Now that we are already a few weeks into the New Year, it might be worth reflecting on how the resolutions we made over the New Year are going. First, it is important to assess whether these were realistic or not. Second, we can look at what accounting systems we have put in place for this and third, we can “cheat” a little and see what gadgets are out there this year in 2018 to help us.
Fitness trackers can be a good start. In the form of sporty smartwatches, or pedometers are a good way to stay on track and reach exercise targets. Next, a smart scale will help with really ensuring you are eating what you think you’re eating. All too often we assume we are eating healthily or dieting when in actual fact we’re eating way more than we meant to. Electronic food diaries can really help with this as well.
What about eliminating bad habits? Pavlok – the wearable which delivers an electric shock from 50 to 500 volts – pledges to do this. For a mere $179.97 it even claims to help you break your addiction to heroin. Hopefully you won’t need to try this as it’s just minor resolutions you committed to on January 1, 2018!
Finally a cellphone boasting a 2 day battery life!!! One of the biggest complaints individuals have had with modern technology and their phones is the short battery life.
India’s Nokia 2 is being branded as the cheapest Nokia phone yet in HMD Global’s portfolio. Featuring the 4100mAh battery, users will now be able to enjoy 2 days of battery life! While it is a low end smartphone it is likely the price won’t be too steep either, with comments indicating it will come in at an “average global price” of EUR 99.
Kids and young adults went back to school a few weeks ago. Let’s take a look at what the media is telling us is out there and good. First, this WSBT video
A lot has changed from the blackboard school days to which we were accustomed. These days it’s all tablets and computers, iPods and Kindles. Students can at times find these somewhat overwhelming and could be challenged to keep focused during the day. That’s why the Sennheiser’s HD 4.50 is recommended for canceling out excess noise. They are especially good for students moving into dorms needing to share space with their peers for perhaps the first time ever.
Having trouble getting everyone in the car for the school run? Little Ethan lost his shoes…again? Samantha doesn’t remember where she put her gym kit? Fear not, the Item Finder is at your service. This miniscule companion can be hooked on to any items you often have trouble keeping hold of and we recommend putting it on those things that always have you running around at the last minute for.
The other one we really like is designed for all ages. The Paiband City Run app helps kids (and adults) accumulate points when they start moving around. Points will result in prizes (determined by you) and really helps to motivate them to get up off their couches, put their mobile devices away and enjoy the fabulous fall weather upon us. Personally I think it’s a great idea for the older among us too. Build a system of 100 points is one prize: a nice dinner date for you and your loved one!
Kitchen gadgets are designed – for the most part – to make life easier. As gadget vendor (and BBQ champion), Angie Qualle said: “it’s all about convenience — everybody wants things to be easier and faster.” And indeed, the microwave was created to give us more time (which we don’t seem to have), the blender to ease the strain we’ve encountered on chopping food items (which has been replaced by other strains) and so on and so forth.
Sometimes though it seems simple is best. Getting back to basics is what a lot of end up doing; as Qualle said, she always goes back to her knife. She believes that a good cook always requires: a high-heat spatula, and a good set of tongs.
So the question remains, is it really worth clogging up our kitchen cupboards with one-time-use-only gadgets? Which ones can we truly take benefit from? Do we absolutely, 100% have to have the pickle picker? Perhaps not. Maybe the pizza scissors are better for those busy moms who often serve up a few slices to hungry kids at dinner.
In other words, when deciding what deserves high value real estate in your kitchen closets, consider again perhaps the necessity of that macaroni maker. Perhaps say “no thank you,” to the Chef ‘n Banana Slicer for the days you simply cannot use the knife in your drawer.
Instead, get a simple microwave that just heats and defrosts (you don’t need one that is going to play The Star Spangled Banner every time your peas are defrosted), the three items Qualle says are useful and a kettle. The rest as they say, is commentary.
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Thanks to the Toy Fair 2017, everyone can get back to their childhood and play a little. And the best part? So many of the toys are easier to navigate than when you were little.
Take Etch-a-Sketch as a great example. Remember the frustration you encountered trying to draw a circle? Gone. The new Etch a Sketch Junior is (obviously) marketed towards kids, but even would-be adult artists will appreciate its new control mechanism. With a physical joystick, the Etch a Sketch Junior gives you full one-to-one control of the cursor, for a drawing experience that’s a little easier to wrap your head around. Whether that’s the best thing even or takes all the fun out of it is up to you to decide. The Etch A Sketch Junior is out this fall for $13.
Then there’s the Boost from Lego. It looks like regular Lego blocks (because it is) but it also has a basic coding interface which gets kids accustomed to programming. It comes with blocks which are good for the construction of five different devices (including a robot of course) which each one programmed and installed through an app through which you can drag and drop icons to program your creation for every maneuver and reaction. It’s not cheap at $170 but the hours of fun might make it worth it.
For Star Wars fans looking for something on the cheaper end, they’ll be happy to hear about the action figures thanks to Hasbro’s 40th anniversary, in conjunction with the new movies. But all of those characters from Episode IV: A New Hope (Luke, Leia, Han etc.) that you loved as a kid can soon be purchased for a mere $20 apiece in 6 inch form and classic packaging.
Basically there are now a bunch of toys available that you kinda loved when you were a kid, but now you are the parent and in charge of the money dispersion, you can do even better with these toys and enjoy them more as hopefully your brain has developed a bit more too.
Check out this video for the five hottest gadget items in 2017.
1. Zubits: These magnetic shoe closures facilitates lacing up shoes. Thanks to these magnets, Zubits let kids (and adults!) who hate tying laces still wear the lace-up shoes without the hassle. Take off shoes fast without having to use hands by stepping on the heel to pop out. Re-use them forever as their strength never wanes.
2. The Rocketbook Wave – ditch the pen and paper but still put your notes into the cloud using your smartphone. With Pilot FriXion pens and the Wave notebook, notes can be erased easily. Use a microwave to erase and then start again!
3. The Cableyoyo is an earbud cord spool featuring a magnetic center which keep earphones tidy and tangle-free while enabling quick winding and unwinding. It can also be used with the Apple Lightning cable.
4. The Keydisk is the thinnest, most intelligent key holder facilitating key carrying. Made out of sandblasted and anodized aluminum this extremely lightweight (1.2 oz) device can be carried around in one’s front pocket, eliminating unwanted bulk.
5. The Woofwasher360 makes pet grooming easy and efficient. With the capacity to rinse all sized dogs in less than a minute. Attach to a garden hose, place shampoo on the dispenser, slip the hoop over your dog and the shampoo and water mix instantly to wash your four-legged friend.
While electronics and metal are out, molecules are in…at least when it comes to the latest chemistry gadgets. Mini in size but mega in power, Chemistry Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage (Strasbourg University), Bernard Feringa (University of Groningen) and Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University) received the prize for their “design and synthesis of molecular machines.”
Thanks to the recent development of chemical strategies to build interlocking ring molecules, and the discovery of a way of converting energy into work (the basis for a molecular motor), this miniature (the size of a thousandth of a human hair) has now arrived at the gadget ad gizmo table.
And talking of mini gadgets, students and frequent travelers might be happy to hear about the mini travel steam iron could be just what they need when they have to get their shirts wrinkle-free for their important meeting.
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