Valerie Singleton's Discount-age website, which aims to help the elderly save money, has teamed up with Wessex Computers and Vegan Solutions to put together a computer designed for the elderly, called simplicITy.
The company's MD, Nigel Houghton, reckons that people aged 50+ find computers "complicated" and "frightening", claiming that there's a "digital divide" between that age group and younger portions of the population. "Without a simpler computer, the take-up of broadband among older people is likely to remain small", says the company.
simpliciITy, when turned on, will present users with a menu screen that offers email, a web browser, chat, "About Me" page, a documents folder and some video tutorials presented by Valerie Singleton on how to use the machine. The user clicks whichever button they fancy and then the application goes fullscreen.
It's not clear what browser is provided, but the company says it's large-text and supports bookmarks. The email option takes users to another menu, allowing them to read, write or view an addressbook. About Me allows the user to create a profile, chat lets users access a "community" chatroom, and documents lets users create and edit documents and view photographs.
The operating system is constructed from Linux, which should make it a little safer from virus attacks, and comes with a recommendation of Eclipse broadband services.
Barebones desktops are available at £300 for single-core (the simplicITy Suite 100) and £390 for dual-core (simplicITy Suite 200) options. If you want a screen, keyboard, mouse and pair of speakers too, that'll pump up the price to £436 and £526 respectively. Delivery takes 2 weeks, as each machine is built to order.
UPDATE: We found one of the videos online! Check out Valerie explaining how to use a mouse above.