It seems like just yesterday that the first iPhones and Windows-supported computers were introduced. Technology is advancing at such a rate we can hardly keep up with the ramifications. If you or your older relatives and friends are being left behind in technology’s feverish expansion, you’re not alone.
Senior citizens are some of the last demographics to be introduced to new technology, and that can lead to problems. With the emergence of the internet and ever-expanding social media, older generations can feel left out of the tech community.
However, you can be part of the solution. A handful of intensive research studies show that senior citizens are generally open to learning and adopting new technology as it is produced . The key word here is learning. We can’t drop a smart device into someone’s lap and expect them to easily figure it out, when they are experiencing it for the first time. While generalizations would have us believe that seniors are adamant against rapid change, this is not actually the case.
Some of the most common technology limitations facing the senior demographic include sensory issues, small text sizes, and complicated instructions. We’re going to discuss seven gadgets that are perfect for seniors to help them interact with tech in the world around them.
Number 1: HP Tango printer
Printers can be complicated machines to operate, especially if they have small, hard-to-read screens. The HP Tango printer is HP’s first voice-activated smart home printer. As a smart printer, the HP Tango’s power comes from its interface with the HP Smart App and other applications like Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. The beauty of the HP Tango lies in its simplicity. No touch screens, no flip open scanning screens, and no bulky paper holders. But just what can the HP Tango do for a senior?
If you already have a smart device with the HP Smart App downloaded, your life just got a whole lot simpler. Whether it’s printing out medical documents, certificates, recipes, or photos, the wireless connection from the HP Tango to your smart device reduces overall clutter. If you need to scan or copy something, it’s as simple as taking a photo using the smart app. Most importantly, timeless memories can be printed out on high-quality borderless paper
. The HP Tango reduces the need to go digging through a computer hard drive for the documents you need to print, scan, fax, or copy.
Another helpful aspect about the HP Tango is its design. It is one of HP’s smallest consumer-focused printers and replacing the ink cartridges is as easy as opening up the top flap and popping the old ones out. Best of all, the smart app will walk you through every step of handling replacement cartridges and paper.
Pick your HP Tango printer:
Number 2: Ring doorbell
Getting up to see who’s at the door can be a tedious exercise, especially for people with limited mobility. The Ring is a video-equipped doorbell that allows the homeowner to see who’s at the door. Visitors push the button on the Ring, which alerts the owner to the visitor’s presence using the Ring app on their smart device. This device can be an iPad, smartphone, or PC. The owner can then switch on the video and enable two-way communication between them and the visitor. The Ring will be helpful in determining which trips to the front door are worth it and which can be saved for later.
The Ring app allows you to see and communicate with whoever is at the door even when you’re not home. If you need your package or mail delivered to a specific location around your house, Ring’s video and voice features ensure communication is clear-cut and smooth. Different Ring doorbells are available at a variety of prices and video resolutions. For seniors with sight or hearing issues, an upgraded doorbell may be just what they need to make trips around the house worth it.
Here are our favorite Ring doorbells:
Number 3: TP-LINK Smart WiFi light switch
Wouldn’t it be cool to connect lights, fans, and other appliances in your home? With the help of TP-LINK, now you can. The Smart WiFi switch by TP-LINK allows you to switch off fixtures wherever they may be in your house. Using a smart app, you can control which lights go on or off, even when you’re away from home.
What’s the benefit for seniors? The TP-LINK app will tell you which lights are on or off so you can ensure you’re not wasting energy. This app is compatible with Android, iOS, and Amazon Alexa, allowing even more flexibility with voice-activated commands. If turning off the lights via the app proves too tedious, you can set timers so the app will automatically turn off the lights, even if you’re not in the room.
Number 4: Reminder Rosie clock
As we age, our memory can get a little fuzzy. Reminder Rosie clocks are manufactured by MaxiAids and are a unique type of clock. These clocks allow you to set up to 25 personalized voice reminders for certain times. Whether it's time to take your pills, attend an appointment, mow the lawn, or go to bed, hearing a voice tell you to do so gives extra motivation. The Reminder Rosie clock can be beneficial to people of all ages, but especially those whose health and wellbeing may depend on remembering medications.
