Top Tech Gadgets for Remote Working

The coronavirus pandemic of the past year has caused an unprecedented surge in remote working. While many have come to see the benefits of working from home, it can still be challenging for your professional life to thrive in bedrooms and living rooms.

With this in mind, TechRound lists some top tech gadgets that can help ease the challenges of working from home.

 

Tech Gadgets for Remote Workers: 

 

  • NuroKor mitouch
  • Aftershokz Opencomm Bone Conducting Headset
  • Varidesk Standing Desk
  • Moneypenny
  • Twelve South Curve
  • Groov-e Apollo
  • Groov-e Zen
  • Kuva
  • Meeow

 

NuroKor mitouch

 

NuroKor-mitouch-product

 

The NuroKor mitouch is designed to target acute and chronic aches and pains that many of us are experiencing now we’re working from home all the time.

Backed by more than 40 Olympians and elite athletes, and designed to enhance physical performance and treat chronic pain and injuries, the NuroKor mitouch is like having a mini-physiotherapist in your pocket.

A discreet wearable device, the mibody works by delivering bio-electrical pulses through the skin to block pain signals from travelling to the brain; they stimulate the body’s natural methods of muscle repair and inflammation reduction, and they also provide physiotherapy to relax muscles, improve circulation and speed up the natural recovery and rehabilitation processes.

Ideal for anyone suffering from chronic pain, arthritis and niggling sports injuries, or those who want to improve their physical performance, encourage muscle stimulation and speed up recovery times after training.

 

Aftershokz Opencomm Bone Conducting Headset

 

Aftershokz-Opencomm-Bone-Conducting-Headset

 

With more people than ever relying on video conferencing, the need for good quality audio input and output has grown exponentially. Most people ‘make do’ with the microphone on their webcam or laptop and either their existing speakers or basic headphones, but a good quality headset can make all the difference. Not only will it help you to hear and be heard more clearly, but when you have to wear it for long periods of time a comfortable headset is more than worth the additional price premium.

AfterShokz headsets have historically been aimed mainly at sports enthusiasts. The bone conducting technology connects pads to the top of your cheek bone in front of your ear, meaning that your ears are left uncovered so can hear sounds around you – useful for runners or cyclists, for example. Rather than a band that runs over the top of your head, AfterShokz run behind it, towards the base of your skull. This new headset builds on that design, adding a DSP noise-cancelling microphone. At just 33 grams they are also extremely lightweight and designed for all-day use.

Battery life is impressive, with up to 16 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby. A 5-minute quick charge will give you 2 hours of usage should you run out of juice, with the unit charging to 100% in 60 minutes. 

The downside of bone conduction is that audio quality is OK, but not outstanding. In-ear or on-hear headphones will give you more bass and be louder, but the AfterShokz are good enough for the purpose intended. The key factors for me were comfort and battery – I can put them on when I boot up, use them for two-three days constantly and literally forget that I am wearing them.

Written by Martin Bailey, the author of several technical books, including The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps. www.theusefulbookofgadgets.com.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

techround

 

Varidesk Standing Desk

 

Varidesk-Standing-Desk

 

One of the side-effects of lockdown for many will have been an increase in waistline due to lack of exercise. In addition to weight gain and the various conditions that can arise from it, people often suffer from muscle stiffness and bad posture because of long periods of inactivity. Standing desks have been around for a while, but are an expensive replacement for existing furniture and many may do not have the space at home. 

Varidesk aims to change all that with the height adjustable standing desk. It’s an accessory for your existing desk rather than a replacement, with a keyboard stand and slightly elevated monitor stand for up to two monitors. When delivered it’s supplied flat, but ready to use. Simply place it on your existing desk and put your monitor, keyboard and mouse back in place. When you want to stand just lift the monitor stand and the unit extends upwards. The lifting mechanism is spring-assisted and counterweighted, so you’re not lifting the entire weight of the Varidesk and its contents.

