03. 20. 2007
Emporia delivers simple cellphones
One complaint that I hear from many of my friends is that cellphones are too complicated. Those users who don't need fancy animations and extra applications will be thrilled that Emporia is rolling out a couple of handsets that strip out all of the unnecessary fluff from the modern cellphone. These simplified phones are marketed towards senior citizens, but they will appeal to anyone who just wants "a phone and nothing else."
The emporiaLife is a slider phone, but the phone can make and receive calls from the closed position. According to MobileBurn the traditional phone menu has been ultra simplified - The default screen is the list of saved contacts. The number pad is oversized, and the screen is backlit in orange for easy reading. Ringtones and alerts can be set to ultra loud for those who are hard of hearing, and the silent alerts have extra strong vibration settings.
The most notable feature is an extra heart shaped button on the back of the phone for summoning help in case of emergencies. The Life button can dial emergency numbers or be used to send pre-defined text messages. The promotional materials are all in German so don't quote me on this, but I believe that the emergency button is able to send emergency SMS messages to multiple numbers at once while making the appropriate phone calls. The emporiaLife phone can also use AA batteries as a power source in case the battery goes dead while traveling.
The second new handset from the company is the emporiaTime. Where the Life has a button for summoning help, the Time has an extra button that calls up alarm clock functions for reminders on appointments and medications. The Time is the sportier of the two models in an all aluminum flip phone case. The emporiaLife is meant for the 50+ retiree, but the emporiaTime was designed for the aging professional who still goes to work every day.
It's nice to see a company realizing that older people are a market with different needs, and acknowledging that our aging population is more active than any generation before them. There's no word on price or dealers yet, but Emporia phones should be available around the world within the next six months.
Check SlashPhone for some great action shots of the emporiaLife phone showing the emergency button on the back, and the AA battery pack.