Damian Radcliffe

Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

July 11: Stories and issues relating to older and disabled people which have caught my eye in the last month.

In Monthly round up: Older People and Disability issues on July 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

1.         Apps

  • A series of smartphone apps to let disabled people contact shops, petrol stations and other locations to let them know their access needs before they arrive is being developed by Sunderland-based social enterprise DisabledAccess4All ( http://www.access4allapps.com ).

The ‘Customer Assist’ app will let users request assistance both en route and after arrival. When the user arrives, the shop, service or petrol station will have received information about the assistance he or she requires so they can have an attendant ready to help.

The app will also offer directions to accessible services, and a separate ‘Parking Space Finder’ app is being developed to work with local authorities to offer people directions to the nearest blue badge parking spaces. The parking app is due to go live for testing in October, with Westminster and Sunderland councils signed up to take part.

2.         Social Media

  • The Telegraph reported that super-injunction leaks on Twitter have driven over-50s to the site; noting: “Twitter’s UK audience jumped by a third in May 2011 following the super-injunction leaks about Ryan Giggs, which drove a huge number of female pensioners to the site, according to new data.”

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8600542/Super-injunction-leaks-drive-over-50s-to-Twitter.html

 

3.         Tablets

  • Jakob Nielsen has written a report on iPad usability. It’s the second such report from Nielsen Norman Group and it features in-depth analysis about how people are using iPads.

The iPad report, co-authored by Raluca Budiu and Jakob Nielsen, is a hefty 129 pages and available for free download. The report tested 26 iPad apps and six websites. The testers in this study were required to have at least two months experience using iPads.

There has been “good uptake of several of our recommendations from last year,” claims the report – such as apps implementing back buttons, broader use of search, homepages and direct access to articles by touching headlines on the front page.

The report reiterates a common understanding about the iPad, that it’s mostly for media consumption. Email is “the only slight exception to the rule.” Specifically, the Nielsen participants reported using their iPads for games, checking email and social network sites, watching movies and videos, and reading news.

The study tested a few tasks that were performed both on the Web (meaning via a Web browser on the iPad) and using an application. The report concludes that “our participants were always successful on the Web [but] a third of the corresponding tasks that involved apps ended in failure.” The report gives two reasons for this:

  1. The apps contained less content than the websites.
  2. The app design was confusing or the app made the user work more.

There’s also some useful analysis of how iPad usage differs from the computer. E.g.:

“From our testing of news and magazine apps, it turns out that most users read just a few articles per session, and spend most of their time scanning headlines and summaries for something of interest. That’s why it’s important to support the browsing activity better by giving it extra space, especially if there are a lot of news stories to go through.”

 

4.         Digital Switchover

  • Digital UK have published their annual report for the year to 31 March 2011.

Last year, 2.5 million homes across the UK went through switchover, with nearly 11 million homes due to complete switchover in 2011. DUK noted: “This would not have been possible without the support of our partners, including the many charities and community groups which provided practical help and advice.”  Read more about their work and watch a video here.

5.         Disability

  • The Guardian asked “Why can so few programmes document disability without grotesque fascination or patronising sentimentality?” in this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/jul/01/born-to-be-different

Extract:

“Last week, Born to be Different – Channel 4’s long-running biopic chronicling the lives of six disabled children – drew to a close having achieved television’s trickiest feat: documenting disability without grotesque fascination or patronising sentimentality. In a disaster-laden genre, it’s a success few others can claim.

When depicting disability, mainstream broadcasters give us the good but they give us the bad and the ugly – and in the case of Bodyshock or Extraordinary People, do so while calling them exactly that. The modern day freak show, these ratings hits mix deformity, disability and obesity into a one-size-fits-all hatchet job of ignorance. Products of the school of literal titles, new specials such as It’s Not Easy Being a Wolf Boy, The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, and The Girls with Too Much Skin, emerge yearly. The damage, though, is actually diminished by the total lack of subtlety, their almost impressively brazen lack of attempt to be doing anything remotely worthy.”

 

  • Channel 4 has launched a search for talented disabled production staff. Paid placements of up to 12 months, are being offered in sport, drama, factual and factual entertainment programming.  Applications closed on Monday 6 June 2011.

