Phonoframes: A non digital gateway to digital technology

National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, IndiaIndia

Disrupting, Empowering, Engaging

Concept / Student


Vaibhav Vivek


I started the project with the motive to help my grandparents to be more fluent with technology during the pandemic and the outcome of that effort has resulted in a series of technological/cultural products. During my research with the demographic (65+ years of age, 1/8th of which were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease), I realized that the form of a smartphone that comes as intuitive to my generation is not very friendly to the elderly. The phone seems like a closed box to them with very few affordances visible to act upon. So, how can I make smartphone usage joyful for the elderly as it has become a necessity? (*Keywords: delightful visuals such as pictures of their young ones, and comfortable mediums for the elderly, desired smartphone actions)
Phonoframes offers a series of products that make smartphone actions more accessible to the elderly, by translating the interactions as per their mental models. Based on usage patterns/preferences of the elderly certain household artefacts and elderly intuitive mediums are made actionable. Rather than going through a complex procedure of steps or an overwhelming array of visual choices, the user can just touch their smartphones with a tangible photo(or photos that bring delight to them) placed in the artefact to perform an action. The two forms that resonated the most with the demographic were 1) a pocket diary/book and 2) a spiral calender/photoframe and hence were constructed as prototypes in as familiar build as possible with materials frequently used in household furniture.

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