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Swipe Card Telephones for the Elderly

Now here's a natty idea. For some people, particularly some of the elderly; their sight starts to go, rheumatoid arthritis seeps into every joint, they find themselves unable to interact with devices as a young person would.

It can get to the stage where it does not matter how big the buttons are on a device, its still not practically useable.

Stephen Myers, a Phd student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, has created a potential solution, at least for the short-term. An RFID reader that works off of a set of RFID chips embedded in datacards, each of which have a photo of the person and their name / relationship on it. Take a card, swipe it in front of the read head, and the phone dials that person. No button clicking, no speed-dial, just instant communication. The datacards are mostly plastic, so they could be threaded together into a bundle to keep by the device.

Below, the inventor shows off the prototype:


RFID activated phone system

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