If you’re into reading about emerging tech, or just looking for gift ideas for mom and dad that go beyond a sleeve of flowers and tie then read about these simplistic and innovative technologies. Some are due to hit the market in the future while others are already out.
According to Accenture’s 2009 study about popular consumer electronics (CE) products and services usage Baby Boomers, or those born between 1946 - 1964, are embracing CE products and services approximately 20 times fasters than Generation Y (Accenture, 2009). With the highest amount of disposable income in comparison to other generations, these boomers are likely to invest in the future of popular CE as well. According to a 2009 Mintel report, Baby Boomers are interested in the quality of their relationships and like to invest in the future (Mintel, 2009).
Amazon Kindle 2
If Baby Boomers are looking to lighten their carrying load, convenience, and simply a relaxing read they should turn to the Amazon Kindle 2. The device allows users to store up to 1,500 books they can wirelessly purchase on the platform, onto their device. Users do not have to pay an ISP for the Internet service as well. Page turning, highlighting/underlining, searching, defining unknown words, and more are all unique capabilities of this device. The device has been touted as extremely intuitive and versatile in regards to file formats. Because the platform uses E-ink, it is not stressful on users’ eyes, unlike brightly lit devices like the iPad. Recently the platform added a feature allowing users to digitally share their books for up to 14 days with other Kindle owners, optimizing its wireless capabilities. (Biggs, 2009)
For Baby Boomers who are tired of their old alarm clock radios and wish they had a clock that could also tell them the weather, the latest news and sports scores, and play their favorite radio station the Chumby One is the answer. The touch screen device is suggested to be used by users’ bed sides, in the kitchens, or at their desks. It gets its current information by optimizing wireless internet. Applications, such as weather or podcasts, are all free. There are 1,500+ categorized applications to choose from. The device sells for $119 online. Users can access all their chosen applications while being outside of the world of spreadsheets and Word docs. (Chumby Industries, Inc., 2010)
Canon Cross Media Station
Baby Boomers are interested in the quality of their relationships, so to capture memories of the special people and events in their lives they can take photos or videos. However uploading and even charging the cameras or camcorders can get confusing. ‘Where does this chip go?’ ‘Oh no, I think this is the wrong cord to charge my camera, is that the uploading cord?’ Cannon has solved their customers’ problems with the development of the Cannon Cross Media Station. Simply set up to 3 Cannon cameras or camcorders onto the station and it will not only charge the cameras, but also upload them onto a television screen to view them or wirelessly share them others you know with the media station. (Sorrel, 2010)
As the Baby Boomer generation gets older the need for prescription medications becomes increasingly likely to keep their health at an optimum level. Unfortunately, many individuals forget to take their daily medications, on average costing approximately $290 billion in avoidable medical expenses. But what if the pill bottle itself would help remind people? This was David Rose’s idea when he came up with the reminding GlowCap that fits onto any standard pill bottle. The cap is wirelessly enabled with a modem inside that’s able to share with the pharmacy about use, lack thereof, or even if the prescription needs refilled. The cap identifies when anyone opens it, and if no one does both the nightlight on top of the cap and the cap itself release an escalating series of lights and sounds. If the individual still does not respond to the alarms then a pulsing tone is emitted, then a text message reminder. If none of the direct signals to the individual work, the modem within the cap can send an email to registered family and friends. (Singer, 2010)
3M Shoot ‘N Share Camcorder-Projector
If Baby Boomers don’t feel like caring a laptop and/or a sizable projector with them every time they want to immediately show off footage they just filmed to their family and friends that’s not on a tiny playback screen, they can invest in the 3M Shoot ‘N Share Camcorder-Projector. Just like its name says, you simply need to push the record button to film and then choose your view option, one of which would be to project a 640 x 480 pixel resolution onto 6 to 65 foot surface. It holds up to 20 hours of video on a micro SD card and no longer relies upon clunky cassettes. The battery is reachable. The MSRP for the device is $299. (3M, 2010)
Being the generation with the highest disposable income gives Baby Boomers the luxury of being able to enjoy entertainment products, such as cable TV. According to the previously mentioned Accenture study, between 2008 and 2009 there was a 36% increase in watching videos online by Baby Boomers (Accenture, 2009). With the rise of societal applications of the Internet, the usage is predicted to increase next year as well. To optimize both the television’s and Internet’s capabilities, Roku has developed a single box that streams high-speed internet sites, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and more, onto an intuitive interface on their television. All Baby Boomers need to do is buy the box, it connects with their high-speed wireless internet, and plug in the box to their television, just like a DVD player. You can use features like search, view social media feeds like Facebook Photos, and connect I/O devices such as cameras and MP# players with a USB connection to view their content as well. The device is 1 inch tall by 5 inches wide, and ranges from $59.99 to $99.99, with no extra monthly payments to Roku. (Roku, Inc, 2010)
3M. (2010). 3M Shoot n’ Share. Retrieved October 23, 2010, from 3M: http://www.3m.com/shootnshare/
Accenture. (2009). Popular Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage. Accenture.
Biggs, J. (2009, February 25). 10 reasons to buy a Kindle 2… and 10 reasons not to. Crunch Gear . San Fransco, CA, United States.
Chumby Industries, Inc. (2010). Chumby One. Retrieved October 23, 2010, from Chumby Store: https://store.chumby.com/
Mintel. (2009). Mass Affluent and Retirement. Mintel.
Roku, Inc. (2010). Roku, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from Roku Player: http://www.roku.com/roku-products
Singer, E. (2010, October 6). Message from a Pill Bottle. Technology Review . Cambridge, MA, United States.
Sorrel, C. (2010, October 13). Canon Media Station Downloads Photos, Charges Cameras Wirelessly. Wired: Gadget Lab . New York, NY, United States.