A Mix of Functional and Fashionable Tech Gift Ideas for the Parents and Grandparents

2012 Apartment Therapy Tech Gift Guide

Shopping for home technology is easy when the recipient is as obsessed with higher capacity data storage, the latest in wireless solutions, and upgrading to the latest devices as you are. But sometimes the recipient aren't quite as interested or invested in the latest and greatest, but might still benefit with some thoughtful technologies to make their lives easier, especially if that someone is your parents or grandparents...

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eReaders: If you come from a family of readers, help them save a little space and lighten their load with an eReader. The Kindle has always been a favorite with my family, largely due to the screen quality, which is easier on older eyes. The most basic Kindle is $69.

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Native Union Pop Plug-in Handset: Some people never get used to talking on tiny phones. This plug in handset gives your recipient something solid to hold on to. Corded handsets start at $35.

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Telikin Touchscreen Computer: If your grandmother or grandfather want to get on the web, but don't know how to start, check out the Telikin Touchscreen Computer. The 18" touchscreen allows you to set up a custom interface, so if your granny loves email and your Facebook photo albums, each can be their own home screen buttons. The Telikin Touch starts at $699.

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Netflix Subscription: I love a gift that you can share. Sign up your family member for Netflix, perhaps even pay for the whole year, and then enjoy a movie or two together over the holidays. Plans range from $7.99 to $22.99 depending on the service.

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Bluetooth Wireless Mouse: Wires and cords are universally annoying, no matter your age. There is one caveat to this gift: promise to hook up this Bluetooth device before you leave home. Most highly rated mice like the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse or the Logitech Touch Mouse range in the ballpark of $40-$60.

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Bose noise cancelling headphones: If you have a family member who travels frequently, there really is no better gift. These headphones are miraculous when it comes to reducing noise on airplanes and last forever. The headphones start at $299.

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Your Minder Personal Alarm Clock:If you have a senior in your family who takes multiple medications each day, the Your Minder allows you to store up to 6 pre-recorded, customized alarm messages. Set them for when each medicine should be taken and your loved one will never forget to take their pills again. Currently available for $35.49.

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Michael Kors laptop tote: My mom is always looking to reduce the number of bags she has to carry. With the Michael Kors laptop totes, she gets a chic purse and a secure, padded work bag too. Totes range from $249 to $299 depending on size and color.

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Shutterfly gift card: Parents and grandparents love pictures of their kids and grandkids. Plus, this is another gift that gives year round.

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Sonic Alert Amplified Phone:With age comes hearing issues. Add in interference from cell phones and you are bound to drive your grandparents nutty when you call. The Sonic Alert has volume control up to +45 decibels and is also hearing ad compatible, which is a nice feature for those who need additional hearing assistance. The receiving tone can also be turned up an additional 10 decibels over standard phones and has a flashing light that accompanies incoming calls. The Sonic Alert is currently on sale for $74.16.

(Images: as linked above)

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Liz is a writer and filmmaker from Minneapolis. She was nominated for a Webby and won an Emmy for Science of Watchmen, a documentary short about the physics in the comic book movie. She’s a tech obsessive, verified nerd and total Anglophile.