The number of people over 65 will double worldwide in the next four decades. In the U.S. alone, 80 million baby boomers will enter their 60s and 70s over the next 20 years.
That has many manufacturers seeing dollar signs, targeting the growing older crowd with offerings catering to aging boomers. They're coming up with some nifty products designed to make life easier in people's golden years - such as a little keychain with GPS to guide user you back to their cars!
BehyindTheBuy.comenior Editor David Gregg brought several such offerings to "The Early Show" Wednesday:
To make it easier for anybody to get out of a car: Deluxe Plastic Swivel Cushion
$25 @ www.amazon.com
David's take: The Deluxe Plastic Swivel Cushion offers extra support for your hips while preventing back and hip strain. The Deluxe Car Seat Cushion lets you turn around and shift your body 360 degrees with little effort.
Manufacturer's take: Getting in and out of a car or any seat (without arms) has gotten much easier thanks to The Deluxe Plastic Swivel Cushion. This device offers extra support for your hips while allows you to rotate 360 degrees so you can sit with minimal effort. This Orthopedic Chair cushion is comfortable and made with poly foam filling that is very light making it ideal to take with you anywhere or just keep it in your car. The swivel car seat was designed with a strong plastic and incorporates a non-skid base.
If you have problems keeping your medications on track: MedCenter Monthly Medication System with Reminder Alarm
$58 @ www.amazon.com
David's take: The MedCenter Monthly Medication System will make sure you will never miss your next dose of medicine thanks to its amazing system to keep you on track!
Manufactuer's take: Never forget your medications again with this e-pill reminder and organizer system. Works great for Vitamins too. 31 pill boxes (each pill box holds up to four (4) doses per day. Organize all your medications once a month. Improve patient compliance; clever indicator (red or green side up) helps the patient stay on track. Loud Four (4) Alarm Pill Timer (Alarm Clock type device) is included. Alarm timer auto resets every day at midnight. No monthly fees ever. Battery life is one (1) year (depends on how long the alarm has to sound before the patient takes her/his medications). Uses easy to replace 2 AA batteries.
For older folks who don't have computers or go online to stay connected: Presto Printing Mailbox
$100 @ www.presto.com; The Presto Mail service is either $14.99 per month, or $149.99 per year (cancelable at any time) Most Newsstand content is $9.99 for a year of deliveries. The DailySmile service is free with a paid Presto Mail service subscription
David's take: The Presto Printing Mailbox allows people who don't use a computer or the internet to receive email and digital photos!
Manufacturer's take: Presto allows people who don't use a computer or the Internet to receive email and digital photos. These messages and photos are printed out automatically, in full color on a special dedicated printer that automatically retrieves messages via a regular phone line and prints them out (at times specified during the set-up of the Presto printer). There is nothing the senior needs to do except pick up the printed messages, read and enjoy. There is also nothing new the emailers need to do. As long as they are on the approved senders list (this is how we prevent spam) they send an email to the Presto user just like they would to anyone else. The Presto DailySmile service lets approved senders tag photos in Facebook or upload from their computer to create a queue (kind of like Netflix). They can caption the photos, and let us know how often they would like one sent to the Presto user, anywhere from once per day to once per week. As long as there are photos in the queue, Presto will deliver them on the correct schedule. We've found this is a great way for grandkids to stay in touch with grandparents. Added bonus: it takes just a couple of minutes to set up several months worth of deliveries, so Grandma will think you're thinking of her often (even if that's not exactly the case!). The Presto DailySmile service is free with the Presto Mail subscription. Presto Newsstand - Offers approved senders the ability to send free puzzles, games and articles. Now, there is also a paid Newsstand service that offers a much wider variety of content. Anyone on the approved senders list can buy a subscription to these bite-sized articles, comics, news, etc. These subscriptions make great gifts and open up a whole new world of information and entertainment for the senior.
Another way of staying connected and framing photos without having to go online: Pandigital Photo Mail Digital Photo Frame
$130 @ www.pandigital.net
David's take: The Pandigital Photo Mail digital frame is capable of wirelessly receiving photos from anywhere in the world...no WIFI required...It uses a FREE cellular signal to receive photos from any pre-approved sender with a phone or computer!
Manufacturer's take: Pandigital's 8-inch digital photo frame has its own dedicated/built-in email address, so that you can give to family and friends and they can send photos directly to the frame -- no PC required. Once you receive the photos via email (thanks to a free wireless signal!), you can quickly accept/decline and view them. The frame holds 300 emails and still acts as a traditional digital photo frame and accepts photos from media cards, digital cameras or PCs (it stores a whopping 6400 photos) . Since the frame uses cellular service, there are no WiFi configurations to set up and worry about. There are also no ongoing service fees.
Keychain for when you get lost: Audiovox ECCO Keychain GPS Location Finder
$56 @ www.audiovox.com
David's take: Never forget where you parked your car again! The ECCO from Audiovox is a handy little keychain GPS that easily helps you find your way back to your car or other spots.
Manufacturer's take: The ECCO from Audiovox is a handy little keychain GPS that easily helps you find your way back to your car or other spots. Store up to three locked locations and you'll be guided by a simple interface to where you need to be. ECCO, the Personal GPS Locator is simple to use. Push the "lock" button to store your location and be on your way. When you are ready to return, push the "return" button and ECCO will guide you back to your saved location from as far away as 9,999 miles. ECCO can store up to three separate locations at the press of a button. Your stored locations remain in memory until replaced with a new locked position. The ECCO provides about 10 hours of typical use during active tracking, with 16 full days of power on standby. Charging the battery takes about 1.5 hours.
