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How to tech up your family in 2020

It’s not always easy to bring people into the 21st century, particularly grumpy fathers, but hopefully, this guide will help you along the way.

google family link
Image: Google

Being in a family of technophobes can be hard work. Whether it’s your dad forgetting to send an important email to you, or your girlfriend ignoring vital updates on the laptop you share, sometimes it’s enough to make you want to bang your head against a wall, repeatedly.

Fortunately, help is at hand. The end of the decade has seen the introduction of some of the handiest tech products in history, from bite-sized nanotechnology to self-folding yoga mats; it’s possible to find gadgets that will tech up every family member.

Here is a useful guide to some of the best that you can buy or recommend for your relatives as we hit the digital ‘20s:

For your dad/ brother

new apple ipad air and new ipad mini 2019
Image: Apple

iPad Mini 2019

Don’t be put off by the ‘mini’ nametag. This small but powerful device has an amazing array of features that puts many of its digital competitors to shame.

We all know about Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant that can advise you on everything right down to what color shoes to wear with your jeans, but this year’s model has its own iOS system, iPadOS.  This means that you’ll be getting something closer to a mini Mac than to a glorified iPhone, with its new improved markups and gesture controls. 

The brand spanking new iOS lets you use your iPad to its full potential: you can do some actual work and make quick interactive notes with the Apple Pencil and amazing iOS note-taking apps, play the latest mobile games, or even launch a mobile casino if you want. The new operating system really makes the iPad a much more useful device.

The one downside is its price. Just over $300 is a significant sum of money, but the iPad’s many features ensure that it still feels worth it.

For your Mom

ember mug
Image: Ember

Temperature Control Smart Mug | $129.95

There’s nothing worse than a cold cup of coffee. Well, there is – in fact, there are billions are things in the world that you could argue are worse. But if you want to save your dear old mother from this First World problem, then look no further. We reviewed this a while back and absolutely loved it. 

Ember’s Smart Mug actually gives you the power to control the temperature of your morning beverage; it even offers a suggested temperature according to the type of drink. 

While this might sound pretty high-tech for a parent, it’s actually super easy. Once the device is charged and paired with your Bluetooth, you set the temperature you want and the mug preserves your drink at that temperature. 

The mug itself is simple yet well crafted. With all the mechanisms are hidden safely inside, all your Mom will have to deal with is the power button on the bottom, and the gentle LED light on the outside. Its matte, black surface absorbs the heat of the contents, so there’s no danger of getting burned.

The one thing that sticks in the throat, pun intended, is the price. $130 is a lot to keep your hot drink warm, but I guess this sturdy container will last you a while. You can also buy a smaller 10oz. version for $80.

For your sister

casper glow light
Image: Casper

Casper’s Glow Light |$129.00

Did you know that it’s better to not have black-out curtains or blinds in your room? Apparently, your body needs the growing light of the day to wake up gradually, and in doing so it feels more refreshed.

Don’t just take my word for it; Casper’s Glow Lights agree. Each one is designed to emit a soft red light at the break of dawn, which gradually grows in brightness as day breaks. The opposite happens at night when it slowly dims and guides you into a restful sleep.

You can’t put a price on quality sleep: but you can set a price on this; roughly $130. So, if you love lights and you love sleep, then you probably won’t bat an eyelid at paying it.

For your nephew

bird scooters
Image: Bird

230 Foldable Kick Scooter | $159.99

You’re speeding down the street, the wind blowing through your hair, and about to pull a mean turn around a corner: OK, now it’s time to get off the Foldable Kick Scooter and give your nephew a go. It is his, after all.

But then, with an electric scooter like this, age is just a number. For such a lightweight machine, its max weight capacity is impressive, 265 pounds, which means even a large adult can have fun with it. 

However, its most impressive feature is its Easy-Folding Mechanism, allowing the rider to jump off and fold it up under their arm whenever they want. It comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to waste time setting it up, and its aluminum base means it’s well equipped to withstand any high-speed crashes, even if you aren’t.

It can be used on all types of terrain, even bumpy surfaces, but beware of its capacity to slide on wet or icy ground. It might be foldable but it’s not superhuman.

For your girlfriend

pivot smart yoga clothes
Image: Pivot

Fit Smart Yoga Mat | $89.95

So, your girlfriend’s into yoga? Well, she’s not the only one: it is quite the rage these days.

Why not help her along the way by pointing her in the direction of this hi-tech piece of kit? It’s called smart for a reason – it comes equipped with an Alexa-inspired training program that delivers Women’s Health’s daily workout and, perhaps more impressively, it rolls itself up perfectly – no strap required.

If comfort is a concern then this mat has that covered, too; it has a thick, cushioned surface while also retaining its lightweight feel. It also has an extra grip, so you don’t slip and slide all over the place.

For a yoga enthusiast, then the $90 price tag isn’t so extortionate when you consider this thing will last several years and possibly thousands of workouts. Plus, your girlfriend will never have to fold it.

So, best of luck on your tech mission! It’s not always easy to bring people into the 21st century, particularly grumpy fathers, but hopefully, this guide will help you along the way.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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