Fujitsu, the large Japanese electronics manufacturer, has unveiled a new smartphone that is specifically designed to appeal elderly users. By collaborating with Google, Fujitsu has designed a new Android interface that is more simplified than recent versions, and has paired the device with a unique type of touchscreen. The new F-12D is part of the company’s RakuRaku line, named after the Japanese word meaning “easy” or “comfortable.”
The F-12D is meant to be easy and simple to use for elderly customers. The interface features much larger text and buttons than what most smartphone users are used to. Also, the interface will only scroll vertically, as opposed to side-to-side as well, like on Apple’s iPhone and most other Android smartphones. During the testing process, Fujitsu found that most elderly users couldn’t get the hang of using a typical touchscreen, and found it frustrating. So the company designed one that is meant to appeal to first-time touchscreen users. What they came up with is a screen that isn’t so hard to the touch, it has a little ‘give’ to it that allows users to feel as if they are physically pressing a button.
The F-12D is set to go on sale this August in Japan, and will be available from the carrier NTT Docomo. Fujitsu has mention an interest in selling the device in overseas markets, which would be great, because I can think of a few non-elderly family members who can’t even get the hang of their ancient flip-phone.