I thought silver-surfers were one of the fastest rising 'netted sectors of society, but designer Ben Arent thinks there are technophobic grandparents who could do with a helping hand. His Jive system integrates hardware-based social networking gizmos with a simple router to make everything a bit simpler. The idea is that instead of using a mouse, you simply slot in a physical key to the "Betty" unit and it'll do the online status updating automatically for you.
The conceptual system starts with a simple one-touch router which gives free ADSL by having targeted 50+ advertising. Then the "Betty" unit is the comms core, with slots which you pop specialized keys into: a "friend key" means you could easily send a message to that person, for example. Those "friend" keys are given by individuals to their friends, providing a one-stop digital life database and controllable access via a registration website.
While it seems like a great design idea to allow tech-wary people to get online, Jive's got one major flaw that I can spot: not much can beat a real letter or a phone call to your older relatives. [Yanko design]