Visit the Channel 4 website for more information:

http://4talent.channel4.com/extra/production-trainee-scheme-2011-disabled-people

6.         Assistive Technology

  • The Alzheimer’s Society has published a position paper on assistive technology for people with dementia, based on a literature review and a seminar of stakeholders. The paper provides an introduction to AT (low-tech and high-tech), discusses how AT can enable better care and help carers, considers how people with dementia in the UK could have better access to AT, looks at future developments and government policies in this area, and makes recommendations to address the practical and ethical issues raised. The report is here.
  • The AT Dementia website brings together information about assistive technology and other products that can help support the independence and leisure opportunities of people with dementia. The website is here
  • A free booklet, ‘Getting Equipped to Tackle Forgetfulness’, is available to download from FAST via this link
  • The ‘AT guide’, a self-help guide to how technology can help you to live well with dementia published by the Disabled Living Foundation, is here.
  • The Thomas Pocklington Trust has published a paper on telebefriending schemes for people with sight loss which is available here

 

7.         Social Care

  • The Law Commission has published proposals for the ‘most far-reaching reforms of adult social care law seen for over 60 years’. A single statute would replace current legislation, so that service users and carers would be clear about their rights and councils would be clear about their responsibilities.

The new statute would establish that the ‘overarching purpose of adult social care is to promote or contribute to the well-being of the individual’ based on the ‘individual’s views, wishes and feelings’. Other recommendations include: giving carers new legal rights to services; placing duties on councils and the NHS to work together; building a single, streamlined assessment and eligibility framework; and placing Safeguarding Adult Boards on a statutory footing. 

  • According to Age UK, 800,000 people who currently need care receive no formal support from either the state or private sector agencies. The charity’s report is here.
  • Spending on long-term care in OECD countries is set to double, even triple, by 2050, driven by ageing populations. Governments need to make their long-term care policies more affordable and provide better support for family careers and professionals, according to a report from the international economic organisation, which is here.
  • A BBC survey of 76% of councils in England research suggests a North-South divide in spending on adult social care. Spending will fall by an estimated 4.7% to £3.4 billion in the North in 2011/12 and rise by 2.7% to £3.33 billion in the South. More here.

8.         Older People

  • UK Older People’s Day is on 1 October. The theme for 2011 is staying active in later life. More information, including resources to support local events are available via this link

9.         Third Sector

  • The government has published the ‘Giving White Paper’ to encourage charitable giving and volunteering. Commitments include:
  1. a £30 million fund to improve the effectiveness of infrastructure organisations that support front line organisations;
  2. £700,000 to support Philanthropy UK connecting wealthy people with charities that need their support;
  3. trial charity promotions on the public service website Directgov.
  • The banks have also agreed to enable giving through all their cash machines in 2012. The white paper is here.

 

  • 2011 is RNID’s centenary year. On their 100th birthday on 9th June, RNID changed their name to Action on Hearing Loss to better reflect what they do and the hearing check is an important element of their activity.  Around 4 million people who experience hearing loss could benefit from hearing aids but it takes, on average, 10 years for someone to do something about their hearing loss.  
  • The Media Trust have announced a recent package of funding which will enable the Community Channel to continue to broadcast for another couple of years at least, and will enable them to re-launch Community Newswire, the charity news distribution service run in partnership with the Press Association.

The funding will also enable us to support a network of community-led news hubs and citizen journalists across the UK, supported by our media industry mentors, and Media Trust’s wider package of training and online advice, mentors and story-telling.

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-May 2011 to mid-June 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on June 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Stats

Cisco forecast the global online population will reach almost 3bn over the next four years, with the number of connected devices growing to 15bn, or double the world’s population, by 2015.

ComScore figures for newspaper websites beyond home and work computers revealed Mail Online had 10.9m unique visitors in April, ahead of guardian.co.uk (8.98m) and Mirror Online (4.4m). The figures cover outlets including apps, mobile and tablet browsers, and PCs in shared locations.
 

Owners of ‘social magazine’ app Flipboard, which renders feeds from social networking sites alongside traditional news content in a magazine format, said downloads of its iPad app have passed the 2.5m milestone.

Homes with 3D TV sets will pass the 300m mark in 2015, according to new research.

Analysis by Kantar Media indicated the first episode of BBC One’s new series of Doctor Who was the most recorded programme on UK TV to date, with the Barb overnight viewing figure of 4.11m growing to 8.9m when time-shifted viewing was taken into account.
 

Stock Market Developments

An IPO by LinkedIn has valued the networking website at $4.25bn as demand from investors saw shares priced at $45 – raising $351m. The FT reports that 7.8m LinkedIn shares were sold, with Goldman Sachs making $39m after selling its entire stake, and that the new pricing has increased the value of the business by nearly a third in just a week.

