KOMP, a one-button computer for seniors: Your Questions Answered

A picture of the KOMP device, the No Isolation logo is on the screen

KOMP is a one-button computer designed with and for older people from company No Isolation, which aims to reduce social isolation. We featured KOMP in one of our recent AbilityNet Live! series.

You can watch a recording of the webinar, which also included a presentation from GrandPad, a tablet for seniors. 

The webinar was well received with over 270 people registering and over half of those attending the webinar live. We had lots of questions and have answered them, below.

Thanks to webinar speaker George Howe for his swift responses.

KOMP, your questions answered

1. Do you have the ability to make icons larger for partially sighted people? 

I'm afraid the icons and text are fixed size, but our screen is very large.

For details of how to change settings in smartphones, tablets and computers, visit My Computer My Way.

2. So KOMP will not work on Wi-Fi? Many places in Cornwall do not have good 4G.

Yes, KOMP can connect to Wi-Fi? or 4G.

3. Hello, I didn't really understand how the 'one-button' works all these options on KOMP. Can you explain a little more? 

The KOMP itself is a receiving device, so just needs to be turned on, all the functions come from the family app or KOMP Pro software.

4. Is there an alternative access option such as switch access rather than having to press the button physically with your finger? 

It is a rotating button or 'knob' so nothing is pressed, like an old radio on/off dial.

For details of alternative input devices see AbilityNet's FREE factsheet

5. Is this [KOMP] being run out in Cornwall with health and care providers? 

Not currently no, but happy to have any discussions with interested parties.

6. Does your system allow remote relatives and their remote family members who are using your devices “split the screen” so that they can see each other remotely? If yes, can they then together watch a BBC television show or a YouTube, watching the TV or YouTube and seeing each other at the same time? 

I'm afraid there is no split-screen option, it is 1-2-1 video calls, only.

7. What captioning provision is available for hearing impaired users? 

Currently, there is not a captioning service, but might be something we can develop in the future.

8. Do you offer accessibility controls within the KOMP? 

For the user, it requires the button to be turned on. We don't have other specific controls but have a high-quality large screen and a powerful speaker.

9. Can you make calls out from the KOMP or is it just calls in?  

The KOMP device receives calls, only. 

10. Can these devices be used by aged relatives in the EU to connect with loved ones in the UK? We are unable to travel to visit older relatives abroad.

Yes, the KOMP can be used anywhere there is a plug and Wi-Fi, please contact us about shipping options. 

11. Can you shop online using the KOMP? 

KOMP does not support online shopping. 

12. Does KOMP have a help/support function built-in? 

Not directly from the KOMP no, but the app users and Pro users can access our support team 9-5 weekdays.

13. Can KOMP be set up so that the device sits on a table or bureau of an elderly person and the remote family member can “call” the elderly person, like an old-fashioned telephone, so that the elderly person can “answer” the device by tapping on it or pushing a button? Please discuss.  

Yes, the KOMP sits on a stable flat surface. Family members call via the app, and the call starts automatically after 10 seconds. The KOMP can be turned off during the countdown if they do not want to receive the call.

14. What software do family members need to communicate with KOMP?

Just the app, available on android phones or tablets or iPhone/iPads.

15. Can you explain how KOMP works e.g. if I send photos or call someone does the device talk out notifications? Is it easy for the user to make a call?

Photos and messages are displayed on the KOMP screen in a loop. There is no text-2-speech function, and the KOMP user can only receive calls.

16. Will there ever be software updates? - one of the problems of iPads etc - when they update software and the older user does not know how to deal with all various questions. 

All software updates are automatic, so there is nothing the KOMP user needs to worry about

17. Does KOMP have “storage” so that relatives can download to the device a video of a family picnic, birthday, child’s baptism, or trip, etc.? 

The Messages/photos remain on the KOMP for the desired time, but they can be downloaded by family members via the app.

18. Can KOMP users send messages to their family?

No, they can only receive. We tried to keep it very simple to reach the people with the most limited technical competence. As such we have not added any more complexities.

19. Can these devices be used when not plugged into an electrical outlet? If so, how long can a user of GrandPad and KOMP use the device before the battery power quits? How long does it take to recharge? 

KOMP requires power from the plug socket, there is no backup battery.

20. Is there a ‘two-way’ option for the KOMP? I.e., can the user message or call out? 

No, just receiving, if the user wants to video call, we suggest they telephone their relative and asked to be called on KOMP.

Watch AbilityNet's webinar on Keeping in touch with family and friends

21. Is the camera on the KOMP reasonably wide-angle? Will the older person normally hold it? (up the nose shots!)

It is quite a wide-angle, but KOMP is not a handheld device, it needs to sit on a stable flat surface as it is about 17 inches wide.

22. If KOMP is just a receiving device will it automatically switch on if the user has not switched it on when someone is trying to send info or call - so just like a phone will it ring? 

No, it won't turn on automatically, it needs to be turned on manually, and will only receive calls if it is turned. the family app will display if the KOMP is on/off, so they could telephone the KOMP user to ask them to turn it on.

23. Can GrandPad or KOMP use Skype or only their dedicated video apps? 

KOMP can only use its own video calling software.

Read AbilityNet's guide to hosting an accessible online meeting