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What did you say? Fujitsu slows down speech on phones

October 8, 2009
There’s no need to ever ask anyone to speak more slowly again — at least that’s the promise of Fujitsu software demonstrated at the ITU World telecoms conference.

Elderly, hearing impaired people are the new cool generation as a largely untapped business opportunity.

The market is growing each year as people live longer and phone penetration among senior citizens is nowhere near 100 percent.

Companies like Fujitsu want to change that and are tackling the main obstacles that have kept seniors from becoming technophiles — tiny keypads, sound quality and people just speaking too darn fast.

Emporia Telecom from Austria is one company that has started to design phones for the elderly with larger keypads and simplified usage but Fujitsu promises to go to the heart of the matter, the spoken word, by using a new software in phones that slows down the speed of speech by up to 20 percent — spreading the sound digitally over longer periods, and filling the breathing gaps.

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