Online coupon seller Groupon began its process of going public by filing for an IPO it  aims to raise at least $750m from the IPO. In 2010 Groupon, which claims to have 83m subscribers in 43 countries, made a $413m loss on revenues of $713m.

Russian internet group Yandex, which controls 65% of its domestic search market, raised $1.3bn in an IPO in New York, almost a fifth more than forecast.

US internet radio company Pandora raised $235m in an IPO which valued the group at $2.6bn.
 

Mobile

Virgin has announced plans to launch a Virgin Mobile-branded mobiles service across Latin America in a tie-up with wireless communications group Tribe Mobile, acting as mobile virtual network operators in markets which currently have few providers.

Facebook’s EMEA head of mobile partnerships Fergal Walker told a London conference that 70% of UK users access the site from mobiles as well as online, with the social network accounting for 50% of mobile internet minutes in this country.

Google unveiled its Google Wallet app for Android devices. The service will be offered in a tie-up with partners including Citi, MasterCard, First Data and telco Sprint Nextel, and will be preconfigured with the Google Offers daily coupon service.  Forrester analyst Charles Govlin said: “(We) expect NFC is going to increasingly become a default feature of every smartphone that is sold over the next couple of years.”

Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere announced plans to establish a mobile payments joint venture which will seek to kick-start the mobile commerce sector by establishing a cross-platform solution for banks, retailers and advertisers.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said it is his mission to see 70% of the world owning a smartphone as he predicted devices which only offer call and text services will disappear within three to four years.

Virgin Media screened its first live 3D event, in a deal with Eurosport to offer subscribers 3D coverage of the French Open tennis tournament.
 

Nomura analysts said they expect Samsung to overhaul Nokia to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer during the current quarter, with Apple pushing the Finnish group into third place during Q3.
 

A US study by IPG Media Lab and YuMe found 94% of TV viewers polled use ‘companion media’ such as smartphones and laptops while watching programmes, saying distraction poses a greater threat to ad engagement than fast-forwarding via DVRs.

EU officials said the Article 29 Working Party, an alliance of domestic regulators, has argued location data should be considered as private, along with other customer information such as names and birth dates.

Apple

Apple’s iCloud digital entertainment service, which is due to go live in the US in September, is unlikely to launch in the UK before Q1 2012 due to rights issues. The free service, which will go live in the autumn, will allow users to store music, photos and documents across all of the group’s devices, while users will be able to pay a supplementary annual fee of $25 to access Apple’s 18m-track music catalogue, with record labels taking a cut of revenues. Jobs said: “We’re going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud.”
 

Apple has become a top-five UK PC vendor for the first time, according to Gartner, growing sales 15.9% year-on-year to leapfrog Samsung. The top four sellers remained Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Toshiba.

An Imano Digital Agency survey found almost 70% of UK iPad owners said they use the tablet to read newspapers and magazines, with 98% using it for web browsing and 94% for email. The study also found the Apple device is regarded as domestic rather than mobile technology, with 95% of respondents using it in their living rooms and 89% in bed.
 

US publisher Bonnier said analysis indicates that about 95% of iPad subscribers to its Popular Science magazine are new customers, with spokesman Gregg Hano saying the device has given them access to a “totally new audience”.
Google

Google unveiled its ‘Music Beta by Google’ service. When fully rolled-out the ‘online music locker service’ will allow users to upload up to 20,000 songs which will be stored and accessible via an online library and not on their hard drive. The service will be free for a limited time to US applicants.

Google said its AdMob network doubled the number of video ads it placed on partner sites over the past year.

YouTube said global video views are up 50% in the last six months, at more than 3bn per day, attributing the spike to its decision to secure long-form content from broadcasters including Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Facebook

Privacy regulators in a number of European countries are probing Facebook after it rolled out facial recognition software to the site without first seeking user permission.
 

Facebook accounts for almost a third of all online display advertising in the US.
 

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the educational benefits of using the social network were so great that young children should be able to join, adding it would challenge the current 13-and-over age limit “at some point”. The limit is enforced by US law, while in the UK it forms part of Facebook’s terms and conditions.

Facebook is recruiting a cadre of ‘ambassadors’ to represent the group’s interests outside the US, focusing on countries where attitudes and regulations covering privacy and personal communications contrast to its home market.
 

The number of people using Facebook in the US and UK reportedly fell in May for the second month running, a move the Guardian said could suggest the social networking site has ‘hit the limits of expansion in the countries where it was first successful’. User numbers in Canada, Norway and Russia were also down, according to figures from monitoring site Inside Facebook. But globally the site is still climbing towards 700m users. In the US Inside Facebook said the site lost 6m users, to 149.4m by the end of the month. In the UK, more than 100,000 Facebook users were lost. Inside Facebook’s Eric Eldon said the key to further expansion lay in China.

