Written by Roy Turse
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Friday, 6 February 2009

image for Experimenting on the Elderly
I keep pressing it, why doesn't it work?

Technology companies the world over are recruiting old people to help adapt their equipment for use by the over-70s. As the proportion of 'Silver Surfers' and 'older iPod generation' technology users continues to rise, manufacturers have accepted that they need to make their products 'wrinkly-friendly'.

"We realised that we had to make our mouse input devices suitable for everyone, including those with a knobblier finger form," said one company in a briefing paper "Fogie-centric Peripheral Design and the extreme multi-click mouse button issue". And they are not alone.

Current research is being done with old people and computers into 'first in, last out' memory products which give priority to what happened in the War but don't retain what you had for tea yesterday. One reduced-impact exercise system video game includes levels such as 'A slow walk to the Post Office', 'Feeding the budgie' and 'Talking over the fence'.

Software companies are also getting in on the act. Grand day out Auto, released today, comes with a real flat cap, a 35 mph limit and a choice of Austin Maxi or Datsun Cherry simulations. Industry gossip also suggests that Ukelele Hero and World of Knit-craft are in development.

Meanwhile, Werther's Original have collaborated with a genealogy website to create a new family tree program where the names of the youngest generation can be replaced with various endearments. In the fast-paced world of high-speed Internet services, some ISPs are now offering a broadband package for the elderly which you never have to remember to plug in.

Finally, Nintendo, who pride themselves on staying one step ahead of the competition, recently announced their new initiative the over-90s, including 'Brain Trainer Lite' for the DS and 'Febrese' for the Wii.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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