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Abracadabra – magnify

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Do you have trouble reading the tiny letters next to the numbers on your cell phone’s keyboard, making it difficult to send text messages? Can you see at a glance who is calling you when your cell phone rings, or when you want to read a message – or do you have to take off, put on or change your spectacles? With Du Pont Telecoms’ cheap cellphone magnifier, this will no longer be a problem.

What about those many thousands of South Africans who don’t have and can’t afford spectacles?

Now there’s a solution to this problem ‚ a mobile magnifier that improves the visual functionality of cell phones for people with less than 20/20 vision.

Local telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecoms has thrown its weight behind the widespread distribution of the mobile magnifier which was developed and patented by a South African optometrist Janice Schaffer.

The optically correct device can be fitted to almost every make or model cell phone. With its adjustable arm that moves the magnifier up and down as well as in and out, it enables users to magnify either the cell phone’s keyboard or display screen by up to four times without any distortion.

In addition, users can even extend the arm to move the magnifier away from the cell phone in order to read the small print for example, menus, classified ads or even medicine containers.

According to Du Pont Telecoms CEO Graeme Victor who is distributing the mobile magnifier to select retailers throughout South Africa including pharmacies, optometrists and cell phone outlets, the mobile magnifier is not intended for those who could be classified as ‚visually impaired.’

Rather, it’s for individuals who find it difficult to read small type comfortably – including the little letters next to the numbers on the cell phone keyboard.

‚In an ideal world where everyone had access to, could afford and was comfortable with sophisticated and expensive multi-focal spectacles there would be no need for the mobile magnifier. Unfortunately, in South Africa, there are thousands of people can’t even afford basic spectacles, let alone bi-focals or multi-focals. Yet most have cell phones and need to send and receive text messages,‚ Victor says.

The mobile magnifier is also aimed at people who use distance and reading glasses for different activities. ‚I’ve actually seen people take off their spectacles while driving in order to read an SMS or to see who is calling them when their phone rings – even if they are obeying the law by using a hands-free kit,‚ he adds.

‚With a mobile magnifier attached to their cell phone, they would simply have to pull out the adjustable arm and their problem would be solved.‚

According to Victor, once the mobile magnifier is attached to a cell phone, it should be treated with the same respect as a pair of spectacles in order to preserve it for as long as possible.

He explains that Du Pont decided to throw its weight behind the mobile magnifier as an exercise in social entrepreneurship.

‚While we are not in the business of cell phone distribution, our focus is very much in the realm of mobile telecommunications. We recognise the power of the cell phone as the primary means of telecommunications for millions of South Africans – and we are also aware that there are hundreds of thousands of those who cannot use their cell phones easily and effectively because they cannot see the keyboard or the display properly,‚ he explains.

‚By making the mobile magnifier readily available to them at an affordable price through a wide range of retail outlets including optometrists, pharmacies and cell phone outlets, we believe we will be helping to make a real difference to the lives of many, many people.‚

The mobile magnifier is available in select outlets at a recommended retail price of R100.

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