Facebook moved quickly to dismiss Inside Facebook’s findings, throwing doubt on the monitoring site’s metrics tool. “From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions… Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook. We are very pleased with our growth and with the way people are engaged with Facebook. More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.”
 

Attorney General Dominic Grieve has begun contempt proceedings against a juror who allegedly contacted a defendant on Facebook, prompting the collapse of a multimillion-pound drugs trial. Criminal Bar Association chairman Christopher Kinch QC said: “The situation is a potential timebomb for the jury system. Left unchecked, we could move towards trial by X-factor-type online polling; or jurors might find themselves put under pressure by correspondents online.”
 

Twitter

Groups including the Telegraph, CNN and MTV have partnered with Twitter to add a ‘follow’ button to their websites, allowing users to monitor accounts on the micro-blogging site without having to return to Twitter’s home page.
 

Twitter has acquired UK third-party software provider TweetDeck in a deal believed to be worth about $40m.

Gaming

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the FT he believes the group’s Wii U console, which it showed off at last week’s E3 trade show, can “fundamentally change the structure of entertainment” by blurring the distinction between TV and gaming.
 

Entertainment Software Association research showed that the average age of UK video game players is 37, with the average game buyer aged 41.
 

UK child-facing social network Moshi Monsters announced it has passed the 50m user milestone three years after launch.

Piracy

WPP-owned agency GroupM has ‘blacklisted’ more than 2,000 US websites to prevent its clients’ advertisements appearing on those carrying pirated content.  GroupM’s US arm spends $3.5bn annually buying up ad space on sites on behalf of clients such as AT&T, IBM, Ford and Unilever.
 

Google’s Eric Schmidt has spoken out against anti-online piracy laws, warning that government legislation to block access to illegal filesharing sites would set a “disastrous precedent” for free speech.
 

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt used the same platform to say government plans to ban access to illicit filesharing websites remained on schedule. But he did concede that deciding which specific sites would be blocked remained a “challenge”.
 

Other stuff

AOL is moving into what Reuters called a ‘crowded space’ with its launch of AOL Industry, a division designed for business professionals.

Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5bn cash from the consortium of investors who bought the VoIP provider from eBay in 2007.

BBC Global iPlayer is to begin its international roll-out, launching as an iPad app in a number of western European territories charging users about £6 per month for an “editorially curated” service.

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-April 2011 to mid-May 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on June 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Social Media: General

Social Pr Guide Series – Set of articles / user guides on Facebook, YouTube et al.

How Twitter Could Bring About World Peace

People have twice as many virtual friends as real ones

Twitter said confirmation that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed had generated the “highest sustained rate of Tweets ever”, with an average of 3,440 messages posted each second on the micro-blogging site between 10.45pm on Monday and 12.30am on Tuesday.
 

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are buying web bookmarking service Delicious from Yahoo! for an undisclosed sum.

Yahoo!has bought US start-up IntoNow, a TV “check-in” specialistwhich lets users identify and share TV shows with their friends.

Social Media: Facebook

Facebook admitted it had hired a PR firm in the US to generate news stories questioning Google’s stance on consumer privacy. 

Half of UK teenagers are not aware of location-based social networking services such as Foursquare and Facebook Places, with 58% of those who had heard of them saying they “do not see the point” of sharing geographic information.
 

An Enders Analysis report said Facebook is poised to leapfrog Google and Yahoo! to become the largest online display ad group by revenue, with its revenues on track to grow 95% to $3.5bn in 2011.
 

US websites including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post have added a new Facebook ‘Send’ button, which enables users to privately forward stories to groups, individual friends, or email addresses.

Loaded founder James Brown dubbed his Sabotage Times web venture, which takes content from about 300 contributors, many from outside the media, as part of the “democratisation of written media”, adding: “I do think we will get to the point where everyone will be on Facebook. Everyone. It will just be like being in the phone book in the Seventies.”

Google

Google announced the launch next month of its new range of so-called Chromebooks – laptops running its Chrome OS software. The machines, which offer access to cloud-based applications, will go on sale in seven countries including the US and UK from June 15, and will be available to businesses through a $28-per-month subscription fee.

Google showed off technology dubbed Android@Home, which allows the mobile device operating system to control appliances such as light switches and washing machines, at its I/O developers’ conference. The platform’s head Andy Rubin said: “Everything should be Android-ified. We should just take it to new levels. It’s no longer something that people will go to the store to buy and then bring to their home or bring to their office. It’s something that will actually bridge those things.”
 

