Consumer Electronics Week took over the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC June 26 – 27, and Senior Planet was there, scoping out what’s new and searching for the products that best serve seniors. We asked three bloggers to name their “best in show.” Click here to read more about the award and here to see see all our Best in Show awards.
When Senior Planet asked me to join their small team of bloggers at the CE Week 2014 trade conference in New York City to write about interesting new consumer electronics products that are good for seniors, I jumped at the chance.
The two-day conference, organized by the Consumer Electronics Association, showcased 180 products to press and industry analysts, providing a glimpse of what might be popular for the upcoming back-to-school and holiday seasons. I made a shortlist of displays to visit the night before and researched some of those companies on the Internet. There were many products on display that would enhance the lives of seniors. Here are three that I found memorable.
PulseOn, a Finnish mobile wellness technology company, has developed a heart rate monitor (also called PulseOn) that is the size of an ordinary wristwatch. There are similar devices from other companies, but what sets PulseOn’s device apart is its stylish design (this might be the first heart rate monitor that you wouldn’t feel self-conscious about wearing to dinner at a fancy restaurant) and its ability to take readings through optical sensors on the back of the watch.
PulseOn measures include training effect, intensity, fitness level and calories burned and wirelessly transfers them to your smartphone for further analysis.
PulseOn is taking preorders now online for delivery in September 2014. The early buyer price is $169. Since this is the first product from a new company, I’ll be testing the device extensively in late July to check for accuracy, durability and battery life. Keep an eye on Senior Planet for my first impressions.
The Rocki Play is a battery-powered, palm sized wireless receiver that can pick up music broadcast over wifi from a freely downloadable app on your smartphone. Then you can play the music back through pre-Internet era speakers, stereo consoles and boom boxes. These traditional pieces of audio equipment just need to have RCA-style or 3.5mm phono sound input jacks for the adapter cables that come with the Rocki Play. You just plug the device into your old technology, and stream music to it that’s stored on your phone, tablet or computer. In the fall, Rocki Play will also be able to stream directly from music services such as Pandora, so that you can listen to your music over your high quality analog speakers instead of your low quality computer speakers.
While your kids or grandkids won’t likely recognize an 8-track tape or vinyl record, you’ll impress them by playing soulful digital music from your smartphone on audio equipment that was manufactured before they were born!
The Rocki Play is available now online for $49.
Finally, Tablift, a non-electronic gadget from nbryte appealed to a need I’ve always had for my iPad and other touch tablets.
Most people who own a tablet like the iPad spend some (or a lot) of their time using the tablet while reclining on a couch or in bed. It’s tiresome to hold your tablet with your hands for long periods of time in that position. Tablet stands are by and large designed to work on tables, though there are some specialized swing arm designs that clamp to a pole stand or your headboard and suspend the tablet over you.
The Tablift stand is a solid base from which sprout four flexible metal gooseneck legs. Your tablet is held firmly in one of the three angled slots in the base by a bungee cord hook. And that’s it. With the base positioned over your legs or chest, the two pairs of metal legs are bent down on either side of you to place your tablet in a hands-free position for viewing the screen. The stand also folds up neatly for travel.
The tablift will be shipping in a few weeks and can be preordered for $59.95 from nbryte’s web site.
Mike Lee advises the Chief Digital Officer at AARP on technology trends. Follow him on Twitter on @curiouslee.