The growing market for old-folks technology

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I don’t think it’s a secret that the baby boomer generation is being largely left in the dust when it comes to technology, and not just because gadgets getting more complicated. Let’s face it, dad doesn’t hear quite as well as he used to, and mom finally took the plunge and bought some bifocals last month. What is being done to cater to this enormous market, which values simplicity and reliability over features, graphics, and expandability?

OS X’s inherent usability is a big bonus for them, and Vista offers accessibility options (now called “ease of access” options) out of the box such as text readers and easy magnification tools. But what about the tiny text on mp3 players, or GPS units and other gadgets which are becoming increasingly difficult for oldsters to avoid? There’s a lot of opportunity here and while some companies are going for it, the news is all about devices sporting features a huge segment of the market has no use for. I guess I’m part of the problem. Sorry, mom.

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