A student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT–K) has developed a smartphone application that will enhance the phone’s useability for the elderly.
The app works by redesigning the phone keypad along with the user interface and the icons that appear on the screen. It simplifies the interface and ensures a smooth typing experience for older people.
Developed and designed by Shashank Arya, the ‘glass launcher’ app won the silver award at Uxplorer 2016 — a design competition for students, organised in Pune on September 9 by YUJ design.
“The app will help the elderly by decreasing the problems they face while using smartphones,” said Shashank. The young innovator added, “As per research, the ‘QWERTY’ keypad (usual in smartphones) was introduced for two-hand typing on typewriters. The pattern was aimed at facilitating ease of sentence formation.
Now, due to its familiarity, it is still being used in all devices. However, elderly people have difficulty in using this keypad for typing messages on their smartphones.”
The glass launcher app resets the keypad to the conventional ‘abc’ format (as seen in basic phones) with which the elderly are familiar. The app also resets the colour tone of the screen to green, thus enhancing visibility for people with colour blindness.
“Research, testing and designing – all took around four months,” shared Shashank, who is now working on another app that will counsel students and help them get a clear vision of a career that suits their skills as well as interests.
For developing this application, Shashank took suggestions from psychologists and other experts.