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Published: Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 11:42:04 AM

55-and-above age group gets smart with gadgets

SHE is 63 years old, uses a smartphone, tablet and laptop, and is active on social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Retiree Cheow Chin Wang (pic) has come a long way since 2007 when even logging on to the Internet using her home desktop required help from her husband or her son.

Cheow said: “I kept asking them for help until they told me to explore it on my own.”

Spurred to be independent, she then decided to take up computer classes with non-profit organisation RSVP Singapore – The Organisation of Senior Volunteers.

Now, the feisty grandmother of four competently uses an Acer laptop, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to check her e-mail and surf the Web. Even keeping in touch with her 34-year-old daughter, who works as an occupational therapist in London, has become a breeze.

She is among a growing group of older users of mobile devices who are becoming increasingly technology literate.

Data from a global mobile consumer survey report this month by professional services firm Deloitte revealed that smartphone penetration among those aged 55 and above in Singapore reached 65% of the 388 respondents in that age group.

The survey was conducted online between May and July and asked questions ranging from which mobile devices respondents have access to or own, to which devices they use to connect to the Internet.

Of the 11 developed countries in the survey – including the United States, France, and Japan – this figure is only second to South Korea.

To further reach out to more seniors, the Council for Third Age piloted an online portal and mobile app in October last year which features senior-related information such as health news and an events calendar.

Up till Nov 30 this year, it has been downloaded more than 3,600 times from the Apple App and Google Play stores. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: world

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