Whether it’s helping to manage our tasks or simply eliminating the problem of tangled wires, we have these cool gadgets to thank.
We understand how busy life can get – if it’s not work taking up all of your mental capacity and attention, it’s bills to pay and important dates to remember and family to visit and partners to placate. Which is why technology advancements are happening to help us out physically, mentally and just deliver an all-around less stressful life.
From the removal of our headphone wires to the redundancy of copious different apps just to get that final right selfie for social – we recognise that tech needs to give us a helping hand and work smarter, so we don’t have to.
While we can’t give a low-down on every new exciting piece of machinery on the market, we have picked out ones we’ve tried, tested and loved.
JBL wireless headphones
There is nothing more infuriating than getting your headphones ripped out of your ears because the wire got caught on your handbag or worse – a stranger’s arm on the MRT. To be able to move and function without those wires has been a genius invention – which is why we can’t get enough of the new wave of JBL wireless headphones and the brand’s #GoWireless movement.
Completely free from wires and easy to use, the JBL Free is a flexible companion for calls, music and an active lifestyle – ideal for going about your day seamlessly. You get 24 hours of combined playback, four hours of continuous listening on the headphones plus 20 hours of backup from the smart charging case. The JBL Free comes with a smart charging case that powers it up when not in use.
The Comfort Stay Secure Fit ergonomics with three ear-tips and two gel sleeve sizes provide a tailored fit for all-day wear and active use. Oh, and the splashproof worry free IPX5 certified design keeps the music playing through sunshine and rain – a must-have in Singapore’s tempestuous climate.
Google Home/Google Home Mini
Google Home and Google Home Mini hit our Singaporean shores recently, aiming to streamline our home lives and make the daily grind as stress-free as possible. With a simple “Okay Google” into your voice-activated speaker, you can get answers, turn up the music, manage everyday tasks or control smart devices around your home.
Once stored, Google Home can remind you of important information such as where you last put your passport or your car keys. It can even call your mobile for you if you’ve misplaced your handset. What is extra cool about this gadget is that it can do voice recognition for up to five different people in your home, meaning it will register what they’ve requested which could be different to what you have. It also means more than one person’s Google calendar will be stored and remembered. So in the morning, Google Home can tell you what kind of your day you’ve got planned, then move on to your partner’s day after.
Too busy to stay on top of the news? Ask and you shall receive the latest stories from news sources such as Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times, MONEY FM 89.3, The Business Times, Business Insider Singapore, and more. You can even go one step further with news and entertainment, and by adding a Chromecast to your TV, you can watch the latest shows on Netflix and YouTube. Just say, “Hey Google, play ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix on my TV” and your TV will then be turned on and ta-da … there’s your requested show!
And for those worried about electricity used or energy used – Google Home activates only after you say ‘Hey Google’ and turns off immediately once finished.
The mini comes in three colours to choose from: Chalk, charcoal and coral.
Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E8 in Powder Pink
To celebrate Japanese culture, the arrival of spring and the beautiful colours of the Sakura season, B&O PLAY is now unveiling its third product in the company’s Special Edition Collection called Beoplay E8 Powder Pink. The colour is inspired by the pale pink blooms of the Yoshino cherry tree, and it elegantly underlines the harmonious design of the earphones while softening the anodized aluminium and leather details.
More than a beautiful design, Beoplay E8 Powder Pink delivers industry-leading sound and a seamless listening experience on the move. It delivers up to four hours of music on one charge, and two additional charges on the move from the pocket-friendly leather charging case. As Beoplay E8 has small magnets built into each earphone, clicking them into the charging case will automatically power down the earphones and start to charge them, so they are ready for your next move.
Beoplay E8 Powder Pink Special Edition comes with a premium leather charging case, five ear tips and a charging cable and is sold in very limited quantities and available in Singapore Bang & Olufsen stores at Grand Hyatt and Takashimaya, and retailers Robinsons The Heeren and TANGS at Tang Plaza from May 2018.
Yes, smartphones these days all are competing for the top slot – the best handset, the clearest picture, the most HD screen etc, so we’re often bombarded with ‘super new handsets’ throughout the year that claim to do a billion things its predecessor did not. As a Samsung user through and through, the S8 for me was an incredible choice when I upgraded. I love the camera, the clarity of the screen, the design and the lightweight feel of the handset itself. I was happy. That is, until the Samsung S9 slid onto the scene.
The camera is one of it’s proudest functions, claiming to work is both super bright and super dim lighting, meaning you’re not left scrambling around for your best selfie. How? The category-defining Dual Aperture lens adapts like the human eye – it’s able to automatically switch between various lighting conditions with ease – making your photos look great whether it’s bright or dark, day or night.
What is fab about this device is it basically does everything you need for videos, photos and gifs so you don’t have to download a billion different apps to create one final desired version of your media. It also has a super slo-mo setting for your videos, allows you to create gifs (in loop, reverse or forward play), dd your own music as background to your media or even create an emoji version of yourself that you can then send onto social or friends. It has live focus for the perfectly sharp and clear selfies and blurred background effects – it can even translate languages in real time for you just from your snaps, which is a super handy tool for the regular traveller.
As for the sound? You can hear the action crisper and louder on the stereo speakers tuned by AKG. It’s 1.4x more powerful than previous Galaxy phones. We could go on raving about its features, but instead, we’ll leave that for you to discover yourselves.
The handset comes in three colour variations: Lilac Purple, Midnight Black or Coral Blue.
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworld.com.