Apple
Apple has leapfrogged Google to take top spot in the BrandZ Top100 survey, with the iPad maker ascribed a brand value of more than £153bn, up 959% since 2006.
Apple almost doubled its year-on-year quarterly profit to $5.99bn, a 95% rise, on revenues up 83% to $24.67bn.

Apple has pledged to fix a ‘bug’ that meant data on the rough location of iPhone users was being stored for a year.

Privacy

Will There Ever Be An “Internet Erase Button”? – a growing group of privacy advocates in the U.S. and abroad want the Internet to be written in pencil.

Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools

Sony is contacting the 77m global users of its PlayStation Network to warn them hackers may have accessed their credit card details. The Japanese giant this morning said that personal details, including names, addresses, dates of birth, passwords and security questions had been stolen.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, a security and data protection service, said: “This certainly ranks as one of the biggest data losses ever to affect individuals. This is not just a nightmare for Sony, but also worrying news for the millions of people who use the network. Once again users will have their confidence shaken by a major company losing their personal information.”

TV

Microsoft is in talks with TV networks about the possibility of delivering live channels via its Xbox games console in the US.

Research specialist IHS iSuppli predicted the global 3DTV market is set to grow more than five times this year, with shipments climbing to 23m units from 2010’s 4.2m. It expects 159m units to be sold in 2015.
 

ITV is to widen distribution of its ITV Player, adding an app for Google Android phones in the next few weeks before launching on Apple’s iPhone in Q3.
 

ITV has relaunched its website homepage as the “first step” in its overhaul of online services.

Video

YouTube has revealed that about 30% of videos uploaded to the site account for 99% of total traffic, implying the vast majority of content generates minimal ad revenue.
 

Tesco has acquired an 80% stake in UK VoD group Blinkbox.

Google is closing its Google Videos website, advising existing users to switch their content to YouTube.

US DVD sales plummet 20%

Vevo, the online video service backed by music labels Universal and Sony in a partnership with Google, has launched in the UK.

Technology

Worldwide shipments of WLAN-enabled devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2011, up over 35 per cent from 2010’s 880.4 billion units. By 2015, a study published by IHS iSuppli predicts that 2.2 billion of the devices will ship.

Cisco is to close its Flip video camera business. Flip was the biggest-selling camcorder in the US last year. Cisco also said its Umi video conferencing equipment would no longer be offered direct to consumers.
 

Personalised iPad magazine Zite, which aggregates content based on user interests, has released a new version of its app following a cease and desist letter from groups including Dow Jones, Gannett, and the Washington Post Co.

A YouGov survey found price remains a barrier to mainstream adoption of tablet devices, with mass-market sales likely to take off when devices retail around the £250 mark, the research suggested.
 

Spotify has halved the amount of free music available to its 6m UK and Europe users to 10 hours per month, with non-subscribers allowed to listen to individual tracks a maximum of five times, from May 1.
 

China has announced the formation of a new agency to supervise the internet. The State Internet Information Office will “direct, co-ordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting,” state news agency Xinhua said.
 

Gartner claimed that “digital media will cannibalise print media” after a study of consumers across six countries, including the UK and US, found more than half of tablet users preferred reading text on screens to print, with older demographics expressing the most attachment to paper products.
 

Mobile

45% of FT.com subscribers access FT content on mobile devices.

One in five smartphones NFC-enabled by 2014, Juniper research has predicted. The analyst claims that mobile operators will drive the sales of NFC-equipped smartphones up to the 300 million mark by 2014.

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett told analysts that the group has been conducting tests of wi-fi technology, with a view to establishing its own network to launch a mobile TV service.

Nokia announced plans to cut its global headcount by 4,000, including 700 jobs in the UK, as part of plans to cut operating expenses by €1bn over the next two years. The group also announced it was outsourcing development of Symbian, transferring the 3,000 staff working on the operating system to Accenture, with the consultants in turn becoming a key smartphone development partner.

An Ofcom survey found 16-24 year olds no longer view TV as the most important media, with 28% citing mobiles and 26% the internet as the media they would miss most, against 23% for television.
 

Vodafone is launching a service in London enabling smartphone owners who are short of cash to pay black cab fares by texting the car’s licence number to a central database. The group is also installing chargers for devices including the iPhone and BlackBerry in 500 Vodafone-branded cabs.
 

Using Data to Design Government Services – Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.

