Working title: “Social Media Lite”


There are two types of elderly people who are excluded from the Internet: those who can't get online, and those who don't see the benefits of getting online. (Big generalisation:) The elderly hate new technology, but they LOVE new photographs.

So we're proposing the "Social Media Lite", a digital photo frame that you buy your Nan for Christmas. What Nan doesn't know is that you've connected "Social Media Lite" to the facebook accounts of members of her family. When Nan turns on the photo frame, she will immediately start viewing all of her family's latest photos from Facebook, she won't miss out when your cousin posts all of her wedding photos on Facebook.

As far Nan is concerned she's been given a magical photo frame. She doesn't have to understand what the Internet or Facebook is. She can navigate around your social media content in a context - photos - that are familiar to her. It's easy for Nan because there is no commitment on her side.

The prototype we built uses gestures to navigate between photos, so Nan swipes left and right. If Nan swipes down, the latest facebook comments of the family members that are in the photo will appear at the bottom of the screen. Nan can now see the conversations that are taking place online (This actually works in the prototype we built). Nan now knows what is happening to everyone on a daily basis, and she will be able to actively ask you questions about topics that she knows are happening in your life right now.

When Nan asks how she can post messages for you to read, this is when you introduce her to the Internet. Without realizing it, Nan has now found a need for the Internet.

Photos and video of the working prototype to come.

Ideas for taking this project forward

Ideally we'd prototype a more stable solution, then pitch it at companies with the resources to take it further - mobile phone providers would make sense.

Estimated costs for taking this project forward

Depends on what we'd need to be able to pitch it. I'd suggest a facebook app to link it to and an Adobe Air client which we could then run on many devices. A few weeks of developer time.

Cost of full production would be large and probably require a partnership with a company familiar with distributing hardware (e.g. mobile phone provider)

About the data used for this project

Project URL:

Created at

DotGovLabs Developer Weekend

Flickr Photos

Add photos by tagging them with rewiredstate:project="working-title-social-media-lite"