Colonial Heights, VA (PRWEB) June 17, 2009
"Today the world starts changing for a huge number of senior citizens and their families."
So says Mark Gordon, president and CEO of firstSTREET, a national catalog and online marketing company whose products and services are focused on and directed to the "Baby Boomer and Beyond" market.
At the Boomer Venture Summit in Santa Clara, CA, firstSTREET and MyGait today unveiled a "failure-free and fear-free" computer especially conceived for and by seniors over an eight-year period of hands-on research at senior centers and assisted living communities around the country. The "designed for SENIORS GO Computer™" was developed down to the last detail, from its large-letter keyboard to its fool-proof operating system, to accommodate the needs and wishes of a demographic that has traditionally resisted the world of computers or had the hardest time accessing it. "And these are the very people," says Gordon, "who may well benefit most from email and Internet access."
10,000 seniors can't be wrong
To formulate this particular "GO" computer to meet those specific needs and many others, firstSTREET worked in cooperation with MyGait, a Houston-based computer services company that has provided turnkey computer services to senior communities since 2000.
"We know this is the computer that seniors want," says Jeff Hill, CEO at MyGait, "because its evolution has been based on trials and testing with more than 10,000 seniors who used it, critiqued it, challenged it and improved it. They wanted a computer that they couldn't crash or break, one that was completely logical and simple, that wouldn't confuse them, cost them their privacy or leave them vulnerable to viruses or unwanted email. Their suggestions were responsible for a number of special features, like a zoom that enlarges the screen up to 200 percent -- even for email and everything online. They favored a fingertip-controlled rollerball mouse, because it's easier on arthritic wrists and hands, and they wanted U.S.-based around-the-clock service availability."
Bud Myers, senior director of merchandising at firstSTREET, says firstSTREET searched for more than two years to find the right company to work with. "MyGait had already done so much of the research and development on this computer, and we quickly found that their company's dedication to solutions for an older demographic was very close to our own."
Hill says the greatest thrill has been watching seniors first approach the computer with doubt, then to witness the great joy of accomplishment when a grandchild returns an email message. "There are so many poignant stories of seniors connecting online for the first time with family members. And I'm always amazed at how quickly surfing the Web suddenly becomes a favorite pastime."
Just plug it in and "GO"
firstSTREET and MyGait executives agree that the two companies worked hard to ensure that everything about this computer is easy There's a large "GO" button that appears at the top of the screen, and a simple click transports the user to a variety of sites and applications, including a number that are especially useful to the older user such as Web sites for news or medical information, as well as games and other entertaining and brain-stimulating resources.
If a user gets confused while navigating around the system, there are green directional aids along the way, and the "GO" button is always the safe harbor -- easily re-accessible so that a user need not experience the sensation of being hopelessly lost that sometimes comes, for all generations, with traditional computers.
The problems of maintenance, spam, viruses and lost work -- other familiar plagues of the computer age--have been resolved by having safety, storage and repair issues handled remotely at MyGait, which monitors these computers 24/7. The user never has to worry about keeping the computer in tip-top condition because that is all handled at the remote site, as are any threats to security or safety.
"This is, in a way, the re-invention of computers to make them accessible to the elderly, so it's not exaggerating to say that this can be a life-changing product," says Hill. "Its ease of operation and maintenance-free system will enable those last holdouts against cyberspace technology -- the seniors who've never owned a computer before -- to come into the 21st century, to stay in touch with their families, to experience the satisfaction of mastering new skills, to enjoy a new independence and to gain access to a wealth of information, entertainment and communication."
firstSTREET is "Senior Approved" company
Gordon says that the designed for Seniors GO Computer is the most innovative product that firstSTREET has ever introduced. "And this company is the leading direct marketer of innovative products for boomers and beyond in the United States." Brands launched by firstSTREET include Jitterbug™ cell phone, TV Ears™ and Balanced Spectrum™ lights, all of which have been advertised heavily and successfully in major consumer magazines and other consumer channels.
firstSTREET was certified in 2008 as a "Senior Approved" business by Senior Approved Services, a national network of resources, products and services survey-endorsed by seniors and their families. FirstSTREET also maintains an association with the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University.
"We're clearly excited," says Myers, "and we're hoping a lot of members of the older generations, as well as their family members and caregivers, will give us a call to find out more about our computer or to order one." The company has set up a new number specifically for computer information and orders: 877-670-0737. You can also get more information about the designed for Seniors GO Computer at http://www.theGOcomputer.com.