with the voice recognition feature before she actually uses it.

thankfully, verizon has a 30-day trial.

other than what's out there for us regular folk ... i want to see if there are any phones that have been created specifically for people with the challenges my mother has.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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