There’s an extremely wide variety of Varidesks available from the basic ‘Soho’ range at around £150 and suitable for a laptop through to larger models priced around the £350-400 mark that will support a dualscreen monitor setup. There’s even a triangular-shaped corner unit for corner desks. Most variants are available in either black or white.

Although the standard Varidesks extend around 44cm, tall people are also catered for with the ‘Exec’ range, which extends up to 14cm higher so that everyone can find a comfortable working position.

Consider that you can burn an extra 20-50 calories per hour using the Varidesk, and although it’s unreasonable to expect people to stand for the entirety of their working day, burning an extra 80-200 calories per day is a realistic number. While that may not sound like much, it can equate to 8-20 extra pounds burnt over the course of a year. Studies have also shown that users have improved concentration levels when standing versus sitting. So if your goal is to lose those love handles or you feel that your back pain is being caused through extended sitting then maybe the Varidesk is an investment that can help achieve that?

Written by Martin Bailey, the author of several technical books, including The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps. www.theusefulbookofgadgets.com.

 

Moneypenny

 

Moneypenny-worker

 

Moneypenny is one of the world’s leading outsourced communications companies, providing 1,000 PA’s across the UK who work for businesses and individuals, from plumbers to hairdressers, to estate agents, answering their phones, Live Chats and digital interactions, as if they were part of that company.  Their services have been in particular demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many employees found themselves working from home and businesses needed to find ways for calls to be routed through to them when their offices closed.

During the first lockdown, a lot of firms struggled to divert their phones and didn’t have the right technology in place to manage their outsourced communications. One of Moneypenny’s large business clients had a receptionist travelling to the office daily to listen to the telephone answering machine, while another had one work mobile device, which was driven between different team members on a rotating system.  This created extra work for employees already dealing with an extremely stressful situation.

Moneypenny’s digital switchboards provided a perfect solution as they route calls to staff  wherever they are located, which can be scaled up or down depending on demand. For smaller businesses, Moneypenny can divert calls to a mobile and provides an app providing contact with a Moneypenny PA while out and about, plus there’s an online portal to store call data and a diary integration service.

The explosion of video meeting technology used by companies during lockdown led Moneypenny to quickly integrate its telephony system with Microsoft Teams so that its receptionists knew to take a message if a client was otherwise engaged, resulting in a much better caller experience.

In addition, more and more businesses have also used Moneypenny’s Live Chat services, which can be set up in just five minutes. Moneypenny agents are able to handle 10 times more customer live chats in the time it takes for one phone call, so it’s a much more efficient channel and spikes in activity can be better managed.

 

Twelve South Curve

 

Twelve-South-Curve

 

Many people suffer from neck pain caused by poor posture and too many hours spent looking down at a screen. Having a good laptop stand like the Twelve South Curve will make working instantly more comfortable and healthier. Stylish with an improved ergonomic design, the Curve means users no longer have to hunch over and tilt their heads downwards towards a screen. They can elevate their MacBook to a more comfortable height, relieving neck and shoulder strain in the process.

Raising the camera on your screen or web cam to eye level using the Twelve South Curve will also instantly make you look better on video calls. When your laptop is on your desk or even your lap it means that the people you’re talking to are looking up at you from below which can be very unflattering. By raising the screen not only will you avoid the double chin effect but it will also have a positive effect on your posture.

Twelve South has been designing beautiful accessories for Apple products since 2009 and the Curve is no exception. Providing the ultimate partnership of style and functionality, this stand perfectly matches clean modern office spaces. Offering multiple uses, the Curve can be paired with a full-sized keyboard and mouse for a convenient desktop setup or used with a monitor for dual screen functionality. Its minimal design uses a single piece of aluminium which allows 70% of the base to be exposed for optimal cooling. Anti-slip silicone pads and bent arms keep your laptop in place and prevent scratches.

 

Groov-e Apollo

 

Groov-e-Apollo

 

Having the right lighting when working can make all the difference. Not only can it help reduce eye strain but it can boost productivity levels and invigorate you.

