Ocean Blue Software Plans to Launch Interactive TV System Targeted at the Elderly

Bristol, UK-based digital TV software provider, Ocean Blue Software, is developing an interactive TV system that would complement the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, with a range of services targeted at senior citizens. Dubbed Nexus TV and slated to begin trials early next year, the system is backed by a "growing consortium" of partners, the company claims. According to the company, the system will offer an audio EPG and menus (for the visually impaired); an interactive message board and other social networking features; tcommerce services; mechanisms for easy online access to local services such as taxi companies; and audio book downloads.

The system will also be specifically designed to address the medical needs of seniors, Ocean Blue says, with services such as alerts reminding viewers when they need to take their medications; access to information on doctors' office hours; access to NHS Direct, the interactive TV service of the UK's National Health Service; the ability to send photos of their medical symptoms to a doctor; and the ability to re-order prescription medications by scanning a barcode with the remote control. "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," Ocean Blue Software CEO, Ken Helps, said in a prepared statement. "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." (h/t Rapid TV News. [itvt] hopes to report on this story in more detail shortly.)