Just 5 is a new cellphone aimed at the market of people who want a simple, no-frills phone that can make calls and text. CNET has an article up about the phone that seems pretty skeptical about its intended markets, and I think I have to remain skeptical as well.
You see, the markets Just 5 is apparently targeting with this simple phone are "seniors, children, and the vision- and hearing-impaired" (from the CNET article). For seniors and children, they cite the ease of use of the phone. For the vision impaired, the phone has large buttons and a large contrasting screen. And for the hard of hearing? Well, the Just5 "is loud and clear, up to 100db" (from their website).
Now, I keep my phone's volume all the way up as it is, and yes, sometimes it's not loud enough. But a voice simply being louder is not enough for good communication. A voice must be clear. They say it's clear, but at 100 dB, how clear can a voice really be? Not to mention that repeated exposure to sounds over 85 dB can actually cause further hearing loss. I hope they have some mechanisms in place to avoid that. I mean, 100dB is how loud a freeway is.
I don't know. I'm deaf, and I would not want this phone. Not all people who have a hearing loss can get by simply with a louder phone or texting. I'm deaf, and I'm a geek, too. That means I want the latest and greatest tech - I want to be able to use Google Voice with my phone (which is why I'm drooling over an Android phone like the Droid), watch videos, and listen to music with my Bluetooth-enabled Streamer. I want cool stuff like the mobile VRS service announced at the NAD conference.
There are probably deaf people out there who want a no-frills phone and that's fine, but I question if simply making the phone louder can really fill that niche.