A self-funded hotline in Southern California is bringing the convenience of smartphone service into the homes of its less tech-savvy denizens. The simple two-step service, hilariously named GoGoGrandparent, is hoping to "extend the independence of older adults."
GoGoGrandparent aims to simplify online food, taxi and shopping services enjoyed by mobile users into an automated phone line and the result is spreading in popularity via positive word of mouth.
The start-up company's website claims that one call and the requisite button selection later can send an Uber directly to the user's home, while other numbered options for services such as meal orders, pharmaceutical and pet food deliveries are currently transferred to a human operator.
At the time of writing, the website lists that 608 callers have utlilised the on-demand service which is now available in "all major cities" across the US. Registered users are supplied with groceries from US companies such as Munchery and Postmates, with delivery service coming courtesy of Amazon Fresh, Instacart and Google Express.
Initially created as a one-off solution for Torrance (California) resident Betty Lou Luce by her grandson, Justin Boogaard, the 85-year-old has apparently touted the service to anyone that will listen. Boogaard explains that the idea stemmed from his own experience of modern service standards after Luce was hurt in an accident:
"Shortly after grandma lost her vision, she broke her leg," Boogaard told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I started looking into how expensive a caretaker would be (to help with groceries, odd jobs and transportation). The prices seemed unreasonable. I'm totally a child of the 21st century. I would rather just (use an app) to pay for the groceries and pay the $6 delivery charge. But of course grandma doesn't have access to those things. Now she does."
While GoGoGrandparent is designed for usage by older adults who are less familiar and/or comfortable with mobile touch-screens, there appears to be nothing stopping anyone from using the service, although I can't see millennials ditching their prized iOS and Android devices for an old-school hotline.
At the moment the fledgling service is only available in the US where it will continue to grow from its start-up status. IBTimesUK got in contact with GoGoGrandparent in the hope to find out whether there are plans to expand to the UK and other countries.