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A Walk on the Wild Side (Showstoppers – CTIA Wireless)

I had the pleasure of attending what is the best pre-convention (CTIA Wireless) event in my professional life.  This was despite the simple fact that most of the products and information dealt with material that “is above my pay grade”.  The sales staff and representatives of the various products did an outstanding job of outlining to me the potential of their products and how they could improve my life and the use of my existing cell phone and other computer related items.

It is very difficult for Seniors (those who are 65+) to adapt to new products.  In almost every case the newer editions have many more features and the numbers or letters become smaller (as does the product).  My wife broke her cell phone.  Her new one is smaller, has smaller letters and numbers and lots more features that she will never use.  This does not mean progress should be stopped, but the market must realize that Seniors do not march forward to buy these new items.  Of course, they are made for the business people and are intended to make their lives easier by allowing them to multi-task 24/7 (or 31 as my grandchildren say).

The actual event was beautifully organized!  The food was outstanding, and the entire event was well staffed and fun to attend.  My hat is off to SHOWSTOPPERS for running an awesome “party”!  There were several products that should appeal to the Senior consumer!

The first is a company called FINDER!  With this product, at a reasonable price of approximately $99 (and the price shall come down) an individual will have no problem locating their car!  The range of this finder is more than half a mile which is far superior to the key chain finder many of us received with the purchase of a newer car.  Not only will it find your car in the parking lot of Wal-Mart or Costco but also in a parking garage of multiple floors.  Now that is awesome!  With a wife (and her husband) who never can find their car in the shopping center this invention is a miracle!  It is my intent to have the company send a representative to our Senior Community and demonstrate this product.  I cannot describe the technical issues, but the practical are undeniable.

The second is S MOBILE SYSTEMS program called “Parental Controls & Monitoring”.  This program, once installed in the cell phone of the youngster, allows the parent to supervise their activities by showing their activities on the parent’s computer screen. The parent can control locations gone to, messages sent and received and so much more.  This program will be useful to both parents and grandparents who are now increasingly in charge of their grandchildren.  This program will do much to take the appropriate steps to secure their child’s online mobile experience.  Again, the technology is beyond my skills.

A third company of interest to seniors is Otter.  They make cases for a variety of cell phones, I Pods, Blackberry’s,, and so on that can withstand almost everything other than war and famine – they are even working on a waterproof cover that can survive when the product falls in a swimming pool or sink.  To those of us who have had to replace expensive cell phones and so on, this product can be a life saver!

There were many more fascinating products that will appeal to the sales and business person but less likely to the Senior population.  Of course, there was one product that, among a ton of other information,  could tell you how far you are away from a gas station when gas runs out!  Yes, that could prove very useful!

Last, but certainly not least, the food was very good and in more than adequate supply.  The variety provided appeal to all the attendees.  Again, SHOWSTOPPERS outdid themselves and provided a great spread!

John Lustig, Sr. Feature Editor

Watch our coverage on TechTalk this Saturday!