70% age 70+ have “no interest” in hi-tech communication gadgets.

Thinking of getting grandma or grandpa a Kindle, iPad, iPhone or laptop so they can Skype or Facetime with the grandkids? Think again. Almost 70% of over 1,600 respondents 70+ years old said they had “no interest” in those devices in a survey conducted by Link•Age, a senior living think tank and trade association. Those percentages extrapolate to over 19 million Americans who are saying “meh” to tech.

70% age 70+ show "no interest" in tech

Link-to-SurveyBut why?
So many of us today can’t live without emailing, texting, chatting, instant messaging, Instagram-ing, Facebook-ing and mobile phoning 24/7. So why have the vast majority our grandparents, and even many parents opted out? Are they Luddites or technophobes? Are these members of society “afraid” of today’s techie world?

Is it them?
Remember, those who decided to say “no thanks” to today’s tech were the same ones who built America’s telephony and electric grid infrastructure. They successfully transitioned from a horse on the farm to an automobile on the interstate. In fact, they built the interstate. They were the ones who transitioned from sailing on ships to go abroad, to flying on planes around the globe. Oh, and by the way, they won two world wars while they were at it, building 2,700 Liberty Ships, 12,000 B17s, and 49,000 Sherman tanks along the way. Today we tend to think of microprocessors as representing the peak of technology in all of our fancy, pocketable gadgets. But don’t forget, our grandparents developed nuclear power and the atomic bomb, preserving our nation’s freedom in the process.

100 years of innovation

Is it us?
Could it be that the value of today’s tech-infused lifestyle hasn’t merely been overlooked by the GI Generation, but consciously passed over? Could it be that the modern tech learning curve is just too steep for those who retired before personal computers became de rigueur? Or is it that the cost and hassle to learn today’s technology has not proven to be important enough to those who were brought up with a different set of values?

What to do?
Should people force the issue by giving a computer, tablet or smartphone to a parent or grandparent who doesn’t want it, thereby wasting money and creating the need to provide “tech support.” Would it be better to have a method where extended family members could use the communication technologies of their choosing, while their parents or grandparents use the technology of their own choice? Is there a technology available that could manage the translation between these two different users?

Specially designed solution provides best of both worlds
What if you could tap out an email from your Android phone, or transmit a digital photo from an iPad, and have it arrive at your grandparent’s house in a few hours—even though your grandparents don’t have a computer or Internet service? How could this even be possible? Would octocopters pick up photos from an Amazon.com distribution center and drop them on your grandparent’s doorstep?

Presto Printing Mailbox

In 2006 (well before commercial drones) Hewlett-Packard developed a special printer that didn’t need a computer or Internet connection. It connects to a virtual computer in the “cloud” via the user’s existing telephone line. This cloud service provides an email address to subscribers and allows only approved senders to deliver messages and photos to the machine. It is almost like a high-resolution, full-color “fax machine,” except it doesn’t ring and instead autonomously dials out to retrieve mail five times a day.

The best kept secret
HP never promoted the printer or service themselves, possibly their focus was on other products. The cloud service company that invented the concept is Presto, which has been located in Silicon Valley since 2004 and has provided almost 500,000 family members with the ability to connect digitally with their offline loved ones.

Map of Presto users in the US

Map of Presto users in the U.S.

Sexy secret technology
These days, most people consider thumbprint-activated smartphones or paper-thin tablets to be “sexy.” But the sexiest technology is one that provides the highest value with a stellar user experience for everyone involved. HP and Presto’s solution is still the only one available that allows communicators to send how they wish—by email—and recipients to receive how they wish—by letter—without any incoming ringing, or need to touch any buttons or screens. An even more unique and “sexy” user-experience was discovered by HP and Presto during early field testing: users wanted to reply by telephone, not digitally. This allowed the machine to be much less complicated and less expensive than it would have been otherwise.

The need for this technology is great. The nearly 20 million Americans who’ve decided they have “no interest” in electronic communications gadgets don’t know they can connect digitally to family any other way.

Can This “Secret” Technology Help Someone In Your Family? Click Here >>


Presto “How To” #1: Signing Up for a Presto Mail Subscription

It is extremely easy to sign up for Presto Mail service, but first, here are a few important things to know:
• There are no “contracts” needed with Presto [ pricing ]
• Every Presto Mail subscription comes with a 60-day money back guarantee
• Presto was founded in 2004 and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau®
• If you have any questions, call us: [ contact info ]

Signing onto PrestoConnect

Two ways to sign up:
You can sign up for a Presto Mail service subscription separately or when you purchase the Presto Printing Mailbox, by…
1. Signing Up Online
2. Or calling us toll-free at 1 (800) 591-9827 between 6:30am–3:30pm, M–F

Helpful things to have before sign-up:
• Deciding upon a personal email address (i.e. betty.smith@presto.com)
• Knowing the phone number that the Presto Printing Mailbox will be connected to
• Being ready to choose a user name and password for online Account Manager access
• Having the email addresses of people you want to be able to authorize (or do this later)

What to do after sign-up:
The credit card you use to pay for the subscription won’t be charged until the Presto Printing Mailbox successfully connects to the Presto Mail service. It is helpful to do the following two things after you sign up for service:

1. Log into the PrestoConnect Account Manager web page and do the following:
• Select “Manage Preferences” and select an everyday template for mail printouts.
• While there, you can select the text size (i.e. medium, large, or larger)
• Next, go back to the home page and select “Manage Free Subscriptions
• Select any of the 15 free choices your mailbox user might enjoy (hint: favorites include The Best of Andy Rooney, Crossword, Jumble, and Sudoku).
• Go back to the home page, and while you’re at it, select “Manage Paid Subscriptions” and see if your user would enjoy any of the over 200 articles, comics, news or games/puzzles. Most are only $10/year and they provide great engagement all year long.

2. Send your first email:
Send an email with attached photo (i.e. maybe of the grandkids) to the Printing Mailbox which will print out after the welcome sheets when it is first plugged in. This has been proven to be the best way to show the value of Presto Mail to the person you bought the Printing Mailbox for.

Presto Mail printouts

That’s probably enough for now. See other Presto “How To” topics to learn how to get the most from your Presto Mail subscription.

Talking Tech With Your Elder Parents (infographic)

How are you at talking tech with your elder parents? If you’re like our subscribers who bought Presto for their mom or dad, you know they first came up with many different excuses for why they didn’t need to be digitally connected to the rest of the family. But we’ve heard hundreds of times that once these same avoiders bite the fruit of digital connection with their grandkids, they are hooked forever. The trick is how you approach the subject. Here is a visual guide for what excuses to expect, what they really mean, and what you can do about it. [ Click here for InfoGraphic ]

Talking Tech With Your Elder Parents (infographic)

( click to enlarge )