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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 17:28 GMT
Mobile targets the 50+ generation
By Mark Ward
Technology correspondent, BBC News website

Emporia Life phone
A mobile phone with a built-in emergency button has been produced for elderly and older people.

The Life phone is aimed at those aged 50-plus who do not want a handset crammed with every possible feature.

Instead of a camera or music player it has a loud speaker tuned for those who are either partially sighted or use a hearing aid, a big screen and buttons.

On show at the Cebit hi-tech fair, the phone will go on sale around the world in May.

Created by Austrian firm Emporia the phone has been specifically developed for the older generation who find existing handsets too fiddly and complicated to use.

Very loud

The Life phone only has the most basic functions onboard and only lets its owners make and take calls, send and receive text messages or manage their directory of numbers.

The dualband Life phone can be programmed with up to five emergency numbers.

On the rear of the phone is a big red button that can be pressed in the event of an emergency and which will call one of the stored emergency numbers to summon aid.

Text messages that should be sent in the event of an emergency can also be created and stored on the handset.

The orange backlight for the 2.7in (6.8cm) monocolour screen has been chosen because it is easy to read for those with failing sight.

Volume on ringing tones and loudspeaker can also be set to be very loud to help the hard of hearing.

It also has an extra-strong vibration function to alert its owner that someone is calling.

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