Where's The RSS-To-Fax Machine?

from the for-the-elderly dept

Practically since the general public started accessing the internet, companies have tried selling stripped-down internet-enabled devices designed to perform one single task. Most recently, we saw a specialized printer, marketed at grandparents that could receive and print out photographs sent to them over the web. By far the most common of these devices, however, seems to be the email device. The thinking goes that there are a lot of, again, grandparents, not connected to the internet, who no longer receive letters, because everyone else is now sending email. And it doesn't seem to matter how many times this has been tried, companies are trying it again. One new attempt looks exactly like every other failed device before it. It's a one-way street, for one thing, meaning the recipient of the letter won't be able to write back, and it requires specific hardware, as well as an ongoing subscription to service. Meanwhile, another company is trying to solve the back and forth communications problem by using fax technology as a bridge. So for $239 for the device, and another $139 per year in service fees, the elderly can use fax machines to communicate with email. This seems ridiculously expensive, particularly on the service side. And are fax machines really the best way to bring communications to those uncomfortable with technology? Perhaps the biggest problem for these offerings, however, is that they're trying to tap a shrinking market. The number of elderly people who don't have access to the internet will only decline over time. Instead of these narrowly focused with small markets, why not focus on the broader goal, of making computers and the internet easier to use?

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2006 @ 10:42am

    #9, are you that lazy? i mean, you'd have to get up from your desk to pick up the printout of the PO that was mailed to you

    most most po's go through several people first. i know i write up one, give it to a secretary, then then type it up, give it back to me for approvial, i then give it back to the secretary, who then forwards it to the manager for approiaal, then back to the secretary for sending out. when something comes it, it goes to my physical mailbox, along with all of my other mail. one stop. bam, i have it all. actually, the secretaries come to my office when new po's arive, making it even better for me. either way, fax or scan, it's still the same process.

    and no matter if yo uuse electronic or physical copies for backup...it doesn't hurt to have the other type as well, incase of say fire for pysical or server failure for electronic.

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