Technology has always been in constant flux, but the rapid proliferation of digital devices and technological innovations experienced today wasn't always the reality. Baby boomers didn't grow up with the same electronics, gadgets and tools that younger generations take for granted. In fact, they grew up with very little technology at all. Boomers tend to look at younger generations as frivolous, demanding and unworthy of envy, but inventions may be the exception to that rule.
Many new devices that have popped up over the years are useful and downright impressive, and boomers are more than a little jealous that millennials and Gen Z have always had them. Let's take a look at some of the recent life-changing inventions boomers wish they could have had when they were young.
Lifelike Robotic Pets
Even for the most devoted animal lover, it’s not always practical or possible to own a pet. Perhaps you're allergic or you have physical limitations that prevent you from properly caring for a pet. Everyone can enjoy the benefits of a furry companion, thanks to the invention of animatronic dogs and cats.
Solar-Charged and Special Jackets
Finding the perfect jacket can be difficult, but thanks to some new jacket technology, staying comfortable (and safe) outside just got a whole lot easier. Vollebak, a sports gear startup based in the United Kingdom, created the Solar-Charged Jacket. This piece of clothing features a phosphorescent membrane that absorbs light during the day and then glows green in the dark.
Snoring has long been one of the most irritating — and extremely common — types of sleep disturbances. Whether you're waking yourself or others up at night or you’re unable to fall asleep because of someone else's snoring, restricted airflow can be quite a nuisance. Thanks to Snore Circle, this doesn't have to be much of an issue anymore.
ThePhotoStick for Photo Backup
Long gone are the days when collections of family photos had to be organized into physical photo albums. However, we now face thousands of photos and videos accumulating on our computers and smartphones with no efficient method for sorting or exporting them to share with loved ones.
The Roomba has been around for quite a few years now. Having a robotic vacuum is certainly helpful for cleaning efficiency, but it really only picks up the visible dust and dirt. What about all the bacteria we can't actually see?
Whether it's from being on your feet all day or just general aches and pains, swollen feet are no joke. Compression socks have been around for a while as a helpful treatment for aching feet, but now we have access to a technologically advanced version in the form of Dr. Sock Soothers.
Neck pain is an issue that affects a wide range of people, especially as they get older. Between sore, stiff muscles and bothersome pinched nerves, a host of ailments can lead to pain and discomfort of the neck. Until recently, the most common methods of treatment were medication, topical rubs and braces.
Liquid Plastic Welders
You probably remember a time when your father swore that duct tape could fix anything. If not, super glue was the next best option. Whether it was a broken vase or a cracked pipe, a little adhesive could fix almost anything, right?
Fitbits and other types of smart wearables have become incredibly popular over the past few years. While some people swear by the digital gadgets for tracking their health, others prefer their traditional wristband watches. However, they no longer have to sacrifice their beloved analog watches for trendy devices.
Only those who suffer from migraines can truly understand the pain, discomfort and inconvenience of sudden episodes. Thanks to recent technological innovation, it might not be necessary to hide in a dark room every time you feel a painful migraine coming on.
If you make anything float, it's sure to cause quite a sensation, especially when it has to do with electricity. One of the biggest recent inventions to hit the market is a levitating lightbulb that uses electromagnetic induction to work.
If you're sick of seeing just your own reflection in the mirror, now you can use the mirror to browse Instagram or other apps at the same time. An invention appropriately titled the Savvy Smart mirror can be used for so much more than checking your appearance in the morning.
Smart Sticky Note Printer
If you or someone you know is a fan of handwritten notes and lists, sticky notes are a staple. While some people rely on their smartphone's notepads to jot down important thoughts and reminders, many others still prefer tangible paper. But what if you could have the best of both worlds?
Vehicle Diagnosis Dashboard Device
No matter how old you are, car malfunctions are always stressful. Many people dread trips to the mechanic, worrying about getting scammed or overpaying for something that wasn’t even necessary. The problem is that unless you're experienced with cars, it's hard to know whether you're being duped or not.
