With many of us working from home in the last few months, we have welcomed any little help towards making life smoother, more manageable, and at the very least more fun! From gadgets to control the kids to ones that control the waistline, here’s a round up of a few smart items we’ve found more than useful.
Smart Gadgets #1: Zepp E Wellness Watches
Bye Bye Apple watch, hello Zepp. The all-new water resistant Zepp E series harnesses the power of AI and cutting-edge technology to measure and convert vital health statistics into actionable insights. The health element of this watch is the most comprehensive I have seen on the market. I can now keep tabs on my wellbeing including blood-oxygen saturation (a critical indicator of health/sleep), sleep tracking (including sleep stages, awake time, REM), heart rate, calories, steps and much more. AND the battery lasts for days!
The watches also look the part and I regularly get asked what it is. The pure black 3D curved bezel-less glass is stylish and the watch is light (36g) and ultra-slim at only 9mm so it’s comfortable to wear day/night. I also love that I can control all notifications from my phone really quickly and easily. It also has Bluetooth Music Control so I can play, pause or skip tracks from the watch directly.
The app is easy to use and has a vast amount of information. Zepp E’s range of workout modes help track and improve performance when exercising and you can set daily activity goals, including steps taken and calories burned. I could go on for days about this watch and it’s awesomeness.
Smart Gadgets #2: NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6
So you live in a house and there are few of you. How often has it happened that there is a spot in the house where there is no WiFi connection? ALL THE TIME. Enter Orbi. This box of magic can not only handle all your connected devices, but it helps you do everything faster. A tri-band WiFi 6 system has wireless speeds up to 6 Gbps (that’s fast!) so you can watch 4K or 8K UHD video streaming without that red spinning buffering circle you see all too often on Netflix.
Orbi comes with a router and also a satellite box which in total cover homes that are a whopping 4,000 sq. ft. (the average UK home is around 688 sq. ft.) Even with more than 100 devices connected to your network, you get the smoothest WiFi experience everywhere at home. It is a total game changer. We tested it in a two floor house with over 20 devices connected to it and the system worked seamlessly covering the whole house with blazing fast speeds. We consider this a smart investment in the sanity of every smart home.
We also like the control at your finger tips. You can pause the WiFi, see all the devices connected to your network, check the speed and lots more with the Orbi app. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you can use voice commands to control everything.
Smart Gadgets #3: EKO PHANTOM SMART BIN
Space is a premium in London and currently were all spending significantly more time than usual inside our Sylvanian Families sized homes. So a 45L bin may sound like overkill. But much like it’s name sake, the Eko Phantom is the Rolls-Royce of home disposal.
The Phantom will win you over with its compact styling, slim line shape and sheer usability. A classic, sleek design in brushed metal, one wave of your hand opens a huge cavity with two storage compartments, one for waste and one for recycling. This bin is fingerprint resistant, has a silent soft close lid and manual override for longer deposits and bag changes. No more bag for life dangling from coat hooks or cluttering the hallway. This hygienic, stylish home accessory is one luxury you didn’t know you needed and won’t want to be without.
Smart Gadgets #4: YOTO CLEVER CUBE
Home-schooling and keeping the kids occupied for longer periods than ever is challenging and has me reaching for our home bar. In this modern age where gadgetry, gizmos & apps rule most of our free time, there’s a new idol on the block to help both educate and entertain.
This cube is a tactile, screen free fun centre for children. Educational and inspiring, it maximises creative development without the hypnotic draw of a tablet. From learning a language to learning the piano, a calendar, clock, nightlight with podcasts, a radio, a stereo and stories and everything in between. All without the dangers of being exposed to the internet. With an extensive library of cards available, the cube also allows you to create your own content with the app and blank cards supplied. Anything from a music playlist to your own recorded stories. Although recommended for ages 3-10, us adults had a blast getting the hang of this excellent little player. Highly recommended, this is more than a toy. It’s an experience.
£79.99 (Additional activity packs prices vary)
Smart Gadgets #5: AMAZON ECHO LOOP
No matter how bijou your home is, making it ‘smart’ is almost always a great, energy saving idea and of all Amazon’s upcoming smart devices, the Echo Loop is the luxury to get excited about. A ‘wearable’ in the same vein as a smart watch but with no display, this smart ring allows you to control your home set up AND make calls. Alexa literally in the palm of your hand.
Not available yet in the UK, this waterproof, sleek, matt black ring will simplify your interactive home experience while you have your hands full with home schooling and hand washing. While it’s still in its infancy, Amazon will be listening closely to customer feedback while they innovate this smart gadget further. Definitely one to watch out for.
UK price tbc.
Smart Gadgets #6: NUTRIBULLET BALANCE BLENDER
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and recently I’d bet you’ve either become a Michelin star chef with your own YouTube channel or you’ve existed on crumpets and Uber Eats.
The Nutribullet itself needs no introduction. A home staple for over a decade, the new Balance Blender takes our old method of “a handful of this, a handful of that” and makes it work for you. Connected to an app on your smart phone, it measures exactly what you’re making as you make it. As you add each ingredient the app instantly shows you the calories, fat, total carbs, fibre and protein in your smoothie. One tap on the app and you can curate a personal list of weekly recipes and it even creates a shopping list for you. Among other features, this is a welcome help in getting your nourishment back on track.
Smart Gadgets #7: THE WIRELESS CHARGING MOUSE PAD
Now my home desk is a standing desk which is far from any plugs. This clever and sleek wireless charging mouse pad will help streamline your desk keep your phone charged. Crafted from laminated leather, simply place your phone on the mouse mat and keep it charged all day long as you work. A power cable is included too.
Smart Gadgets #8: THE COMFY
Not strictly a gadget but this wearable blanket keeps you warm & cozy while you lounge at home, watch TV, play games, work on your laptop or just generally chill. Pull your legs into the plush fluffy sherpa to cover yourself completely, roll the sleeves up to make yourself a snack, & move around freely while taking your warmth wherever you go. Don’t worry about slipping or sliding sleeves. It doesn’t drag on the floor either.
Featured image courtesy of NETGEAR.