Business Administration Education Guide

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jitterbug

No not the dance, but those who are old enough to remember at least references to the Jitterbug will find themselves drawn to the new one.

Gadget of the Week – Time Magazine Online

Jitterbug has excellent pedigree: built by mighty Samsung, it was co-designed by Martin Cooper, the man who made the first cell-phone call in 1973, and his wife, Arlene Harris, herself a telecom pioneer.

The strategy is simple: give elderly people a phone that they can use, with larger buttons, fewer screen options and a padded, amplified earpiece that doesn’t interfere with hearing aids. Even the manual comes in large print, with excessive explanation (“Battery—Delivers power to make your phone function”).

GreatCall’s final ace is its operator assistance. If a frustrated user calls, the operator will see his or her personal phone list in order to help.

Plans range from $10 per month for “simple SOS”—no regular minutes, just emergency service—up to 300 minutes per month for $40. Voicemail will cost an extra $3 as will Operator Assistance.

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