Look out, Jitterbug. Just when you thought you were the top cell targeting the senior set, a new one arrives to court your mature yet spry audience. I'm talking about the ClarityLife C900.
Not to be confused with Life Alert (the automatic emergency response system of the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" fame), ClarityLife C900 is a GSM cell phone that offers carefully targeted features that make life a little easier for the octogenarian on the go.
While the C900 certainly can't compete with the likes of the Blackberry Bold, that is actually the whole point. Instead of a slew of features that many seniors don't use, the beauty of this gadget really isn't skin-deep. The C900 is made by Clarity, a division of Plantronics and a nationwide supplier of amplified phones, hearing aids, and other communications devices for the hard of hearing and deaf communities. That would explain its focus on the auditory features, including amplification of up to 20 decibels and hearing-aid compatibility. It also has an emergency button that transmits a help message to pre-programmed numbers, a flashing ringer, an enlarged sliding keypad, and four enormous outer buttons that make dialing virtually idiot-proof. (Actually, I know a few non-seniors who could benefit from this.) Pop in an appropriate SIM card, and the C900 also works with any GSM-compatible carrier, like AT&T and T-Mobile.
As the progeny of hearing-impaired parents, I rejoiced when I discovered this bit of news. My frustration at having to yell into the handset so they can hear me has been taken as anger more than once, usually resulting in the disapproving stares of people who think I'm screaming at my folks. This is not pretty on a date, in the library, or anywhere else for that matter. Trust me. I know.
If reviews continue to look good, Santa might be leaving one of these under my parents? tree this year.