Assistive tech to help Norway deliver largest ever crowdsourced “Thank You” to a British WW2 vet
A Norwegian startup is helping the residents of the Scandinavian country say thank you to WWII veteran Kenneth Foster (pictured in 1945 & 2017) who helped liberate it from the nazis with an innovative assistive tech device In response to the cancellation of events on Friday 8th May commemorating the 75th anniversary of Norway’s liberation from Nazi occupation, the Scandinavian country is using technology in a bid to create the largest-ever (crowdsourced) expression of gratitude to a British military veteran of the campaign.
Kenneth Foster, 95, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, a Royal Navy veteran of the campaign to liberate Norway, has been gifted a KOMP (produced by Oslo-based tech startup, No Isolation ): a one-button computer more typically used to allow elderly people to receive images and video calls from family members.
In the run-up to the 75th anniversary of their nation’s liberation, the entire Norwegian population (5.3 million) is being invited to upload images (with text captions expressing greetings and thanks) and messages which will appear as part of a carousel display on Kenneth’s KOMP in his living room.
The device provides older people with an easy-to-use device designed to enable hi-res videos calls, photo messaging and more at the touch of a button KOMPs are manufactured near to the Norwegian coastal town of Stavanger, a location with particular significance to Kenneth’s war experience, as he was a wireless operator on HMS Viceroy which returned the exiled Prince Olav (later King Olav V) to the city in May 1945.
Karen Dolva, CEO and co-founder of No Isolation, creator of KOMP, commented: “We are grateful for the sacrifices made by Britons like Kenneth in helping liberate our country seventy-five years ago. We were proud to step-up and offer our KOMP technology as a means for Norwegians to digitally say thank you and ensure that the current health crisis does not result in Kenneth – or any of his generation – feeling that their sacrifices have been forgotten. Takk, Kenneth!”
At present, there are 3,300 KOMPs in homes across Europe, with more being rushed into production to meet the demand in response to the lockdown and need for self-isolation on the part of older people.
It comes as many seniors are precluded from using mainstream modern communication technology, both due to touchscreens not responding well to the dried-out fingers which age brings and due to the rapidly changing nature of digital innovation.
KOMP was created to overcome these challenges, says the company, with a simple single dial which, when switched on, allows the user to receive images, messages and video calls, thus allowing the elderly to be immersed in their family’s day-to-day lives.
The device has been designed to allow users to seamlessly receive messages, images and calls, rendering pre-existing or learnt digital skills unnecessary. By removing all usernames and...