I remember once getting a call at 3am from my grandmother needing help with her printer. After the initial heart attack of getting middle of the night call from back home I realized that A) grandma had forgotten about the time zone difference between Western Canada and Ireland and B) she’s still under the impression that the internet is mostly some form of unseen magical force in which I could easily fix her (offline and ancient) printer from the comfort of my phone in Europe.
Fair enough, every generation finds new tech strange as it develops - some older people have completely embraced new technology and use it to simplify their lives. Others seem eager to help suffering Nigerian royalty move money because an email looked ‘official-ish’.
Then some, like my Grandfather, are so uncomfortable with new technology that he panics and it renders the tech useless. Having a video call with my grandfather was an exercise in extreme patience. He couldn’t find it. He hadn’t charged it. Somebody moved the charger on him. Once he was able to answer the call by touching the screen to accept it we would go into a good 5 minute cycle of him holding the camera to the ceiling, struggling to adjust the volume, him yelling at the iPad in case I couldn’t hear him and the kids getting a good look right up his nose. He would then cut the call short, say his ‘love you’s’ and turn off the iPad, backing away from it as though it had bitten him.
He found it overwhelming. He had to hold it, position it, keep it in that position, it had to be charged, he had to turn it on and use a separate app to call us or answer a call from us. He was worried that the iPad would run out of battery, he was worried that it was costing us a fortune to call him like this -
But mostly he was worried that we were finding the interaction as stressful as he was, and he didn’t want to put us through that.
So if he found using a simple, straightforward tablet or smartphone that difficult and stressful, how could he possibly use a robot like Mylo?
Here’s the thing - he doesn’t really have to. You use Mylo and he just interacts with it.
Mylo is designed with my grandfather in mind - you don’t need to touch the screen, select options or use different apps. Mylo is just there, ready and fully accessible by simple voice command. No finding, holding up or positioning iPads. No complicated apps to navigate. No touchscreen not responding if grandma uses her fingernail instead of her finger pad.
So even if you can’t work out how to use a smartphone or a tablet - this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a tech solution available to you. A hands free solution like Mylo might be right up your alley.
And for what it’s worth, Mylo makes an excellent dinner companion.