Source: Taiwan Headlines
Date published: 05 Mar 2007
The world of the Internet knows no boundaries. To give senior citizens a chance to enjoy convenient, real-time internet services without barriers, says Li Ke-chin, head of the Service Technology Applications Center of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu, in July of this year the center will be participating in a Ministry of Economic Affairs project called the "Healthy Happy 50-Plus Club" designed to provide a totally new Internet experience. The service is loaded with health tips, financial planning information and information on recreation and exercise.
Director Li says that the Center's poll of over 200 seniors in 21 villages, towns and cities showed that the three topics they are most concerned with, in order, are health, recreation and respect of the elderly (including finance and wealth, health and recognition). Taking aim at these requirements, the center was determined to construct a Web site aimed at this special population, with help from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The site will go online in July of this year, and can be found at http://www.50c.org.tw.
Considering the widespread disadvantaged status of many seniors with regard to the digital divide, Li emphasized that the "50" club is designed to overcome information barriers facing the elderly. It is primarily voice-controlled, and mouse-based controls have been simplified as much as practical. Many animated screens with sound have been included, and font sizes have been enlarged to facilitate reading by older eyes. The cursor has been specially designed to read content out loud whenever it hovers in one spot for more than two seconds - a real convenience for the elderly.
This new club site emphasizes health and fitness, financial planning and recreation, the three main needs of the elderly. It attempts to bring them an accessible portal to the digital world.
Li says that as society ages, ITRI has been observing social trends in detail and getting in on government initiatives. The institute is committed to creating a platform that links medical device producers and related nursing services. Starting on May 4, a three-day exhibition will kick off in Taipei's World Trade Center Third Exhibition Hall, called the "1st Annual Taiwan International Senior Health and Care Exhibition". The event will showcase medical devices designed to serve the living and psychological needs of the elderly, and open up new business opportunities in serving this growing population sector.
(Extracted on 22 October 2008)