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Accelerate Cambridge startup launches videophone for the elderly to connect generations living apart.

Families today often find themselves spread across the world, relying on the Internet to communicate regularly via video phones or by Skype on a laptop. But this can be complicated for those who are not comfortable with technology, particularly the elderly.

SeeSpeak, a venture supported by Accelerate Cambridge at Cambridge Judge Business School, helps to solve this issue through a single-function tablet for making Skype video calls. Accelerate Cambridge is part of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge.

Over 10 million people in the UK are over age 65, and this is expected to increase by 50 per cent over the next 25 years with one third living alone. While some elderly people enjoy using video applications such as Skype to keep in touch with friends and family, “such technology is often too difficult to use for a large proportion of this demographic,” says Damian Helme, Founder of SeeSpeak.

Cambridge-based Damian designed the simple and intuitive software with his friends’ relatives in mind and he’s confident that it will make its users lives easier. “It takes minutes to set up and even less time to explain how to use,” he said.

It has easy-to-see large photos with names underneath, and with just one tap on the image the user instantly make a video call. And because the tablet has a single purpose there is no opportunity for the user to get lost in other apps.

Derek and Pat Brown of Cambridge were given a SeeSpeak tablet by their daughter enabling them to communicate easily with their grandchildren. Derek said: “SeeSpeak is a great way of opening new communications for the elderly without too much in the way of technical complications.”