Research from Age UK shows that over five million people aged 65 and over have never been online[i]. With more and more services moving on-line and the growing popularity of social media, the leading charity for older people, Age UK, has teamed up with Breezie, a tech company, to offer a solution that helps make the most of the Internet for people who are less familiar with digital technology.
Breezie is supplied with a Samsung tablet and works by simplifying every day apps such as Facebook to make it easy for customers to get online and stay connected with friends, family and keep up to date with interests and hobbies. The system is customised at purchase with settings based on the individual’s interests and gives a nominated trusted relative or friend the ability to sign-in remotely, set-up accounts and add contacts via Breezie’s support service. It makes the internet easy — to call someone for free on Skype, all the customer needs to do is simply tap a friend’s picture in the address book and soon be talking face-to-face.
Having worked with technology giant Samsung to develop its functionality, Breezie is built on the Android platform, which means people have access to a huge range of apps which can be used for social media, shopping and online utility bills. Breezie also suggests which ones the customer might like then adds more features as they become more familiar with the system.
Helena King, Head of Affinity and Development at Age UK said: “Breezie differs from most other desktop computers and tablets in that it tackles the two main barriers to internet adoption: over-complication and lack of relevance. It is set up to meet the individual needs of the customer and evolves with them so as the customer grows more confident and becomes more comfortable with the device Breezie can help makes the Internet easier. We hope this will make a real difference to people in later life, helping to stay in touch with family and friends and access the Internet easily and quickly.”
Jeh Kazimi, Founder & CEO of Breezie said: “Breezie was inspired by my own mother trying to navigate the internet, she found it intimidating and complicated. I couldn’t find anything on the market that could make the Internet work for her so I created it myself! We are delighted to work with Age UK to address the concerns of older individuals in the UK, it worked for my mum and I know it can help so many others too.”
Breezie is available to buy through the Age UK website and can be ordered by telephone from February 2014. The system comes with a choice of an 8” or 10” Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 touch-screen tablet, a protective case, one year’s free support and access to Breezie’s online support centre. For more information call 0800 917 7588 (9am-6pm, Monday – Friday) or go to www.ageuk.org.uk/breezie.