But Reminder Rosie doesn’t stop there. The clock factors in the large number of sensory and mobility limitations that seniors face. For those with sight issues, the clock displays large digital numbers on top of a voice message telling the owner what time it is. At full volume, this clock’s reminders could be heard from up to 100 feet away. Seniors with mobility issues can also rest easy since this clock can be operated almost entirely by voice commands, so they don’t need to constantly fumble with little buttons.
Check out Reminder Rosie clocks:
Number 5: HP Chromebook laptop
Some ask what’s the point of a PC if one already has a smartphone or tablet. While a majority of the time it may come down to personal preference, PCs do have a number of advantages over smart devices. For seniors especially, a beginner’s laptop enables access to the broader internet without hurting your wallet. Connecting with hobby groups, family, and friends has never been simpler.
What other perks do these reliable PCs provide? HP Chromebooks, available with 11-inch or 14-inch screens, come with an HP TrueVision HD Webcam. This webcam provides great clarity even in low light situations. Seniors who live far from their relatives will still be able to connect and interact with family. Both the 11-inch and 14-inch screens come in either HD or FHD (full high-definition) and create crisp, clear videos and images.
The low profile of these HP Chromebooks means seniors can accomplish tasks or access critical documents without much difficulty. PCs and desktops can prove to be endless mazes if the potential user isn’t thought of beforehand. Luckily for you or your loved one, HP Chromebooks offer a simple but effective computing experience.
Explore HP Chromebooks here:
- 11-inch HP Chromebook - Powered by an Intel® Celeron® processor with 4 GB of memory and a 11.6-inch diagonal HD display
- 14-inch HP Chromebook - Powered by an Intel Celeron processor with 8 GB of memory and a 14-inch diagonal HD touch display
Number 6: Neckband Bluetooth headsets
These curious-looking Bluetooth headsets are more than they appear at first. While they are not exactly the familiar over-the-head headphones, neither are they simple earbuds. It’s not agreed upon who exactly came up with the idea of neckband headsets, but more companies are jumping on the bandwagon every day. So why is that?
The design of neckband headsets almost eliminates the need for cables or wires. Most neckband headsets do have cables that link to the buds themselves, but they are not nearly as long as most in-ear headsets which reduces tangling – a real problem for those with dexterity issues.
The neckbands themselves aren’t just for show. These bands contain noise-cancelling software and in-line controls, the former of which gives it a distinct advantage over Bluetooth earbuds. This product is perfect for seniors (and their relatives who care for them) looking for a headset that’s easy to use, comfortable, and allows them to connect hands-free.
One of these neckband headphones might be right for you or your relative:
Number 7: Nest Secure Alarm System starter pack
If you live far away from your senior relative, you might be worried about their security. Fortunately, Google Nest is here to help. Nest is a comprehensive security system designed to eliminate loopholes in a home’s security. To prevent people you know from always being flagged by the alarm, Nest has a device that allows you to arm and disarm the device at will (in addition to the app). If you’ve got a pet that loves to explore, the system has a dog pass that will recognize it.
Gone are the days where your security system is always suspicious of people you know. Nest’s associated app will alert the user if there truly is suspicious activity even when you’re away from home. It will also remind you to arm the system if you’ve forgotten to. Nest’s setup does seem daunting at first, but once fully activated, Google Nest can be managed from a smart device app. The system comes with a couple of devices:
- Nest Guard - The primary hub arms the alarm and serves as a keypad for said alarm comes equipped with Google Assistant
- Nest Detect - A sensor for detecting movement near doors, windows, and rooms
- Nest Tag - A “key” of sorts that arms or disarms when placed near the Guard
Pick yours up today:
Holiday gift ideas for your special senior
It’s the season of gifting! These gadgets can be pretty pricey in the off-season, so take advantage of sales and specials while you can. One place to try is the HP Store. Get notifications of our weekly specials by signing up here
. And keep an eye out for special events like Black Friday sales in stores and Cyber Monday sales online.
About the Author: Tomas Zegarra is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tomas is an Idaho-based writer for the tech and outdoor industries. His writing has appeared in journals such as Memoir Mixtapes, Upland Optics, and The Prepper Journal. He also writes fiction and is always working on a new idea for a short story.