8 Best Video Call Devices for Seniors

10/5/2022

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Video calling is a helpful communication technique if you are far from your parents or an older relative. Seeing someone in person has the added advantage of allowing you to maintain a close eye on their environment and health, making it feel more intimate than a phone chat.

Video calls became much more common as a means of communication due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Apps like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, and Whatsapp can be used to make video calls on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. The fact that older generations are using technology and the internet more has been one benefit of the pandemic. However, learning how to use video chatting on the newest smartphones and laptops can still be challenging, especially for elderly persons who have dementia or other cognitive impairments.

As a result, we have seen the emergence of essential video calling tools created to assist those with little to no technical expertise, which is beneficial for interacting with elderly relatives. Continue reading to learn about our top video calling devices for seniors.

What do elderly video-calling gadgets do?

Even smartphones and tablets can be difficult for those of us who are less tech-savvy.Devices specifically designed for simple video communication with the elderly are known as video calling devices. Compared to apps or software on smartphones, tablets, or computers, video calling is simpler for older individuals.

ONSCREEN Spark

Using cutting-edge cloud and AI-based technology along with welcoming and accessible home technologies, ONSCREEN, Inc. is on a mission to assist family caregivers in ensuring a high quality of life for their older family members. The Spark, the company’s first offering, is a TV set-top-box that transforms most televisions into potent communication tools so that seniors can see their loved ones and maintain contact in life-size, high-quality video.

Seniors can use their TV to make calls to family members, take calls, and even join Zoom meetings. They can utilize the ONSCREEN software on an iOS or Android Smartphone or Tablet and activate the “Easy Mode” function, which completely simplifies the UI if they make the call.

The system can, if necessary, automatically answer a call if they are getting one.The abilities of the ONSCREEN Spark are:

  • High-definition video calls through the TV
  • Create “Favorites,” or family members, for simple call and call-receiving.
  • Option for an automatic response when Favorites call
  • Set times of day for the Senior to receive calls using an auto-answer schedule.
  • Ability to join Zoom meetings with calendar invitations
  • Zoom’s ability to start meetings
  • Senior can now make a video message for the family using the Daily Update tool.
  • QR code-based simple wifi setup

Cost:

  • $9.99 / month
  • Activation Fee of $19.99
  • A 45-day trial before the beginning of the subscription

Pros:

  • Enables senior citizens to use their TVs for large-screen video calls
  • Automatically turns on the TV, changes the source to the call, and then returns to the original source when the call is over.
  • Supports Zoom group calls and video calls
  • Incredibly reasonable and simple to begin with

Cons:

  • Since TVs must support HDMI-CEC, older TVs might not be compatible.
  • Installation could be challenging if the TV is fastened to a wall with bolts and the HDMI ports are far away.

Komp from No Isolation

A one-button computer with an app for family members to utilize, Komp is easier to use than any tablet or smartphone. Children, grandkids, and long-lost friends can share images, send notes, and make video calls to the person seeing Komp’s screen from their own device. Grandma or Grandpa just need to plug it in and turn it on to get 4G internet, which is as simple to set up as it is to use with Komp. Komp is a safe, private, and closed social network for the entire family because it was built with privacy and security in mind.

Key Features:

  • No touch screen, which older hands may find difficult to use
  • There is no need for manual updates, usernames, or passwords.
  • Large 21″ screen, crystal-clear audio, and built-in microphone
  • Requires no charge and connects to WiFi or a built-in 4G sim when plugged into the wall.
  • Stands can be placed on a wall.
  • The product serves only European markets.

Cost:

  • $50/month
  • Purchased outright for $500

Pros:

  • Very straightforward 
  • Supports 4G internet, making setup simple

Cons:

  • Inaccessible in the US
  • A little costly
  • It does not let logging into Zoom calls

ViewClix Smart Frame

Seniors can take advantage of live video calls, get fresh photos, and see sticky note reminders with ViewClix. ViewClix makes technology simpler, making it simpler for seniors and families to stay connected.

