This Elderly Communication Device Is So Easy To Use
If your parents are anything like mine, you’ve spent a fair bit of time looking into their ear on a video call which isn’t ideal! So we’re pleased to say that we’ve found out about an elderly communication device where there’s no risk of that happening. Let us introduce you to Komp, hands down the easiest way to video call with your parents.
This article was written in collaboration with Komp. We’ve seen the device in action and think it’s wonderful!
Komp Video Calling
The makers behind Komp, No Isolation, realised that older adults are often cut off from their families due to overcomplicated devices and digital barriers such as the need to remember passwords and use small screens that are touch sensitive. So they created a standalone device that lets you, family and friends easily call, message and send photos to your parent.
With Komp, the simple functionality is its USP. Reminiscent in looks of an old school TV with a 21 inch screen and one rotating button that controls on, off and the volume, it is intentionally easy to set up. Just plug the machine into the mains (it never needs charging), connect to WiFi or use the inbuilt 4G roaming sim and your parent is ready to chat!
That’s because a Komp will only receive, not make calls. If their Komp is switched on and you ring them, then they will get a countdown on-screen (set to 10 seconds but can be amended, for example if your parent needs longer to reach their device). If they’re happy to speak with you then the call will automatically start following the countdown, else they can switch it off.
And there’s no ‘can you hear me?’ questions when it comes to Komp video calling. The sound is designed to be loud, clear and powerful to accommodate anyone who is hard of hearing. This elderly communication device has an inbuilt microphone and full range speakers with a mean sound pressure of 88 decibels, and it can also sync with hearing aids for extra clarity.
As well as video calling, you can also use the Komp to send messages and photos to your mum and dad. They will appear as a carousel on the Komp screen when it’s on – it’s like a large scale digital photo frame in that sense, keeping them connected to you when apart.
It’s best to send them landscape so they appear full screen on the Komp (the same for video calls, turn your phone on its side). They will be very clear for your parent – a Komp screen has a brightness of 400 cd/m2, the optimum level for people with low vision.
How Do You Communicate With A Komp?
Using a Komp device isn’t just easy for your parent, but for you too! Everything is controlled by the Komp app (available for Apple and Android users). When you buy this easy technology, it comes with a keyword which the admin (you) enter on the app – this then connects you with your parent’s specific machine.
The app creates a private social network for your family, and admin can invite other users. This could be siblings, grandchildren, other relatives and friends – all they need to do is download the app. Once in, they can easily call your parent, upload their own images and get sending messages.
According to No Isolation, the creators of Komp, it’s a close split between messages and images sent, and calls made showing how people get involved with all ways to communicate. The app allows admins to invite or remove users so you are in control of your private social network.
Komp Is More Than A Conversation
Yes, Komp is a way to communicate, but it can also help keep your parent healthy and safe. One woman recently found out that her mother had fallen over – when there was no answer on her landline, she rang the Komp which automatically answered. Her mum was able to talk to her, let her know what had happened and an ambulance was shortly on its way.
A great tool for people with early stage dementia, you can also schedule messages to remind your parent of daily activities. If the home carer is coming at 2pm, or they need to take medication with lunch, these messages will pop up at the right time.
The Komp needs to fit in with your parent’s routine. If it’s in the living room and they’re having a nap, you can schedule it via the app to go to sleep mode. This means that the screen is off so the carousel of images doesn’t show and stimulate them, but calls can still be made.
Post pandemic, the impact of loneliness and isolation has been felt more widely than ever. Komp is here to bring us all back together, making sure seniors who are cut off by mainstream tech can be with their family. They’re not replacing human connection with digital solutions but ensuring everyone can still experience the vital human experience of being together with others.
Knowing all this, it’s no surprise that Komp won Nesta’s Smart Ageing Award in 2018 where it was noted that proper simplicity is hard to find. Komp goes to show we don’t always need all the bells and whistles!
Komp reviews are glowing too – here’s one from the app store: “Buying Komp for our partially sighted elderly mum who lives alone has been a game-changer. It’s easy for me to administer at a distance. Mum loves the video chats and the stream of family photos”.
Komp And Privacy
In line with their principle of warm technology (tech facilitating actual human contact), No Isolation have built privacy into Komp. Calls are end to end encrypted and no data is shared with third parties.
How Much Does Komp Cost?
There’s two ways to buy, all via the Komp website. Either buy it outright (from £599) or rent it from £39 per month for a minimum of three months. If your family wants to test it out, you could always start renting and then buy – this way you can get two month’s rent off the purchase price so there’s no risk.
How To Have A Good Video Call With Seniors
Here are some tips to video call success!
- Background noise. Make sure you’re somewhere quiet so there’s no distractions.
- Plan it! The best conversations are when both parties have time to chat.
- Make it purposeful. Video calling is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to interact, but kids aren’t always super engaged on them. Create an activity – maybe they could read a book or talk about a homework project together.
- Together, apart. Whilst you’re not in person together, act like you are! Arrange to eat dinner together, or speak straight after a TV programme so you can all discuss it.
Komp calls itself revolutionary tech for those who didn’t grow up with it, and that’s 100% what this elderly communication device is. It makes video calling accessible and puts them in control. It really is tech for better!