Archive for 2019

By May 10, 2019 Read More →

The Best Tech to Aid Relaxation

The average 21st century lifestyle is fairly hectic. We work hard and play hard, and this can prove problematic when it comes to relaxing and unwinding.

Thankfully, there are some great gadgets out there to help you chill out, even when you’re at your most stressed. Here’s a round-up.

The tech you need to relax

  • White noise machines. Sleep is integral to good health. After a bad night’s sleep, it’s much harder to be productive at work, which ramps up stress levels. Then guess what happens? You get another poor-quality night’s sleep. If this sounds familiar, consider a white noise machine (or even a white noise app on your phone). There’s something about the monotonous hum that helps even chronic insomniacs to nod off.
  • Eye massager mask. If you’ve been staring at a screen all day, it’s likely that your eyes might feel sore and tired. Of course, the classic ‘slice of cucumber’ trick does help, but if you’re looking for real relaxation and indulgence, invest in an eye massager mask. These clever devices use air pressure to stimulate circulation and reduce puffiness – and you’ll look better after using it too, which is an added bonus.
  • Scent diffusers. It’s time to ditch the classic ‘reed in a bottle’ diffuser and welcome scent with a technological twist. AromaCare is an excellent example, as it uses scent-pods (plus an app) to blend various ingredients; producing a fragrance that relaxes and calms you. Presumably it can also be used to recreate your favourite aftershaves, like Creed Aventus or One Million!
  • Head massager. Tech doesn’t always have to be expensive. A head massager can be picked up for just a few pounds, and it provides hours of ultra-indulgent scalp-rubbing, which is particularly welcome if you’ve got a pounding headache after work. There are other variants of this massager too, such as devices that cater for knotted back-muscles or tense shoulders.
  • Smart earplugs. If you find distracting noises stressful (either at work or at home), some smart earplugs might be the solution. They fill your ears with relaxing sounds, such as rainfall and forest noises, for several hours at a time.
  • Smart lighting. It’s important, in these eco-aware times, to choose lighting that saves energy. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without ambience. Smart lighting can be adjusted with just a few presses of your phone-screen, creating a warmer, more inviting environment to relax in.
  • HeadSpace app. Thousands of people swear by HeadSpace. This humble app gets you into the habit of doing mindful meditation each day, while teaching you how to become calmer and more relaxed in your daily routine. There’s a subscription fee involved, but given how many people rave about it, it might be worth the cost.
  • Salt lamp. According to the hype, salt lamps not only provide a wonderfully soothing amber glow, but they also cleanse the air around you, and deodorise the environment. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure; there’s something incredibly tranquil about reading with a salt lamp beside you.
Posted in: Editorial
By April 16, 2019 Read More →

How to Regularly Save Money on Technology

Technology has the power to entertain, boost a person’s productivity levels, and can help people to communicate from across different corners of the globe.

However, different devices can also cost a substantial amount of money to run throughout the years. Fortunately, there are many great ways to reduce your expenditure each month.

If you want to reduce your outgoings on various gadgets and technology services, read the below top tips on how to regularly save money on technology.

Select a Sim-Only Deal

Rather than paying a considerable amount of money each month for a smartphone and sim package, you should select an affordable sim-only deal. By doing so, you will only pay a small amount for a mobile phone contract each month, which can reduce your monthly outgoings.

As a result, you can use your existing phone or find a better smartphone deal for your budget elsewhere. To lower your household bills, find out more about cheap sim only deals.

Sell Your Old Gadget

Instead of allowing your old smartphones, cameras, laptops or another gadget to gather dust in a drawer or cupboard, sell the items online. For example, you could earn a hundred pounds or more for an unwanted digital camera or computer, and you could use the money to pay for your next gadget.

Switch to Online Streaming

TV subscription packages can be rather expensive, and it is likely you only use a small number of the channels available. If so, consider making the switch to an online streaming service, such as:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Now TV
  • Amazon Prime

Each is available for a fraction of a TV subscription package, so the money saved can be added into your savings account or can pay for a household bill.

