7 gadgets and tech ideas to make your life easier in 2021

Danielle Lawson Uncategorized

The New Year is well underway and to get things off to a good start, we’ve compiled a list of seven ideas that could help make your life easier in 2021.

We’ll start by looking at some gadgets that can save you time and energy.

Universal remote controls

Are you sick of your loungeroom or coffee table being cluttered with remote controls?  A universal remote might be the answer. Most universal remotes can control multiple devices, such as your TV, set top boxes, DVD/Blu-Ray player, game consoles and streaming devices.  You can even get smart universal remotes that pair with your phone so you can control any internet-connected device in your home.

If you are living with a disability, you may need to consider the size and visibility of the buttons. For example, colour-coded and/or illuminated buttons may help if you have low vision. Larger buttons may be easier if you have motor control issues.

This article by Tech Radar explains more about universal remotes and answers common questions. Additionally, here’s a list of big button remotes from Independent Living Centres Australia.

Robotic vacuum cleaners

While many people don’t enjoy carrying a heavy vacuum cleaner around the house, if you have an issue such as back pain, it can make vacuuming difficult and painful. You may want to consider a robot vacuum, which can clean your floors of dust, pet hair and other everyday debris – while you  relax on the couch!

Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for a few years and may be more affordable than you think, with prices starting from about $120 plus shipping for this version from Kogan. Read more about robot vacuums, including some product reviews, in this PCMag.com article.

Robotic lawn mowers

Along the same lines, robot lawn mowers can take the hassle out of keeping your lawns under control.  There are models that handle slopes and larger blocks. Robot lawn mowers are more expensive than their floor-cleaning counterparts, with prices ranging from $600 for a basic model to more than $5,000 for a top-of-the-range version. Find out more in this article by PCMag.com.

Home automation

Home automation gives you the ability to control items around your home by connecting them to the internet. A huge range of household appliances are now available in internet-enabled versions, including fridges, air-conditioning, window blinds, security cameras, clocks, hot water heaters, cooking appliances, lighting and even pet monitoring.

Connected devices can send you information and receive your commands, including typed and voice commands.

Learn more about home automation technology for people living with disability in this article by Reviews.com. Read more about smart home devices in this piece by PCMag.com.

Magic 360 wheelchair

This new offering from Magic Mobility is touted as “a crossover wheelchair that’s compact enough to move easily indoors and yet equipped with all the requirements for tackling more adventurous outdoor terrain.”

If you’re looking for an Australian-made powered chair that’s relatively compact and can handle various outdoor environments, find out more here. MobilityHQ has a helpful starter guide to choosing a wheelchair that’s right for you.

Now, here’s some apps that could make your life easier this year.

Wheelmap and WheelMate

Created for wheelchair users, the Wheelmap app marks places like restaurants, cafes, bars, and cinemas for their accessibility, all over the world. Data is collected and supplied by app users, who can also leave comments and rate sites.

Similarly, WheelMate provides information on your nearest wheelchair-friendly toilets and parking spaces on an interactive map. Both apps are free and available for Apple and Android devices.

Apple Wheelmap
Apple Wheelmate
Android Wheelmap
Android Wheelmate


Voiceitt has been designed by experts in linguistics and algorithms to support people with non-standard speech. It learns your unique speech patterns and can be used to control your smart home assistants and devices.

Using statistical modelling and machine learning, Voiceitt gets better every time you use it. It’s scheduled for release on the Apple store on January 28, 2021.

About Zest

Zest Personalised Care is a registered provider of NDIS disability support services with two decades of experience in the care industry. Please get in touch if you’d like any more information about how we work with individuals to achieve their goals.