ViewClix makes technology simpler, making it simpler for seniors and families to stay connected. This is how:

  • ViewClix is always on and connected when not video chatting and displays images.
  • Seniors do not need to log in, create accounts, or remember passwords.
  • Seniors can receive a call without hitting a button due to auto-answer mode.
  • Family members operate the frames remotely, so they are hassle-free.

The system is built on a “smart picture frame” capable of all these incredible things. The brand focuses on the simplicity of use that seniors require and offers two sizes, 10″ and 15″.

The company is situated in Portland, Oregon, in the United States, and doesn’t appear to have investor investment. It was founded due to founders’ struggles in reaching their elderly parents.

Cost:

  • Version 10″ costs $199.
  • Version 15″ costs $299.
  • 30 days of risk-free use

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Seniors who choose the picture frame option can use the product even when it’s not in use.

Cons:

  • Possible large upfront expenses
  • Not compatible with Zoom group calls

GrandPad

GrandPad, one of the most well-liked senior devices on the market, offers a wide range of capabilities to support seniors in maintaining connections. One advantage is the option to make video calls to your senior using the tablet interface. Recently, the business added support for Zoom calls on tablets, enabling your elderly to take part in larger family virtual gatherings.

GrandPad users can easily participate in family calls, events like weddings and birthdays, webinars, local gatherings, and similar things from anywhere. GrandPad has tailored the experience so that your loved one will feel comfortable using video connections and participating comfortably in meetings.However, the Grandpad has the advantage of having a built-in 4G LTE internet connection, which eliminates any WiFi setup hassles.

The product is marketed in the US, UK, and Ireland. With $18 million in funding from investors and more than 80 staff, the company has the most impressive appearance of any operator in this market.

Cost:

  • Every month: $89 plus $29 for setup and shipping
  • $680 prepayment each year plus free setup and shipment per year

Pros:

  • Grandpad is an all-in-one tablet program designed with elderly in mind.
  • Supports Zoom group calls and video calls

CallGenie

Your relative’s TV can receive single or group video calls thanks to CallGenie. It was created exclusively with seniors in mind.

Like the ONSCREEN Spark, CallGenie uses the TV that seniors are accustomed to by utilizing a camera and a set-top box that are both directly hooked into the TV. Due to Skype’s widespread use, the service uses it to connect two parties. Simply call them on Skype, and their TV will instantly change to video mode and connect the call. The CallGenie will resume their TV show after the call has been terminated.

 The product’s sole goal is to make it simple to have a video chat. However, it’s unclear whether it allows auto-answer or whether the elder must do something to answer the call.The product only has European plugs and is sold in the UK and EU markets.

Cost:

  • For HD Webcam Version, around $520
  • Full-HD (1080p) Webcam Version costs around $574.

Pros:

  • Utilizes the big screen TV for video calls

Cons:

  • Technology appears to be new and basic.
  • Pricey 

Meta Portal

The Portal video calling solutions from Facebook, now Meta, first became available in 2018. The Portal, a 10″ picture frame device, and the Portal TV, a TV-based video calling device, are the two possibilities we’ll discuss in this article.

As a smart picture frame with built-in video calling features, the Portal is quite similar to the ViewClix Smart Frame.Both callers for video calls must have accounts with Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which may raise privacy concerns for some considering that both services are run by Facebook/Meta, which has a history of privacy problems.

The high-end camera that is used, which includes a “Smart Camera” feature that enables it to follow its subject around and keep them in frame as long as they remain inside the camera’s field of vision, is one of the product’s extremely pleasant features. While this enables callers and recipients to walk about, some elders may not find it useful because they may need to remain seated throughout the call. 

Additionally, all Portals offer AR (augmented reality) filters, which add masks and virtual backgrounds to the environment and make the call more entertaining. Again, they are not always helpful while speaking with elderly, but everyone enjoys wearing cat ears occasionally. The Portal TV uses the largest screen for video calls, similar to the ONSCREEN Spark and the CallGenie. It can connect to Zoom group calls and includes a high-quality camera with the Smart Camera feature. Additionally, this gadget supports Netflix apps, allowing you to view shows and operate it similarly to a Roku-style streaming box.