Everyone needs to take a little time for themselves occasionally. In today's busy, bustling environment, we're constantly inundated with advertisements and constantly connected through our digital devices, which can make unplugging seem impossible.
Anyone who wears glasses can attest to the never-ending struggle of trying to keep them clean. The tried and true method has always been to blow some hot breath on them and wipe them down with a handy cloth material — often the shirt you're wearing. Is this method effective? Not always.
Safekeeping for Keys
Keeping track of your keys can be a hassle. This is especially true when you have enough keys to pass for a janitor. You have to waste an unnecessary amount of time sorting through the various keys before finding the right one, not to mention the discomfort of all that bulkiness in your purse or pocket.
Super Boost Wi-Fi
We live in a world where digital connectivity is now an expectation, rather than a luxury. So, when we're trying to browse the internet in certain areas of our home and only get a weak Wi-Fi signal — or worse, no signal at all! — it can be quite frustrating.
Holograph Car Assistant
Remember when people relied on paper maps as navigation tools when driving? GPS and built-in navigation systems have long eradicated the need for those impractical paper directions. However, car information systems distracting us from the road is a newer problem that will soon be a worry of the past.
Advanced Hearing Aid
Hearing aids have long been useful devices that allow people to hear better. However, new hearing aid technology produced by Starkey Hearing Technologies takes "assistive hearing" to a whole new level. With the company’s innovative "talking" hearing aids, users get so much more than better hearing.
Anyone with a visual impairment like dyslexia understands the complexity of trying to navigate the world from a distorted or downright veiled view. Thanks to artificial intelligence, interpreting and interacting with the world can be just a little bit easier with the OrCam MyEye 2 device.
Live-In Doctor Device
Telemedicine has made major waves over the years as medical and technological advancements made accessing and receiving healthcare and treatment offsite easier than ever. Among the latest inventions that could be a game-changer for boomers is the TytoHome system.
Part of the appeal of going to the barber shop to get a haircut and shave is the relaxing, luxurious treatment you get while you’re there. Gillette is attempting to mimic that type of experience with its new heated razor. The grooming tool is capable of heating up to 122 degrees — be careful! — and it only takes a matter of seconds to reach that temperature.
Some theorize that the conveniences provided by many technological devices are making us lazier. Certainly, many inventions that crop up each year are designed with the intent of making our lives easier. Others are actually taking a different route.
Jaws was — and will likely continue to be — a cult classic, particularly among baby boomers. Fiction aside, however, real-life horror stories of swimmers getting attacked by sharks are scary and not at all entertaining. Protecting surfers and swimmers from the threat of sharks is something that could be achieved by drones.
While no one likes to think about finding themselves in a dangerous, scary or life-threatening situation, the reality is that there's always a possibility you could find yourself in trouble. Even if it never happens, knowing you have a tool that can effectively alert people you need help is comforting.
Losing things that belong to you can be stressful. It’s even worse when they are taken from you. The unfortunate reality is that some people will steal others' property and belongings at any given opportunity. It’s disheartening when it happens, not to mention costly to replace the items.
Pillows Shaped for Glasses
As we mentioned earlier on this list, people with visual impairments deal with certain issues that others with perfect vision just wouldn't understand. Among the minor but true examples is the discomfort you experience when you want to lay down to watch TV, but your glasses prevent you from resting your head on the pillow in comfort.
Custom-Tailored Temperature Mug
Traditional travel mugs don't always provide the best insulation. Before you know it, the coffee you were looking forward to sipping is lukewarm. Newer travel thermos brands like Yeti are so effective at keeping drinks warm that you almost burn your tongue when you take a sip an hour later.
Snack Chip Sealer
We're not saying it never happens, but it’s rare for people to open a new family-size bag of chips and finish the entire thing in one sitting. Typically, you want to save some for later. In an attempt to keep the chips from going stale, you're forced to use a messy fold-over method to close the bag or try to find a clip large enough to hold it closed.