First of all, technology isn’t for everyone, but when it works and it isn’t too much trouble to operate, update, and maintain, tech can be a blessing rather than a curse. A universal TV remote, to me, is a prime example of a good idea that’s all too often much more trouble than it’s worth. If you hit the wrong button, which we have all done, how long does it take to get things right again?
Nevertheless, tech is here to stay, so let’s make the best of it. If you are shopping for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas present, here are a few ideas for gifts for yourself or for the senior in your life.
Roomba by iRobot: Okay, I’m finally catching up to this craze, and it appears that the technology has caught up with the idea. Do a little research on your own, and then decide for yourself which iRobot system works best for your lifestyle and budget. My wife and I live in a 2600 sq. ft. one floor home with carpet, tile, and hardwood. We are also home to two rescue cats and have busy lives both professionally and socially. But we always find time for a walk. We went all out and bought ourselves an i7+ Roomba because it’s nice to come home after a long walk to a vacuumed house. Even if you don’t want a Roomba but are looking to kill some time, do a Youtube search for cats and Roombas. Note: Roombas aren’t cheap, and the iRobot company does not allow retailers to honor discount coupons on some models; however, Lowes and Home Depot still honor the military discount, which, if you qualify, makes the sticker shock a little less shocking.
A Google Chromebook: My wife is a female version of Inspector Gadget; I have jokingly called her Inspector Gadgette. I mean, she loves tech. The nerdier the better. However, she gave up her top-of-the-line Apple Macbook Pro for a Google Samsung Chromebook and has never looked back. It was a third of the price of a new Apple but does everything she needs it to do. A Chromebook uses web-based software with most applications and documents living in the Cloud. Chromebooks are also very simple to use and far more intuitive than typical laptops. So, if you don’t need a laptop for work and are comfortable with cloud-based applications and storage, check into a Chromebook.
Portable Speakers: I’m not sure I remember life before portable speakers. Our kids introduced us to the idea with the gift of a Jambox Jawbone well over five years ago. The little Jambox is still amazingly useful, but since then the choices and quality have increased immensely. You can go from a simple $20 Amazon Alexa (the one that looks like a hockey puck) to something like a Bose Soundlink Revolve for a little over $250. There is so much in between as well as even higher-end systems with even more functionality. Whatever fits your needs, wants, and budget. Unfortunately, Jambox went out of business, but, as I said, there are lots of great choices on the market. Your best bet is to drop into a Best Buy or a similar electronics store to see, touch, and listen to a variety of speakers. We use ours our in the kitchen and on the back patio. Portable speakers not of the “home assistant” kind connect by Bluetooth easily to smart phones.
There you have it. Practical technology for the everyday user. Do a little research. Ask around. Shop around. And enjoy your new gadget.