04. 06. 2007
TechSelector helps non-techies buy gadgets
Some non-techies (older folks, for instance) are lucky enough to have a tech-savvy person in the family they can go to for buying advice. My parents, who are in their seventies, are decked out with the latest cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and applications for all of these devices because they don't have to go far to get help with purchases (Mia is their daughter, after all). But what if you don't have a resident geek in your family? I'm often frustrated to find that my friends' parents (or even my friends themselves) are ill-equipped with gadgets that could make their lives easier and more fun. And they're the people who have the money to buy these things! It makes no sense, it makes me want to scream.
There are a myriad of shopping search engines out there to take you through the options for what's out there to be bought, but what if you have no idea what you're looking for? Say, your mother or uncle or sister wants to buy a new digital camera, but she/he doesn't have a clue as to what specs to look for. Most shopping sites, however comprehensive (and in fact, too comprehensive can be too much), won't tell you that a certain camera is perfect for your specific needs or wants.
The people behind startup company TechSelector had an idea which, like most great ideas, seems obvious once you see it. Say you're someone who's never bought an MP3 player before, and you're now in the market to buy one for yourself. You go to TechSelector, click on MP3 players, read through a very basic description of what's out there and how to make your selection, and answer a series of questions about player type, capacity, weight, battery life, display size and display color. At the end of it, you get a product report that matches your answers. From that point forward, the site works much like many other price comparison sites. You can compare prices for each device option and make your purchase through the participating online merchant (for instance, Amazon.com).
At present, there are ten categories of gadgets you can search for on TechSelector, including cell phones, scanners, PDAs, printers and gaming hardware. TechSelector is a truly multi-generational endeavor, started by two sisters and their father and inspired by the father's experiences in trying to buy technology products. It's a good story, and a great, simple idea.