Newspapers

Newspapers and a changing audience – blog post mapping ABC newspaper circulation figures, ABCe online circulation figures and social media fans and followers of named publications

Slimmed-down Independent spin-off i launched i Saturday, a single-section weekend news digest selling for 30p, from May 7.

June 11: stories and issues relating to older and disabled people which have caught my eye in the last month

In Monthly round up: Older People and Disability issues on June 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm

1.         Third Sector

  • A free BT web kit offers charities and community groups a free service to raise their profile. More than 3,500 websites in the UK have been built on the BT Community Web Kit service so far. The kit’s website service provides free website hosting as well as a free website address. Users can also choose layouts and design while uploading images and pictures to make each website unique with a professional look and feel.

 

Find out more:  www.btck.co.uk

2.         Smartphones / Apps

  • A smartphone application which transcribes audio museum tours into captions and sign language has been released.  Developed by the Australian Communication Exchange, the Smart Auslan service can be downloaded to a personal smartphone or accessed through museum-owned phones across Australia. The user scans a ‘Quick Response code’ on each exhibit which prompts the phone to display the relevant captions and sign language video:

Find out more: http://bit.ly/iiFNl4

3.         Services for Older People

  • Linda Natansohn, COO of eons.com, a US social networking site aimed at baby boomers, admitted the site is struggling to persuade the advertising industry that it offers access to an appealing demographic, but insisted: “This group has two trillion dollars in disposable income, and they are very web savvy.”

Read more: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/making-sense-of-news/112370/seniors-increasingly-read-news-online-use-social-media-to-stay-connected/

  • In May, a plan to establish a new public service video-on-demand digital web TV channel which will focus on, and broadcast topical news and information relevant and of particular interest to, everyone aged 50 and over was announced.  Entitled BeetrootTV – you might like to see the Beetroot TV Briefing Note and Beetroot TV Q&A.  And the ‘taster’ web-site can be found at http://www.BeetrootTV.org

Beetroot TV is being developed by Sheena McDonald and Simon Gallimore in collaboration with Independent Age, enabled by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

 
     

4.         Telecare and Telehealth

  • The Guardian suggests Scotland is ahead of England in its approach to implementing telecare and telehealth technologies. Dr James Ferguson, the lead clinician at the Scottish Centre for Telehealth, argues that because patients in Scotland are often a long way from clinicians, there has been a drive to include remote monitoring and support as an integral part of care packages.

Read the article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2011/apr/13/scotland-teach-england-telehealth-james-ferguson

  • A survey of 200 patients using telehealth in North Yorkshire showed that patients with long term conditions prefer to be monitored from home. 96% of those currently using telehealth would recommend the technology to others.

http://www.nyytelehealth.co.uk/news/ninety_six_percent_of_north_yorkshire_patients_would_recommend_telehealth/

5.         Disability

  • A new government report argues that the 2012 Paralympic Games should transform perceptions of disabled people. The report also argues that London 2012 is already delivering improvements to the lives of people with disabilities, including offering jobs, training, sport opportunities and an uplift in awareness across the UK.

 Read the report here:  http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/8058.aspx

  • Disabled People’s User-led Organisations have been given access to a new £3million initiative announced by the Minister for Disabled People, which includes a Facilitation Fund allowing these bodies to bid for small amounts of money for specific projects to improve their overall sustainability.

Read more: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/odi-projects/user-led-organisations.php

6.         Web

  • A report by Gartner claimed that “digital media will cannibalise print media” after a study of consumers across six countries, including the UK and US, found more than half of tablet users preferred reading text on screens to print, with older demographics expressing the most attachment to paper products.

See: http://www.techeye.net/business/paper-screwed-up-in-favour-of-digital-readers

  • DCMS has published a set of 10 principles for inclusive web design to highlight the importance of building websites that can be used by as wide a range of people as possible.

The principles were written by Sandi Wassmer, managing director of web design company Copious and can be viewed on the DCMS site: http://bit.ly/mfx9ax

The ten principles are broken down into keywords such as equitable; flexible; straightforward; and perceptible, each followed by a brief explanatory statement to give guidance on how the term relates to inclusive website design.

  • Google and FutureGov  are holding a hack event later this month focussed on making the web accessible to older generations: http://goo.gl/7Gf8e

7.         TV / Advertising

  • A Wall Street Journal report on the US TV industry said networks are adjusting their pitch to advertisers as average audiences age, arguing the current generation of baby-boomers is fundamentally different from earlier generations who wound down their spending after the age of 55.