For the person who loses keys: Key Finder - Whistle Key Ring by Totes
$10 @ www.amazon.com
David's take: Can't find your keys? Just whistle and listen for the beep...The Key Finder Whistle Key Ring by Totes will lead you to them. Along with the beep an LED light located on the Key Finder will blink to help you see your keys.
Manufacturer's take: In a hurry and can't find your keys? Just whistle and listen for the beep which will lead you to them. Along with the beep a LED light located on the Key Finder will blink to help you see your keys. This is great if your keys are in a bag, on the floor, under the bed or in any other dark place! The beeping and blinking continues until you find your keys. When found, just turn it to off to cease the chirping. You can immediately turn it back on so that it remains in "find mode" for next time you misplace your keys. Features one large key ring able to accommodate lots of keys! The ring has been grooved to make putting keys on or taking them off easy to do. It is attached to the key finder by a pivoting link - no chain to get tangled! The LED light also acts as a mini flashlight when needed. Simply press a button and illuminate the light to help you find your way. The on/off feature of this Key Finder is great so that when you're in a movie theater or anywhere else that you need to keep silent you can switch it to off. This is an item everyone could use! Powered by two button cell batteries.
If you can't remember all of your passwords online: MyKey Mobile Password Key by TX Systems
$25 @ www.chipdrive.net
David's take: Finally! An Easy Way to Remember ALL of your Passwords! Sensitive information like passwords and personal information are stored on a smart card in a plug-in format.
Manufacturer's take: The new CHIPDRIVE MyKey was especially developed for notebook users to automatically and easily protect their privacy and sensitive data. Sensitive information like passwords and personal information are stored on a smart card in a plug-in format. Insert the handy CHIPDRIVE MyKey-Stick with the included CHIPDRIVE Masterkey 24k in any USB slot, enter your PIN - and you immediately have access to your data. Remove the stick from the USB slot again - and your sensitive data is promptly protected.
If you don't quite need a hearing aid, but wouldn't mind some help: RCA Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier
David's take: The Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier are sort of like "readers for your ears"...They don't require a doctor's prescription and are designed for consumers in need of amplified sound in certain situations, such as crowded restaurants, church and move theaters.
Manufacturer's take: Symphonix is the perfect hearing device for consumers that want to amplify their hearing in certain situations, such as crowded restaurants, church and movie theaters. Since it doesn't require a doctor's prescription, it can be compared to "Readers for your Ears" It's convenient to use and a highly affordable hearing solution.. Provides smooth amplification and background noise reduction. It's rechargeable and has a compact charging base - so there's no need to fiddle with tiny batteries that need to be changed.
Help if not only your hearing is hurting, but eyesight, as well: Plantronics D613 Loud Answering Machine/Big Button Cordless Phone
$61 @ www.officedepot.com or www.plantronics.com
David's take: The Plantronics Loud Answering Machine/Big Button Cordless Phone improves conversation by making words not only louder, but also clearer and easier to understand. With up to 30 decibels of amplification, this is a home phone well ideal for those with a severe hearing loss or low vision.
Manufacturer's take: The Plantronics Clarity D613 cordless Caller ID telephone, featuring Clarity Power technology, improves conversation by making words not only louder, but also clearer and easier to understand. With up to 30 decibels of amplification, the D613 is well featured and ideal for those with a severe hearing loss or low vision.
If you want your keyboard to be clearer: EZSee Large Print Computer Keyboard, by DC
$30 @ www.amazon.com
David's take: Big Keys Keyboard has been designed specifically for those with conditions that cause visual impairment or low vision, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts.
Manufacturer's take: Big Keys Keyboard has been designed specifically for those with conditions that cause visual impairment or low vision, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. This large print, big key keyboard is perfect for anyone who has a hard time seeing the existing commands on their keyboards. With a bigger and bolder black typeface on vividly bright yellow keys, the keys are easier to see. Additional keys (hot keys) have been added to the keyboard to allow for easier access to commonly used commands, such as searching and accessing email and the Internet and energy saving commands: wake and sleep, when you need to leave your computer on, but won't be using it. These big, bold keys will have you using the computer, with more accurate keystrokes for a more enjoyable time.
Splurge to make computing as easy as touching a screen: HP TouchSmart Computer
$680 & Up @ www.hp.com
David's take: HP's TouchSmart computer provides an experience/device that's easy to access and simple to use, particularly for the 50+ customers. Users access the apps and interact with the computer by directly touching the screen with their fingers!
Manufacturer's take: HP's TouchSmart computer provides an experience/device that's easy to access and simple to use, particularly for the 50+ customers. All-in-one form factor means only one cord to set-up and small footprint - fits into a smaller home and can be moved easily if needs be. TouchSmart PC breaks down isolation through collaboration (because screen can be shared/touched) - grandparents and grandchildren can use the PC together. TouchSmart Input - keyboard/mouse, touch and voice controls give the older demographic options to use the PC in a way that is best suited to their abilities. Makes TouchSmart a great product for a multi-generational home. The current TouchSmart 610 reclines - a benefit that helps individuals with bi, tri and multi-focal lenses adjust the screen so that they can see it better. Reclining capability also reduces arm strain. TouchSmart PCs feature Windows 7 which has built in ease of access features - on-screen keyboard, magnification, speech to text, adjust color contrast. Special software designed for the TouchSmart for use in a retirement community environment (can get more specific info here). HP has a call center with people who are trained and focused on helping older users, sensitive to what their needs are. Available in 20" and 23" screen versions