When you think of “cutting the cord”, you would tend to relate it to tech savvy individuals who want to change the way that they consume media and take calls. It’s certainly not a phrase that you would often associate with the older generation.
Landline telephones have been around for a considerable amount of time, and their reliability is still better than that of a mobile phone when you want to make a call. That being said, there are numerous disadvantages to owning a landline phone, too, the most obvious of which is the line rental fee that you have to pay to stay connected, regardless of whether you actually use your phone at all.
For seniors living in the UK, this just adds to the already high cost of living in many areas. According to Burnside’s press release, ‘four million people over 65 now live alone and 2 million are still living on less than 60% of the median UK income, after housing costs’. Clearly, cost matters.
So what’s the solution to this problem? Getting rid of the landline altogether, of course! In the past, mobile phone providers have tried to tempt the older market away from landline phones by offering mobile phones that have big buttons and easy to view screens, but as it turns out, people actually like the conventional telephone.
The Burnside Easy Answer II looks and feels just like a conventional phone. It’s designed to sit on a surface, not in your pocket, and the headset is corded to the main unit. The only difference is that it uses cellular GSM networks instead of traditional cabling.
The Easy Answer II offers people a traditional experience that they’re comfortable with, but adds a few modern extras in to the mix as well. Not many traditional landline phones have SMS functionality, but this device can send texts automatically if the user was to set up a call for help.
Using the GSM network, this phone is actually more equipped for elderly or disabled users to make a call for help than traditional nurse call systems. Using the optional pear bush accessory, which plugs in to the unit, the user will be able to raise an alarm or send a text from the phone in the event of an emergency.
Colin Aitken, Managing Director of Burnside Telecom commented: “The Burnside Easy Answer telephone series has seen tremendous success as a cost effective and flexible alternative to a conventional landline. The Burnside Easy Answer II builds on this innovative design, adding features and functionality that are applicable to customers in both the senior living and telecare markets.”
The only potential flaw in this product depends on how much the user actually wants to use it as a telephone. It may work very well as an assistive device, but if a lot of calls are being made, it would work out more expensive to do it over a GSM network than it would over the landline, even with line rental factored in.
Despite this, the Easy Answer II has the potential to be a decent product for an admittedly niche market. The only difficulty that Burnside faces is how to make people aware of a product such as this, and how to distribute it. There’s no doubt that some people would definitely appreciate the product, so hopefully it will do well in the market in the near future.