CBS chief research officer David Poltrack said: “Rather than saying a 22-year-old is more valuable than a 58-year-old, we’re saying, ‘Look, the fact is an affluent 58-year-old is certainly more valuable than a 22-year-old who is just getting by.”

See: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559604576174983272665032.html

8.         Consumer

  • The Guardian has an article on the costs of calling 118 directory enquiry services. [Our] “research shows that being connected to a number via a 118 service can cost in excess of £10 for five minutes from a mobile. Calling directory enquiries from a mobile can cost more than £2, while a typical 45-second 118 call costs an average of £1.75 from a landline, research shows.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/may/16/warning-118-directory-enquiries-charges

9.         Innovation, Ageing and Healthcare

  • Slides, and a short contextual blog post, from Simon Roberts based on his talk (in February) to Imperial Business School.

Visit: http://bit.ly/f8KvzN

 

Stories and issues relating to older and disabled people which have caught my eye in the last month

In Monthly round up: Older People and Disability issues on April 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

1.         Disability

  • Dr Rachel Perkins has been appointed by the Minister for Disabled People to the Chair of Equality 2025. She will take up her role from 1 April 2011 for a three-year term.

Equality 2025 is a non-departmental public body of publicly appointed disabled people, which was established in December 2006.   The group offers strategic, confidential advice to Government on issues that affect disabled people. It reports to the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller.

See: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/docs/abo/eq2025-chair-110328.pdf

 

  • Disability and ICT charity AbilityNet has launched the first Technology4Good awards. The awards scheme aims to  celebrate the hard work of the many charities, businesses and individuals across the UK who use digital technologies to help change our communities for the better.

 See: http://www.technology4goodawards.org.uk/

Nominations are open until 5pm on Monday 9th May, with the winners announced at an Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 7th June.

 

  • The British Stammering Association welcomed the success of the Oscar winning movie ‘The King’s Speech’, calling it ‘a golden opportunity to talk openly about stammering’. See the views here: http://www.stammering.org/kspoints.html

 

  • Scope’s latest Disabled People’s Panel survey focuses on the attitudes and behaviours that disabled people experience in everyday life. They are asking for people who are disabled or the parent of a disabled child, to participate in a short online survey. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and responses will remain anonymous. To take part visit: http://www.scope.org.uk/news/attitudes-towards-disabled-people

 

  • Monday 2nd May to Sunday 8th May 2011 is Deaf Awareness Week.  This year the week will ask you to ‘Look At Me’ aiming to improve understanding of the different types of deafness and the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.

Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under the umbrella of the UK Council on Deafness, Deaf Awareness Week involves a UK wide series of national and local events. More at: http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/daw/index.htm

 

  • Writing in the Observer, Aleks Krotoski, asked how the internet affects society and the way we live today, with a focus on disability. She noted:

 “The web has transformed the personal experiences of disabled people by creating a playing field for empowerment with access to information, connections and a platform for change. Yet we must reflect on our social attitudes to disability in the offline world instead of ignoring what we can’t see online. Only then will the web’s effect on disability become truly clear.”

See the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/06/untangling-web-aleks-krotoski-disability

 

 2.         Third Sector

  • The Media Trust has closed their Community Newswire service as a result of changes in their funding following the Government spending review.

 

  • The Public Sector Equality Duty came into effect on 5 April. The Duty replaces the three existing public sector equality duties covering disability, race and gender. It also extends to other protected characteristics covered in the Equality Act 2010.

 

3.         Public Sector

The Duty has three aims. When developing or implementing policy, it requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
  • foster good relations between people from different groups.

This means that public bodies need to consciously consider these three aims when making decisions that will affect the public. For example, the Duty covers how a public authority acts as an employer, how it develops policies, how it designs and delivers services and how it procures services.

‘Due regard’ means to consciously consider these three aims when making decisions about policy or practice which would affect people.  For example, the duty covers:

  • how a public authority acts as an employer
  • how it develops policies
  • how it designs and delivers services
  • how it procures services.

 

If a public authority fails to give due regard to the duty, it could be challenged through a judicial review made by an individual or by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

For more information visit: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/disabled-people-and-legislation/disability-equality-duty-and-impact-assessments.php

  • The Department of Health’s Care Networks are being closed and the last telecare e-newsletter went out in February which is here (pdf – 902Kb) or here (doc – 1.22Mb). The DH Care Network’s telecare website will close by 31 March and the Telecare LIN website will be hosted by Telecare LIN Ltd here.

The Department is exploring how it can help ‘third parties communicate latest policy and practice information on telecare and telehealth in the future’.

