Whether you’re stuck at home because of a shelter-in-place order or you simply lack the mobility needed to visit with family members and friends, there is no reason you can’t stay well-connected to your loved ones.
Technology in recent years has come a long way in making stay-at-home connections easy than ever before. With a few clicks of your keyboard or the sound of your voice, you can now easily connect with your loved ones, even if you’re not technologically savvy.
Listed below are several different ways you can connect. For easier access, we’ve included links to all of our recommended hardware and software-based options.
There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of ZOOM in recent months. As an increasing number of people have been ordered to stay home, the platform has become a massive hit.
Zoom works by connecting users through their computers or smartphone. When invited to a Zoom meeting, simply following the provided link on your computer or smartphone.
Simply visit Zoom.com and at the top of the screen, you can choose to Join A Meeting or Host A Meeting.
Zoom offers the ability to chat with your loved ones using voice and video options, allowing you to put a face with your connections.
The free Zoom account allows you to host up to 100 people in a single meeting for up to 40 minutes in terms of group messaging. One-on-one Zoom calls offer unlimited time.
ViewClix is a picture frame with built-in video calling capabilities. Best of all, it was designed specifically for senior citizens.
That means the device is “out of the box” ready to use, allowing friends and family members to make calls with ease. Your connections can also send photos directly to your photo frame, allowing them to display in a slideshow-based format. ViewClix offers unlimited photo storage on their remote servers.
Anyone who downloads the ViewClix Smart-Frame app to their smartphone tablet, or computer, can communicate with the user once they are easily added to the user’s list of allowed connections.
ViewClix operates in a remote cloud which means less tech-savvy users can have a family member change device settings on their behalf.
ViewClix comes in several sizes and has excellent reviews. You can learn more about this device at viewclix.com
If your family members communicate with you through Facebook the company’s “Portal” hardware may be a simple solution for you.
Starting at $79 (at the time of publication), Facebook offers several all-in-one solutions that allow users to search through their contact lists while reaching out to family and friends with the push of a button.
If you already connect to your friends and family using WhatsApp, you can also reach out to those contacts using Portal. Portal hardware provides some nice added benefits, for example, voice-activated controls provided by Amazon Alexa, along with the ability to block webcam and/or voice access with the flip of a switch.
As an added bonus, you can stream your Facebook photos to your Portal device when not in use, creating a fun digital photo frame. You can view all the Portal options by clicking here: portal.facebook.com
Facebook’s Portal also has some fun features including augmented reality lenses and games you can play with other users. It’s okay if you don’t understand those features right away, they are easy to access and learn to use.
Much like ViewClix, the GrandPad solution is simple to operate and built for seniors.
What we love about GrandPad is the simplicity of the device. Featuring large, easy to read icons, and equipped with a stylus, users can make video and voice calls, take photos to share with their connections, and receive photos, all from a single device.
Just like ViewClix, this platform also allows users to connect with their senior family members using their smartphones, tablets, and computers. They can also help with device settings if any confusion arises.
It is important to note that GrandPad comes with a $40/month subscription plan and the device costs $250. However, you will also receive access to easy to play games along with weather reports and access to music, right from the device.
You can learn more at grandpad.netBack to home
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