One of the great things about working at Zipcar is the opportunity to hear about the pioneering work that our Zipcar for Business members are doing. We work closely with our members to ensure that they are getting the most from their membership; not only in terms of their transport needs but also in supporting their business. We’ve recently been made privy to an innovative new idea that could transform the lives of our elderly generation, and we felt compelled to share.
Meet Speakset, a socially responsible, disruptive tech start-up that allows older people to connect with their families and friends, by providing a piece of hardware that converts their TV to a video calling device. It’s really easy to use and is operated by a simple remote control. It arrives with contacts and settings pre-loaded so they can make their first call within minutes, and never miss important family moments again.
To get an understanding of the needs of our older generation, Speakset started by working with charities, doctors and carers and asked elderly people directly about their main problems. They found that all of them were affected by social isolation in some way and they decided to focus on combating loneliness in old age, by getting a disconnected generation online.
A lot of the elderly people were either technophobes or had physical problems, like arthritis, making it painful to use small tablets. However, they noticed that everyone could use a TV and the idea was born! The business community have been very supportive of their project and we at Zipcar are very proud to be enabling such positive work.
Co-founders Ewan, Adi and Matt are based all over the country, so when they are in London, they rely on Zipcar to transport all of their hardware prototypes to different trial users in care homes. Ewan tell us that using Zipcar “was not only a right laugh (we have some great pictures!) but also really influenced the way the business developed. We could, now having transport, test with loads of different users all over the place”.
What do you think about Speakset? Do you think your elderly relatives would benefit from this technology? Get commenting below.