The old yuletide spirit may not be the most tech-friendly time of the year, and your grandparents also may not be the most tech-friendly bunch either. But in these fast-changing times, there is a gadget—or five, in our case—for everyone.
Some are not the most conventional gadgets for the so-called Greatest Generation, but with New Year’s Day right around the corner, perhaps a new attitude is in order. Some may be pricier than others, but we think they will make a huge difference in benefiting their daily routine.
Ring Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell ($200)
Doors are getting smarter nowadays, and one of the most intuitive smart door gadgets is Ring’s video doorbell. Whenever someone—like the mailman or the newest member of your family—comes up to the door, Ring will stream a video of them to your smartphones. It has a rechargeable battery, and it can be easily connected to the current doorbell in a matter of minutes.
Amazon Fire Stick ($40)
More Americans are going cableless and starting to stream their favorite movies or television shows. There are a growing number of streaming devices, from Apple TV to Roku—which provides Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and other services—but Amazon Fire Stick is the one we recommend for its very affordable $40 price tag and its tie-ins to Amazon Video. Diminutive when compared to to the Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick camouflages behind the television, and its tiny remote makes surfing for shows a very easy experience.
Samsung Gear VR ($100)
Recommending virtual reality, a technology that has not even caught on with teenagers, to elders might sound ridiculous. But the Samsung Gear VR is a cheap, fun gadget to allow your grandparents to catch up to the wonders of today’s technology. With a ton of games and videos like a simulation of walking on a beach available on the Samsung Gear VR, it is a low-effort, low-cost entertainment gadget for anyone in the family—as long as you use one of Samsung’s Galaxy phones.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler ($250)
If your grandparents are into gardening or have a large lawn, watering the grass or plants can be a hassle. With Rachio Smart Sprinkler, the sprinklers do all the work while keeping water conservation and the plant’s well-being in mind. For example, Rachio will not water the garden after a rain. Your grandparents will also be able to monitor water usage on their smartphones, making gardening much easier.
iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot ($450)
Your grandparents don’t have to throw out their backs vacuuming the house. Now, they can schedule the time they want the Roomba to eat up the dust bunnies, dropped food pieces and pet hairs. The Roomba's sensors allow it to adapt to various surfaces—from hardwood to carpet—without crashing into furniture, and so it is the most expensive gift in this list.