Consumer Electronics Show goes spry-tech

Jan 14, 2009 By Etan Horowitz

High-tech gadgets aimed at older people are becoming more mainstream. This year, a section of the floor at the massive International Consumer Electronics Show featured products and services aimed at seniors and older baby boomers. Young folks might enjoy these, too.

Here are four from the exhibition that closed in Las Vegas on Sunday:

_ emWave Personal Stress Reliever

This is designed to help people focus on their breathing so they can relieve stress.

To use it, place your thumb on a finger sensor that takes your pulse and then displays colorful, moving lights to help you focus your breathing. It also uses colored lights to display your emotional state, which should change from stressed to relaxed after you think positive thoughts and follow the breathing guidance.

An emWave spokeswoman suggested people with a lot of stress at work keep the $199 device, available at emwave.com, in their office and use it a few minutes each day to change their outlook.

_ Myine Electronics Abbee Commercial-Free FM Radio

Being able to listen to your favorite songs on a portable music player is something people of all ages enjoy. But if you don't know anything about MP3s or don't want to pay for new music, it can be an intimidating task.

This $250 home-speaker system, available in the spring, is like a TiVo for free FM radio. Simply turn the unit on, tune to your favorite stations and the gadget will records hours of songs. It comes with a portable player so you can listen to your recorded songs while you are out, and it even strips out commercials and DJ talk. There's no monthly subscription fee or per-song download price.

_ Windows 7

Microsoft's new operating system, expected to ship later this year, lets users zoom in and out on the screen by pressing a few keys. Daniel Hubbell, a Microsoft employee who focuses on accessible technology, said that although past versions of Windows let the user magnify the screen, it wasn't as easy to do, and the features were labeled in a way that may have turned some people off.

"The Control Panel in Windows XP had a wheelchair icon, it was labeled 'accessibility,' and it was very targeted toward 'Hey, you have some disability or impairment; you are special; you are different,'" Hubbell said. "In Windows 7, we're looking at actually changing the features and integrating them more into useful tools that anybody would use, rather than have some accommodation that you have to go and turn on."

_ ClarityLife C900 mobile phone

This cell phone has large buttons and large fonts, but it also has a slide-out keypad that resembles some popular phones. It amplifies incoming sound by 20 decibels, which should help people with hearing loss, and it doubles as an emergency-response device.

A button on the back of the $270 phone calls and text-messages five preprogrammed numbers and continues to call until there is an answer. When the phone is closed, calls can be made by using four buttons. The phone, available at Clarityproducts.com, will work on a service plan from AT&T or T-Mobile.

___

(Etan Horowitz is the technology columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at ehorowitz at orlandosentinel.com.)

___

© 2009, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
Visit the Sentinel on the World Wide Web at www.orlandosentinel.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Japan unveils 'anti-loneliness' hugging chair

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple stock falls amid new iPhone glitches

Sep 25, 2014

Apple's stock fell nearly 3 percent on Thursday, after some customers complained that a software update interfered with voice calls on their new iPhones, while others noted that the larger iPhone model could ...

Soft design for a sustainable world

Sep 24, 2014

"Around the world at unprecedented rates, people are moving from the country to the city," says Sheila Kennedy, professor of the practice at MIT's Department of Architecture. "But this rapid urbanization is not a one-way ...

Review: Samsung Alpha big on design, short on tech

Sep 24, 2014

Apple filled a gaping hole in its product lineup with new iPhones boasting larger screens like Samsung's flagship Galaxy smartphones. Now, Samsung is coming out with a smaller phone that looks and feels more ...

What's at stake with Windows 9?

Sep 12, 2014

When Microsoft presents its first public glimpse of Windows 9 - it's expected to happen late this month or early next - a lot more than just an operating system is at stake.

Recommended for you

Samsung rejects claims of Galaxy Note defect

23 hours ago

Samsung on Wednesday rejected claims that its new oversized smartphone had a defect, after some customers posted pictures of a gap between the frame and display panel.

Slingbox lets you watch live TV at home or elsewhere

Sep 30, 2014

Man's second-best friend, television, gets out of the house more than ever. On a smartphone app or laptop, people watch sports on WatchESPN, movies and original programming on HBO Go or Netflix, and weekly network TV series.

China clears way for Apple iPhone 6 sales

Sep 30, 2014

China has cleared the way for Apple to sell its latest iPhones in the key market by granting it a licence, the industry regulator said on Tuesday, after the US giant agreed to improve the security of users' ...

User comments : 0