|Social Blocks: A Mobile App for Social Seniors|
| Posted on 21/05/2014 - 15:06|
Social Blocks is a proposed mobile app that will help elderly users unlock the social potential of their smartphone or tablet, to engage with friends and family, social groups and other seniors, promoting social inclusion and community engagement.
There are so many social uses for smartphones and tablets including connecting with family and friends all over the world, finding the latest news and events and engaging with the local community. The problem is, many elderly people, despite owning one of these devices, are unable to access these features because they don’t know how. This can lead to social exclusion and isolation. There is a barrier between seniors and the potential social experience in their hands and that barrier is having the knowhow. “What is a tweet?” “How can I share this photo?” “What are my login details?” To a generation of people that weren’t brought up around technology, this isn’t intuitive. How can we teach them how to use social apps and provide a safe environment to learn and practice?
Our idea is for a mobile app called Social Blocks that will provide simple, interactive tutorials on how to use the social features of smartphones and tablets, including email, Facebook and Twitter. It would also allow users to easily create one email address for use with all their social accounts and a safe place to store password reminders.
Under the scope of this initial call we would conduct two tracks of research:
1. Social challenge
2. Proposed solution
The findings from this research would enable us to form a detailed overview of the solution including a list of features, technical approach and project plan for the creation of a prototype.
Target group and social impact
Social Blocks will enable elderly users to learn how to use social apps safely and confidently. After using our app they will be able to access a world of social technology and gain many benefits, including connecting with friends and family, engaging with their local community, finding groups with similar interests, making new friends and sharing memories. Imagine how beneficial it would be for an elderly person to be able to chat with their grandchild who lives abroad, and see photos of their latest adventures? How about following their local government on Twitter and being able to ask a question to their MP? What about joining a Facebook group dedicated to chatting about a shared hobby or interest? These are just a few scenarios that Social Blocks could unlock.
Competences of the applicant
Gemixin is a multi-award winning mobile app development company. One of our apps, Starting Blocks, which this new idea has been inspired by, won a 2012 Vodafone Smart Accessibility Award and a 2013 European Diversity Award. Starting Blocks teaches seniors how to use the very basic features of a mobile device including using the power button, virtual keyboard and touchscreen.
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