Interactive TV for the young-at-heart

Rose Major

Technology usually targets the young but one UK company is developing an interactive digital TV service specifically targeting the elderly. Ocean Blue Software’s Nexus TV system plans to offer medical services, social networking and remote control barcode scanning for via-the-TV shopping and repeat prescription ordering.

Trials of the technology will start in early 2010 and Ocean Blue said it has set up a “growing consortium” of partners.

Medical benefits include automatic alerts reminding users which medication to take and when; repeat prescription ordering by scanning a barcode with the remote control and sending it to the pharmacist; sending photographs to clinicians for advice; links to doctors’ surgeries and NHS Direct.

Other services include a social networking service including an interactive message board; Freeview digital TV including talking TV guides and menus; downloadable audio books; access to local services such as taxi companies and food stores; and home shopping using barcodes scanned with the remote control.

Ken Helps, CEO of Ocean Blue Software said: “This is about exploiting technology to give the elderly and vulnerable every possible comfort and security where they most want it - in their own homes. At the same time, it addresses one of the greatest challenges for the British economy – how to finance support for an ageing population. Nexus TV offers a true win-win solution.”