I recently came across this product: KOMP. It is a display that (elderly) people can put in their homes and their family members can "control" it remotely with their phones. So even if my grandparents would have no knowledge with modern technology, I could have video chats with them, send them pictures, messages, ...

As this product isn't available in my country (Germany), I was wondering, if there is a way to build something like this myself. Im thinking of a simple setup with a display, a webcam and a small computer (maybe even as small as a Rapsberry PI?). But which software could be used for that?

The requirements are pretty easy to describe: Everything should work without them having to do anything. (ok, maybe push one (!) button to accept a call. But anything else might already be too much). Nice features would be:

  1. Sending messages
  2. Sending pictures
  3. Video calls

I would love to hear your ideas! Best regards

Edit: There are many good ways to communicate over your browser with free tools like talky.io or similar. But I want to emphasize the fact, that everything that goes beyond the press of a (physical) button might be too much. My grandparents are all aged 90 and above. So they already lack an understanding of the basic principles of a computer, not to mention a browser or "the internet" itself.

The computer would always run in the background and probably go into hibernation/sleep mode after some time. Thats why the Raspberry PI came to my mind. With a single button press, there should be some kind of dashboard which only shows eihter a textmessage, a picture or the video-chat.

TL;DR: How can I have a video chat with my grandparents without them doing anything (technical) on their own?

  • Have you found anything ideal yet ?
    – Simon
    Oct 2, 2021 at 17:46
  • would grandpad.net be a viable solution for you? Dec 7, 2021 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


I have had good success with the web app https://talky.io/ , which allows video conferencing and chatting in a web browser.

You can create a virtual "room" by just appending its name to to the URL - for example https://talky.io/MyFunkyRoom

To set it up for ease of use:

  • Choose a (unique) room name you will use for chats
  • Set up a bookmark / link on desktop which includes the room name, and which the users can click to launch chat
  • Test the link, and when the page comes up, give audio and video permissions in the browser and set the browser to remember them.

Then, starting a chat requires just two clicks:

  • click the link to open the talky room
  • click on "Join call" to start

The main advantage is that this will work on any device with a reasonably modern browser (assuming of course camera etc. are present).

The only disadvantage is that you cannot be "called" directly - you must enter the chat room first. But a non-technical user will usually not keep their computer running continuously anyway, and a quick phonecall is enough to get things started.

To address the requirement to chat with a "single button":

You could probably set up any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) to automatically launch talky.io in a browser on startup, ideally fullscreen.

Then you could start a chat by just pressing "Join Call". However, this is not quite perfect (e.g. talky will not return there if you press "Leave" in a call). I think your needs would go beyond what a single app (webapp or otherwise) can provide - you would need a device that offers a kiosk mode, and combine that with a suitable software.

  • Thank you very much for your answer, @sleske! Please have a look at my edited question. I tried to clarify what my requirements would be. Best regards, Wulle
    – Wulle
    Apr 2, 2020 at 10:37
  • I tried to address this. But it's not perfect...
    – sleske
    Apr 2, 2020 at 11:00

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