The Groov-e Apollo is a stylish desk lamp packed with all the latest features to make work life easier. Not only is it a flexible lamp with three LED light modes, it also features wireless charging which means no more hunting around for chargers as you can simply place your mobile device on the base to charge instantly. What’s more you can connect to the Apollo via Bluetooth to hear your favourite tunes around the room using its 3W speaker. USB powered, you also have the option to take the Apollo and plug in wherever you are working.

 

Groov-e Zen

 

Groov-e-Zen

 

The Groov-e Zen Active Noise Cancelling headphones are perfect if you’re working from home and want to block out some of the ambient sound in order to concentrate. Whether it’s a partner working in the same space or kids playing in the next room, the Zen headphones will make it much easier to work and focus.

The over-ear Zen wireless headphones from UK tech company Groov-e combine 40mm Neodymium drivers and Active Noise Cancelling to deliver quality crystal-clear sound. With over 10-hours of wireless playback and a built-in microphone they are ideal for taking calls or listening to music when connected to a Bluetooth device.

Sleek and lightweight and featuring premium, soft foam earpads the Zen headphones also ensure a comfortable listening experience at all times. Built in control buttons are conveniently placed on the ear cup allowing for full control of song selection and volume and enable you to answer incoming calls quickly and easily. The intelligent folding design reduces the space required for storage when not being used so that they fit into a draw comfortably.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

techround

 

Kuva

 

Kuva-platform

 

Kuva enables private conversation within a secure room so that professionals, wherever they are located, can work with the public. Making no compromises that expose users to surveillance by adtech, especially when we work at home. It is essential that clients do not have to share the fact they are talking to you with anyone else. Most communications platforms leak this data in some way. By integrating all the communications tools into one private platform, working remotely does not jeopardise the privacy of providers or clients. Kuva helps professionals to build the bonds of trust their work requires.

It provides secure video and text chat, screen-sharing, document transfer, appointment booking, and a customisable interface.

Kuva’s best-in-class privacy standard is based on two simple principles:

  1. It doesn’t collect or store user data, so there is nothing to leak or sell
  2. Kuva builds and operates the entire system in-house, minimising exposure to third-parties

This is the only way to guarantee the confidentiality of online communications and safeguard professional reputation from the dangers of the surveillance web. Kuva’s data is controlled by its customers, not by Kuva – and not by big tech corporations.

Kuva was created by a team responding to the explosion in home working and digital comms. Right now we need to be able to live and work online in private, we need new tools and a privacy philosophy to help businesses and organisations make this possible. Kuva is the product of three years of research with charities, therapists and lawyers. With funding from both the Welsh and UK Government.

Customers have told Kuva that what they need is a secure room for private conversations while working from home. People expect the same level privacy as if meeting in person. Kuva delivers that. Kuva’s goal is to blend the seemingly incompatible – confidentiality, privacy and client safeguarding with access and convenience.

 

Meeow

 

Meeow-platform

 

Meeow solves that problem of networking from home. In old-school networking, online, you are often just a spectator. In a room with dozens of others, if you don’t feel naturally comfortable meeting people, you can struggle to get your voice heard. 

Meeow solves those problems. It introduces people through random connections (we call it the ‘power of random’). It uses language mapping techniques – a form of artificial intelligence – to group people with common interests or associations. The more people use Meeow, the better it works at introducing them to who they want to meet. By taking in feedback, location preferences, and more, it matches with people who are ultimately going to help grow a business.

Small groups of four are how this really gets going. Four gives people the chance to have an intimate conversation, be heard and really get to know each other. It could be about business, the weather, the problems faced during lockdown. Anything really, as long as everyone is on board. 

After an hour session, people can continue to chat in a private space or connect seamlessly on Meeow. Business is all about building connections and doing it virtually is the easiest way of meeting new people and growing your network. 

Users don’t have to leave the office and drive for an hour to a meeting that may come to nothing. They aren’t restricted to local contacts but can talk to people from around the world. Business can expand their network to meet people they never expected to meet.

Virtual meetings are definitely here to stay. The best thing is, you can now do it all from the comfort of your own home or office, without wasting hours getting to meetings. That’s the beauty of Meeow.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

techround