Save on Storage with Online File Sharing Services

Instead of opting for a smartphone with a large memory or buying a USB hard drive, utilise the many online file sharing services available. For example, Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, while Dropbox offers 2GB. Plus, you can upgrade your account for a small, monthly amount, with different options to suit your needs and budget.

So, whenever your device becomes overloaded with images, files and videos, you can send the documents to the flexible online sharing platform, which you can access on any device with an internet connection.

Gain Access to Free Books on Stanza

If you class yourself as a bookworm, it is likely you spend a considerable sum on classic novels and the latest bestsellers each year. After all, the likes of Amazon and iBook currently charge between 99p to £15 for a book. Rather than spending your hard-earned cash on books, download the Stanza app.

The free application is available on various iOS devices, such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad. You can then gain access to more than 100,000 books, free of charge. It is a great way to make some serious savings on novels throughout the year.

Posted in: Editorial
By February 14, 2019 Read More →

The future of online gaming

From its humble origins with simple games such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, the gaming industry has developed out of all recognition and in 2019 is one of the global economy’s most dynamic and profitable sectors, providing employment, profit and entertainment for millions.

Technology harnessed by creativity has been the driver of development in the gaming industry over the last few decades, and gaming itself has evolved from a pastime enjoyed by a few dedicated players to a socially diverse and even fashionable pastime. Today, millions of gamers worldwide enjoy the latest titles on their phones, tablets, consoles and laptops, and rapidly developing technology has enabled the creation of stunning and immersive games that would astonish previous generations.

This pace of technological change and innovation in the gaming industry is unlikely to slow down over the next few years. Here are some of the gaming developments that we can look forward to.

Hyper-immersion

The immediate goal on the horizon for games developers is hyper-immersive gaming, achieved through the use of photorealistic graphics and virtual reality (VR). VR has been a hot topic in the gaming industry for a while now, but we are still at an early stage in utilising the technology. Once the various issues associated with hardware capabilities have been resolved, gamers can look forward to VR titles that will be able to produce graphics virtually identical to real life.

VR is also likely to have an increasing impact in one area of the thriving online casino industry. While casino gamers have become used to playing free video slots and traditional table games at their convenience, without having to visit a physical casino, the one weakness of online casino games is that they can’t capture the real atmosphere of a land-based casino. VR offers the possibility of putting online casino gamers into a virtual casino in which they can not only play their favourite games but also interact directly with other users.

Gaming goes open-source

For most of its history, the gaming industry has been dominated by big games producers that are able to amass the computing power and expertise required to produce the cutting-edge titles enjoyed by modern gamers. However, technology is changing that. The development of cheaper game production software, available on an open-source basis, has already started to change the games development landscape, and as it becomes easier for independent creators to produce their own titles, the result could be a new revolution in gaming innovation, and the possibility of users producing games to their own tastes.

Gaming takes to the cloud

Cloud technology has become increasingly prevalent and is likely to have a major impact on the way that gamers enjoy their favourite titles in future. As internet connections become ever faster, it will eventually be possible for gamers to play the latest games via the cloud on a wide range of devices without having to download any software. This will not only make gaming cheaper, but will also enable people to game without having to use a desktop PC or a games console.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is not a new technology, but we have so far scratched the surface of what it can do. The huge success achieved by Pokémon GO, which enabled players to hunt for Pokémon creatures superimposed on the real world using AR, gave an indication of how much demand there is for this type of gameplay, and it is likely that games developers will be looking for ways to use AR to enhance gameplay, perhaps through headsets or new games consoles.

Secondary gaming devices

One of the most interesting gaming developments is the use of secondary gaming devices. The most famous games console developers – Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony – are all producing or working on gaming adaptations that capitalise on the popularity of mobile gaming. The Wii U GamePad, the SmartGlass app, and the integration of Sony’s PS Vita with the PlayStation console, are all examples of gaming companies utilising multiple devices to enhance the player’s gaming experience, and this trend is likely to continue as new technologies come on stream.

Gaming into the future

For gamers, this is a golden age, as creativity and technology combine to produce previously unimaginable gaming experiences, and that same innovation promises an even more exciting future as the gaming world embraces and develops ever more sophisticated platforms.

Posted in: Editorial, gaming