New innovation aims to get people talking through their TVs
A new device has launched to connect people by turning any traditional television into a modern, two-way communication device. The new Sentab Set Top box focuses on simplicity and is aimed at an older generation who may not be familiar with new technology, instead being able to turn TVs into devices capable of making both audio and video calls.
UK based Sentab was founded by CEO Tarmo Pihl and Chairman Bernard Xavier. After both co-founders frequently had to travel for work commitments, they found it was difficult to stay connected with their family, especially their parents. The issue was compounded by the fact that their parents were not au fait with modern communication technology.
The pair had the idea to turn their parents’ TVs into simple and easy to use communication device that they already felt comfortable using. Focusing on simplicity, the new Set Top box allows many older adults to make and receive video or audio calls via their TV. Additionally, a Sentab App allows for more tech savvy family members to call their loved ones from laptops and both Android & Apple mobile devices.
Increasing social inclusion
There are 11.4 million people in Britain aged 65-years-old and above according to Age UK. A study conducted by Bluebird Care and the ‘Every Visit Counts’ campaign has shown that 1.3 million older people spend two months a year alone.
Sentab’s aim is to help older adults to enjoy social networking and communicate easily with their family at a low cost. With loneliness amongst older adults being identified as prevalent in the UK, the device hopes to create a social space for seniors and decrease social isolation.
Setab’s Dayle Rodriguez explained that with pictures and videos dominating online social interaction, social loneliness should be easier to combat using technology, but unfortunately is not the case.
Dayle commented: “Sentab as a concept is very close to me, I have a large extended family who, despite distance, are very close. We often use social media to connect and communicate. Unfortunately, my grandmother is unable to do so due to her inability to use tech. Sentab will enable her to be included.”
The company also identified another group that suffer from loneliness and are not engaged online after a meeting with the Digital TV Accessibility Working Group (DTG). There are 11 million disabled people in the UK, of which 33% have never used the internet, compared to just 8% of non-disabled people – a significant ‘digital divide’ of 25%. 
23% of disabled people feel lonely most days, rising to 38% for young disabled people, whilst 29% reported only being able to meet up with friends once a month or less, while 6% said they had no friends at all. 
The company says it wants to bridge this digital divide and sees the Sentab TV box as a positive step forward in achieving this goal.
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