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IBM Will Research Mobile Access For the Elderly, Illiterate

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Researchers at IBM Research India, India's National Institute of Design, and the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology are investigating a common, open source user interface for mobile devices that will ease their use by older or illiterate people. IBM Research India's Nitendra Rajput says the goal of the research is to uncover common points and differences in the response to IT by both the aged and the illiterate, and to develop a multimode interface that both groups can access.

Rajput notes that although voice would seem to be the most applicable technology for access to information on mobile phones for illiterate people, it may not be the optimal choice for communicating information such as statistical tables or pictorial data.

The researchers also are exploring other information accessibility options, including the use of images as an accessory to text and audio material.

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