A device trialed by B4RN’s ‘Computer Club’ to help older people stay connected has now come to the market.

Kraydel’s ‘Konnect’ uses a customer’s TV to make and receive video calls – it’s a “closed” system, meaning only loved ones or carers can contact the user on a secure network.

Lockdown, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has highlighted the importance of  quality video-calling to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

B4RN members are being given an exclusive offer to get a Konnect for just £279.99, which includes your first year’s subscription. The offer ends 31st January 2021. After that it will cost £14.99 a month, which is around the same price as many carelines, but they don’t have all the plus points of the video calls, monitoring/alerts, and future add ons.

If you would like one you can order one here.

More about Kraydel, the Konnect & our findings.

Kraydel’s ‘Konnect’ is a device which enables video streaming through your TV, which is particularly useful for older people who are not confident or comfortable with new technologies. There are multiple other uses, but digital inclusion for elders has been the main design goal.

With the equipment supplied you can make video calls through your own TV. It need not be a ‘smart’ TV, but does need an HDMI port and an internet connection. (This can be with an ethernet cable or by Wi-Fi).

The whole set up has been designed for older adults, with input by older adults in the trials to make sure it does what they want.

Not only can you make and receive high quality video calls, but you can also have family photos sent to it by family etc for your personal slideshow.
The remote control has only four buttons, working with an on-screen “Yes” / “No” interface. – The Hub with the camera is mounted on top of the TV and the Processing Unit connects the Hub to the TV via the supplied HDMI cable.
– You can use the Konnect app via smartphones, tablets, or PCs, so your family, friends or carers can call you from any device they own.
– Users are in a completely closed and secure network.
– Users (and their supporters / carers) can use Konnect to set alerts for care schedules, medication and doctor appointments.
– Learn more about Kraydel on their website.

B4RN & Kraydel

B4RN’s ‘Computer Club’ has had B4RN members trialing the Konnect for more than a year.

Kraydel is a UK start up company, and was formed by innovators who wanted to help their own families and designed the product for them.

Kraydel’s Adam Sutcliffe was initially invited to demonstrate the device to promote discussion around the ways technology is currently used for communication by residents and how a gigabit-capable connection contributes to the experience. (The research can be found here.)

They set up a prototype of their design in a scenario to test streaming from a group event to a single person at home, with the goal to test how people at home who couldn’t travel could be part of events, such as those held by Age UK, parish meetings or other community functions for example.

As a result of that session, B4RN Computer club & Kraydel partnered to test the video streaming technology in rural homes. All the feedback from the trialists was fed back to Kraydel who acted upon the suggestions to fine tune the product, and the club are now happy to endorse it.