As is obvious, the Facebook Portal goods are not designed expressly for the senior market and are unlikely to be useful to seniors above the age of 75. However, younger elders between the ages of 65 and 70 might present a good option for visiting the grandchildren, especially if they aren’t concerned about Facebook’s potential effects on their privacy.

Cost:

  • Retails at $179, but is frequently discounted to as little as $79
  • Portal TV: Retails for $149 but often drops to as low as $99

Pros:

  • A dependable video calling network with high visual quality is available through Messenger and WhatsApp.
  • Supports group calls on Zoom.

Cons:

  • Facebook’s privacy concerns
  • Require a Messenger or WhatsApp account.

Amazon Echo Show

The Amazon Echo Show, which has a screen and is powered by Amazon’s Alexa speech recognition technology, is beneficial for seniors who have trouble using touch screens since it enables them to initiate video calls by directing Alexa to call someone. But it’s no secret that some seniors find it difficult to use the correct phrase structure and wake work when speaking to Alexa.

We advise older people to use the largest screen available on the Amazon Echo Show, which ranges in size from 5 inches to 10 inches. Only family and friends who also own an Echo device with a screen or the Alexa app on their phone can call you.For those who require it, the option to “drop in” to an Echo Show provides a hands-free experience.

Compared to the other video calling gadgets on this list, the Amazon Echo Show offers a wider range of capabilities. The Amazon Echo Show uses Alexa technology to provide your relative with the most recent news, play TV shows and movies, and respond to queries just like a regular Alexa.

This video calling device’s versatility may make it more suitable for elderly family members who are a little more tech-savvy, as the devices constantly prompt the elderly person for new and possibly unfamiliar experiences. It could be difficult to explain this technology to a less tech-savvy family member.

Cost:

  • 5” Screen: $84.99
  • 8” Screen: $129.99
  • 10” Screen: $249.99
  • 15” Screen: $249.99

Pros:

  • Excellent voice control features for video calls
  • Provides “Drop-In” functionality for hands-free answering
  • Can provide additional features for tech-savvy seniors.

Cons:

  • It can be too much if you only use it for video calls.
  • Setting it together cannot be easy.

Google Nest Hub Max

Like the Echo Show, the Google Nest Hub Max has a screen and voice commands that let users speak to the device and ask for features like initiating video calls. The software includes features for joining group meetings on Google Meet or Zoom and making group calls on Google Duo. If a senior uses digital calendars, they can quickly join a call to which they were invited, thanks to the calendar integration.

On its 10″ screen, the device, like the ViewClix picture frame, can display photo collections, the weather, and other potentially interesting information.

Due of its extensive features, much like the Echo Show, it can be too much for someone who struggles with technology. We advise locking down all other features if the Google Next Hub Max is being used as a video calling device for seniors so that they may continue to use it for their primary use, which is making video calls to their loved ones.

Cost:

  • $229
  • Finance with a 0% APR for 24 months is offered.

Pros:

  • One of the most recognized technological businesses in the world produces the high-quality Google Nest Hub Max.

Cons:

  • Given all the features, seniors might find it overwhelming.
  • Given Google’s ad-based business strategy, there might be privacy problems.
  • Making calls to/from those without Google Duo may be challenging.

Can Hotels Monitor Your Internet Activity? 

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Conclusion

Elderly video chatting on simple devices is typically simpler and more convenient than video calling on smartphones. This is so because smartphones usually offer more functions and demand higher technological expertise.

CallGenie is the greatest alternative if they have trouble using technology. It is the only gadget built for automatic answering, and you can have successful video calls with your relatives without them having to use technology. Additionally, it is more appropriate for those who have dementia.

 If they are more tech-savvy, you should consider the Meta Portal or the Amazon Echo Show, which have more features like Alexa and Spotify.