This past year we’ve learned about and shared several different types of video technology and smart displays to help individuals communicate and stay in touch with their loved ones when they cannot see them in person. Recently I learned about another form of video technology that is convenient for seniors or anyone who wants a simple video calling device. The ViewClix Smart Frame provides seniors with a visual connection to family and friends without the need to learn any technology.
Much like the hands-free video calling drop-in feature on an Echo Show that we’ve shared in prior blogs, this device can be set to “auto answer” so there is no need to touch the screen to answer or disconnect video calls. The ViewClix includes an innovative “Sticky Notes” feature that will pop up on the screen to post a special message to your senior(s) viewing the ViewClix. This is a great way to send a visual reminder of appointments, upcoming events, or even to take medication. Sticky Notes can be scheduled to display one time or repeated over a few hours and set up for daily, weekly or monthly recurrences.
How It Works:
• Connect the ViewClix device to WiFi
• Designate a ViewClix Organizer who will manage the device for the senior. This can be done remotely.
• Download the free ViewClix Mobile App which provides a secure connection to share pictures and make video calls. The mobile app is available for Apple and Android smart phones or tablets.
• The organizer creates a secure share list with names and email addresses of those authorized to upload photos, make video calls or post notes to the user. The organizer adds a family member to the share list and they’re emailed an invitation link. As soon as the link is followed, that person is automatically activated to start sharing via the ViewClix mobile app.
• Upload pictures to the ViewClix Cloud – anyone on the share list can upload photos to appear on the frame. The organizer can establish the remote settings such as how long each slideshow picture is displayed, whether the ViewClix Smart Frame goes to “sleep” during late night hours, or if the frame should auto-answer video calls.
• Two Screen Sizes – 10.1” for $199 or 15.6” for $299
• Picture Sharing
• Video Calling
• Sticky Notes – post reminders, messages and announcements to the ViewClix frame
• Unlimited number of users can be added to the share list
• Unlimited free photo storage in ViewClix Cloud
What I like about the ViewClix from my research:
- Simplicity – Seniors don’t need to learn new technology and there’s no requirement for them to sign up for Amazon, Facebook or Google accounts.
- Secure and private – only authorized family members can call, upload photos or post a Sticky Note
- Smart Frame is always connected and scrolls through a display of family pictures providing entertainment
- Auto-answer mode lets a senior receive a video call without pressing any buttons
- Sticky Notes feature – A handy way to display visual reminders to help jog the memory of the user
- If there’s a need for louder volume for hearing impaired individuals, there’s an option to plug in external speakers or headphones via a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
What I least like about it:
- The ViewClix functions are limited while the cost of the device is comparable to several other video-calling devices that offer many more features.
- The remote control could easily get lost.
- It would be nice if the senior (or user) could call out on the device.
Here is a testimonial from a family member whose mother resides in an assisted living facility in the Bismarck/Mandan area using ViewClix had to say:
“My Mother likes it so much, she would rather video than use her phone. She enjoys seeing the faces and surroundings of her callers. In fact, one grandchild even videoed with her so she could see her grandson’s basketball game. And another grandson videoed while they were out feeding the cattle. The quality of the video is superb. You feel like you’re right in the room with her and the sound is good. The programming is very easy to do. And there are no additional costs involved. You designate one person to be administrator and that person can also control who can contact the resident, what hour to turn the ViewClix on and off and also downloading the pictures. I have had as many as 150 pictures on the frame at one time. I’m not the most tech savvy person and this was very easy for me to figure out.”
We are anxiously awaiting a demo unit for both ND Assistive demonstration centers (Mandan and Fargo), so if you would like to see and learn more about the ViewClix or other platforms to help you or a family member stay connected, please contact North Dakota Assistive at 800-895-4728 or firstname.lastname@example.org