Before I tell you about the Telikin computer system, I need to tell you about my grandma. See, my grandma was always on the cutting edge. She was an early adopter, from microwaves to VCRs and DVD players. We used to joke that if she were still driving and needed a cell phone in 2007, she would have been first in line for an iPhone. So needless to say, my grandma had to have a computer.
However, setting someone in their late 80s up with a computer was not that simple. The entire process of interacting with a computer was totally foreign to her, and we had issues helping her with the concept of the mouse, the mousepad, and double and single clicking. I don’t know how, but through sheer bad luck and some overzealous right clicking, her original computer running Windows ME just sort of…imploded. One day the operating system was there, and the next day nothing worked right. And there were 56 shortcuts to “Spider Solitaire” on the desktop, and everything else was gone. The point is, Grandma wanted so hard to check email, play games, and be connected to the world, but it required my whole family to consistently pitch in and help. As much as we tried to streamline it, the computer was just too much for Grandma.
I wish the Telikin had existed when Grandma was alive, because this was the solution we needed! What is the Telikin, you ask? From the company:
Telikin is an easy to use, all in one, touch screen computer designed with seniors in mind. Some seniors have never become familiar with computer technology and may be intimidated by computers and/or reluctant to use one. Some may have physical conditions that make using a traditional computer with a keyboard and mouse difficult. In an increasingly technological world this leaves a certain segment of our population behind. This results in a segment of our population being left behind in an increasingly technological world.
Today, with many families being geographically separated, the ability to keep more closely connected with family and friends via video chat, email, and photo sharing can reduce the social isolation that is sometimes associated with aging. Internet use keeps people mentally stimulated and can offer them independence through online shopping and access to social media, such as Facebook, to connect with others. Additionally, playing computer games increases cognition and positively engages seniors in computer use.
Telikin has taken the most popular features people use for personal computing and built it on a Linux platform, making it extremely virus resistant! The Telikin interface is easy to see and navigate, and applications are accessible with a single touch/click. Telikin is wifi-ready and software updates are free and automatic. Telikin allows for easy enlargement of font size in e-mail, documents, and on the web with its magnifier capability.
Our product is different from other computer options for seniors and anyone else frustrated by traditional PCs because of several reasons, including:
1) Pre-loaded software – The Telikin comes pre-loaded with the applications that our users will want to utilize, thus customers do not have to buy extra software to start using it
2) Protected System – Built on a Linux platform, the Telikin is a managed environment for users, so that they can’t accidently or unknowingly install harmful programs or viruses. This also means that users do not have to purchase anti-virus software. And lastly, because the computer only runs the programs that we write, our tech support team knows exactly which programs the customer is using and can effectively and efficiently diagnose problems to help customers
3) Consistent User Experience – Because all the applications are created and installed by our company, the user can rely on consistent buttons and navigation features so that they don’t have to re-learn each new feature
4) Free Software Updates – We offer free and automatic software updates to our customers
The computer has both touchscreen and mouse input options, so you don’t have to already be proficient in using a cursor to interact with the computer. This is huge, since if you didn’t grow up using a mouse and computer, the whole concept can be intimidating and foreign at first. Plus, touchscreens are by their nature a bit more intuitive: they’re touch and go, instead of scroll, click, hold, go. The Telikin is still a full computer though, with a baseline 320gb hard drive and dual core processors!
My favorite feature, by far, is their remote access option, called “Tech Buddy”. The Telikin can be configured so a family member can remote into the computer and see what the user sees, and assist with using the software. Think back to the last time a family member called you because something didn’t work correctly on their computer. Now think about trying to explain all that to someone whose understanding of a computer is limited to a typed sheet of instructions: Hold power button. Wait. When you see the main screen with the “AOL” logo, double-click on AOL. Wait. (You get the idea.) Anything beyond the basic instructions gets very confusing. With something like Tech Buddy, it becomes far easier to hop on and visually see the issue, without having to mess with Remote Desktop software or other third-party options.
The Telikin is clearly not for everyone. But then again, regular computers aren’t for everyone either. And iPads can make a decent in-between solution, but the combination of smaller screens and some hidden complexities can make it just as confusing as a regular computer. Telikin is fitting a very specific niche, and at first glance it certainly seems like they know their market and have crafted the device accordingly! Plus, at $699 for the baseline model, it’s a very affordable way to bring technology to more people!
Check out a video demo of the Telikin, and let us know if you’ve seen one (or similar concepts) in use! And be sure to check out their website for more information!