In the meantime, the WSDAN (Whole System Demonstrator Action Network) website hosted by the King’s Fund will continue. This provides a portal to the latest news on three large-scale telehealth and telecare pilots and the evidence-base on telehealth and telecare.

Recent publications include: 

  • an update on telecare users and expenditure
  • PCT weblinks for telehealth and the telehealth Google map
  • Evaluating telecare and telehealth interventions

The Kings Fund website is at: http://www.wsdactionnetwork.org.uk/

A blog on the King’s Fund website looks at how local authorities and the new GP commissioners can be convinced of the need to invest in telehealth and telecare. Find out more: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/the_future_of.html

 

4.         Accessibility

  • Writing in Computer Weekly, Robin Christopherson -head of digital inclusion at accessibility charity AbilityNet – talks about his love affair for Apple and how , in some cases mainstream technology is replacing specialist devices designed specifically for disabled users.

He cites Apple’s mobile operating system, which features screen reading – the VoiceOver function – and magnification, or Zoom. Noting: “As the first gesture-based screen reader, VoiceOver merely requires the user to touch the screen to hear a description of the item under their finger, then double-tap, drag, or flick to action a command. VoiceOver also features an innovative virtual control called a rotor. Turning the rotor – by rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning an actual dial – changes the way VoiceOver moves through a document or a web page based on a setting you choose. For example, a flick up or down might move through text word by word, by header, link or image.

It is also easy for a blind user to memorise the layout of screens and commonly-used applications. A quick tap confirms you have hit the right control and then a double-tap activates it. It really is almost as if you could see the screen.”

He later adds that “an iPhone can do as much as a specialist talking portable computer developed for blind users that costs between £1,000 and £2,000, and much, much more besides. With the addition of free navigation software an iOS device can replace bespoke talking GPS devices that are priced at around £750. Similarly, with the addition of an app costing a few pounds, they can replace a specialist communication device for those with a speech impairment; Proloquo2Go retails for around £100 and can transform an iPad into a fully functioning communication solution previously costing a prohibitive £2,000.”

“People who find the touch-screen difficult due to a physical impairment are not excluded either. The iOS devices also have in-built connectivity via Bluetooth or a cable dock to allow peripherals such as an external keyboard to be used. There is also free voice-recognition software to enable you to dictate your documents and e-mails. This way the blind touch-typist can have the best of both worlds and use an iPad or iPod Touch much as they would a laptop.”

The article is also available in Third Sector magazine: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/1060183/technologies-I-use-support-people-impaired-vision/

 

5.         Mobile

  • Richard Cappin of DialToSave.co.uk, one of the UK’s first-ever mobile phone price comparison websites, recently published a report which states that smartphone users are set to rocket from 20 million to 50 million by 2015.  As a result, he has argued that the mobile phone industry is missing out on a “multi-million pound market” by ignoring the needs of users who are over the age of 55. This group is now the second-fastest growing Internet user group and 45-64 year olds are now the second largest group of mobile phone users.

 

  • Cappin said, “Mobile companies need to look to Silver Surfers for inspiration and ideas because their needs are being ignored. Smartphones are mainly targeted at tech-savvy youngsters and despite growing interest from older people they are often perplexed by jargon like Android, Symbian and 3G HSDPA.”

See the press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/03/prweb5127504.htm

 

6.         Older People

 

  • A report by the Centre for Policy on Ageing gives examples of councils investing in low-level support and practical assistance to help older people maintain their health, well-being, social engagement and independence. Services highlighted include telecare, handyperson schemes, housing adaptations, falls prevention, home safety checks, and information projects.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned the report, which is available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/local-authorities-better-outcomes-older-people

 

  • According to the Alzheimer’s Society, in 2021 over half a million people will be living with dementia that has gone undiagnosed. Dorset has the lowest rates of diagnosis with only a quarter (26%) of people really knowing they have dementia. In contrast, two thirds (69%) of people living in Belfast with dementia have had a diagnosis.

 See: http://www.alzheimers-tesco.org.uk/news/56_over_half_a_million_people_will_have_undiagnosed_dementia_in_2021

 

  • Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s economics editor, looks at the rise of the older worker, noting that “at the end of 2010 there were 870,000 people over 65 in formal employment in the UK. That number has more than doubled since 2001. This age group now makes up 3% of the workforce, up from 1.5% in 2001.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2011/03/older_workers_make_their_mark.html

Her article was in response to new data from the ONS on ‘Older people in the labour market’:  http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=2648