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A phone for Grandparents, the EmporiaLife

Snapshot by Michael Oryl on Friday March 10, 2006.

cebit 2006 · new products · cell phone news · michael oryl

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While still not exactly in the same league as some of the recent sliders from Samsung that we've seen here at CeBIT in Hannover, the EmporiaLife handset for people of retirement age certainly is of some real interest. Austrian manufacturer Emporia has designed the EmporiaLife specifically for people that are not use to high tech gadgets, and perhaps are having a bit of trouble with eyesight.

As such, the phone is very simple, and very large. The buttons and keypad are all made to be easily found and read, and the phone is actually designed to be used most often from the closed position. The default standby screen is actually the contacts list, meaning that there is no menu to deal with when grandma wants to call somebody. She just uses the up and down arrow keys to find the number she wants and then presses the big green OK key.

On top of that, there is a large red emergency button on the back of the handset that can be pressed when the owner is in trouble. Up to 5 emergency numbers can be programmed into the button, though carriers could potentially choose to pre-program the button ahead of time with a local emergency number. Since manufacturing of the handset is just starting this month, nobody is currently offering the handset, but we should start seeing the EmporiaLife in some markets shortly.

Specifications for the Emporia EmporiaLife
Band GSM (900/1800 or 850/1900MHz)
Data N/A
Size 112mm x 55mm x 26mm
(4.4" x 2.2" x 1")
Weight 155g
Battery Life 200 hours standby time
180 minutes talk time
Main Display 2.7" 128x160 FSTN Monochrome
Sub-Display N/A
Camera No
Video No
Messaging SMS
Email No
Bluetooth No
Infrared No
Java No
Polyphonics Yes
Availability Q2 2006 (manufacturer's estimate)
Other Vibration alarm, alarm clock, birthday reminders, hearing aid compatible, speakerphone

Another interesting feature is the ability to run off of normal AAA batteries in an emergency if the Li-Ion battery is dead. There is also a speakerphone function as well as the ability to send a SMS message to many recipients at once.

Emporia is working on another device that targets the 50 year old market. It is simplified to some extent like the EmporiaLife, but it is smaller and more compact for a person that still gets around a lot and potentially has a regular job.

You'll find more live photos of the EmporiaLife on the next page.


About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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