Sunday, January 04, 2015

Clarity - Plantronics brand producing senior products is relevant to special needs

After age 70 or so we are almost all “special needs”. By 80 cognitive decline, sensory issues, and memory loss puts the average adult firmly into the special needs category [1].

So aging boomers are great news for special needs young — there’s now a reasonably profitable marketplace to support products of interest to the special needs community. That’s why we’re seeing affordable monitoring tech (DropCam), tracking tech (Find, and Plantronics Clarity brand.

The Clarity brand markets amplification, but that’s a bit of a polite facade. The brand is really about simplification - amplification is relatively trivial. The E814CC cordless phone with answering machine is what most 75+ adults want. The Clarity “Pal” is a higher class version of the China-first Snapfon ezONE-C that worked well for my mother (though it’s not clear this is still sold).

The most interesting Clarity product is the Sempre “extra loud bluetooth speakerphone”, a member of the quickly emerging post-landline home phone product space. At $290 list this is a very expensive alternative to a $20 Cobra PhoneLynx (or $45 Xlink) and a $40 corded phone, but the BT914 is a reasonable alternative ($80 on Amazon).

It’s good to see these kinds of products emerge.

[1] By now we boomers know that “60 is the new 40” falls into the same category as “invest in gold”.